Every member playing their part

Pray: for God’s help as you look and think on his word now.

Read: 1 Corinthians 12:14–31

14For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body”, that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body”, that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”, nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and on those parts of the body that we think less honourable we bestow the greater honour, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honour to the part that lacked it, 25that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together. 27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

Think: here are a few questions and ideas to help you meditate on this passage:

  • why has God arranged the church with so many different parts?
  • why is it so good this way? You could doodle a picture of a church that works like this to help you imagine how good it would be.
  • how should this passage affect your view of your own role in our church family?
  • brainstorm: what might be the next steps you could take in playing your role in our church?

Pray: be honest with God about how you feel about this picture of church. Talk with him about your place in the body and ask him for help to respond rightly to what you’ve been learning in this passage.

Today: consider further practically what this chapter might mean for you at this point in your life. Arrange to chat to a friend or a member of your Bible study group to help you think it through further.