Have you ever been with a group of people and felt like you didn’t have a place within that group? I have. I’ve felt that way in the midst of a congregation and it’s a lonely, depressing feeling. Talking with others, I know I’m not alone. Of all the places where it would seem there should be a role for each of us is, the Church should definitely be such a place. Doesn’t God want to include us in His work? Why do we feel excluded?
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, – Ephesians 4:11-12, ESV
If you think about the pastoral role in a church, these are all possible names for the pastor or church elder. Paul sums them all up and indicates all the roles serve to equip the saints for the work of ministry. In other words, there is work for all of us. If we are called by Christ, we are given the title saint. We are not saints by the worldly definition, that of a person who is just about perfect, but the Church definition of a sinner who is saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. We are to be equipped, trained, prepared, and made ready for ministry. We are to be built up. We are to be given what we need to do God’s will, to be part of His family, to take our place and role in the Church. This is God’s intent. This is His desire. You and I have a place. We may not sense it, but there is something for each of us to do. And some people within the Church are called to help other Christians understand that and be prepared for their roles.
I say all this to encourage you if you haven’t found your place in God’s Church. Note that I use Church with a capital C. If you are attending a congregation, there may or may not be a place for you there. If you are currently filling roles in ministry but get a sense that you are misplaced, that most certainly is possible. A lot of folks volunteer for roles in order to be helpful or because it’s easier not to say, “No,” (note I didn’t write say, “Yes”). Then again, you could be in the correct role in the correct church at the correct time. The key thing to remember is if you don’t have a place or if you feel you are in the wrong place, don’t despair. There is a correct spot for each of us.
How do we know when and where and how and what? We’ll look at that shortly. Just remember that if you have been called by Jesus Christ to be His, you belong. You have a place. You are part of the family. You are important. You are necessary. You are needed. So many people in the Church today struggle because they don’t get a sense of community, of belonging, of unity. Trust in God. It is His intent that you are a key part of the one body. Don’t let the loneliness and despair overcome you. God has something for you. Trust Him!