In Christ, we all become part of the priesthood, and Findley Edge speaks of this in relation to the gifts of the Spirit.
The church has the responsibility of providing an adequate program for gift discovery to take place. Affirmation of a believer’s call on the part of the church is another aspect of this doctrine.Findley B. Edge, The Doctrine of the Laity
As we work in fellowship together, we help each other discover the area of gifting God wants to use to build up the Body.
We know what Paul wrote about gifts to the church in Corinth:
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.1 Corinthians 12:4-7 NIV
Even with this background from Paul’s letter, most believers don’t intuitively know where they fit in the working of the church, so it’s the task of the more mature to help the younger ones or newer members to both know the gifts God uses and to identify the ones he’s given them. Just like a family, different members have differing roles. So too the church.
We find a great example of this from Scripture when the disciples appointed seven men to serve as deacons. There were needs requiring extra hands, and the apostles couldn’t do everything. They knew their main role was in preaching and teaching, so others were required to rise up in service to the widows. This didn’t mean they were lesser members of the body or not as important as the apostles. Both were needed for the common good of the whole Body.
Who would be the first martyred for his faith? One of those seven, Stephen. His witness, his example in stepping up to serve the common good, and ultimately his death, would lead to the church being spread to wider regions of the world.
Do you know your gifts? Are you using them? How can you help others to discover theirs? Pray all believers in your church will use their gifts for the common good.
Grace and Peace