Have you ever purchased a ticket for a sporting event, a concert or a play that had your specific seat number printed on the ticket? That number was your assigned seat. When you located it and put yourself in it, you had the privilege of enjoying the event.
In the church, the Lord hasn’t given us tickets with assigned seating, per se. But as members of the body of Christ, we each have a special role to play and a niche to fill in the functioning of the body. Not everyone does the same thing — sits in the same seat if you will. “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another” (Romans 12:4-5). One of the most important things each of us can do to strengthen the church and our own relationship to God is simply to find our place in the Lord’s work and fill it. The whole body of Christ is “joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:16).
In the New Testament church, there were many different seats of service. In Romans 12:6-8 alone Paul lists six different kinds of work to be done (prophecy, ministry, teaching, giving, exhortation, leading and showing mercy). As we read through the New Testament, the public preaching of the Word was generally done by apostles, prophets, evangelists and teachers. But there are many examples of others doing vitally important work as well. Dorcas was full of good works; she seemed to find her place in making clothes (Acts 9:36-39). Priscilla and Aquilla were able to teach a man privately the way of the Lord (Acts 18:26). Gaius received and supported traveling preachers (3 John 5-8). Phoebe served the church by being a helper to many individuals (Romans 16:1). Onesiphorus visited Paul in prison (2 Timothy 1:16).
Every one of us has a place to fill in the work of the church. God has given each of us different abilities, and we are to use them in His service. “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Peter 4:10). We must commit ourselves to doing what we can do. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. Have you found your place?
— Steve Klein