As a believer in Jesus, we are placed into a community of people that we call the Church. It is composed of people from all kinds of backgrounds, with all types of personalities and various maturity levels. To be a part of this community is like being a part of a weird blended family in which we are all connected but all different.
I believe one of the reasons God places us in this group of his followers is because each one of us has something to offer. One lesson I have learned through the years is that I may have to offer several things to the people of this community. Here are some of the roles we fill each week.
1. Sometimes You Are a Teacher. This can take many forms in the life of the Church. Quite often it is teaching the Bible to other believers. There is a lot to learn about God, his word, his will, and theology. Other times it is teaching from your experience as a Christian. Sometimes we have the role of teaching of what we know.
2. Sometimes You Are a Cheerleader. There are a lot of people who come to this community beaten down by the world. Their self-worth is declining as they have been told they are a failure or at least not as good as other people. Some days I simply stand and cheer other people on and remind them that God sees them as valuable. Reminding them that each life has a purpose, and God can use it for good. Many times people need someone to cheer them on so that they can go back out into life with confidence.
3. Sometimes You Are a Counselor. Very often we find ourselves listening to the problems of other people. Sometimes we offer advice and other times we just sit quietly. We ask probing questions and try to help people see themselves and their situation clearly. Many times I have been the lightning rod for years of struggle to help someone heal. Sometimes your heart breaks as you listen to the failures people have made that brought them to the breaking point.
4. Sometimes You Are a Parent. There are people in each community who need someone to take them under their wing and mentor them. There are people looking for a spiritual parent in the faith to help them grow and mature. With each passing year of experience as a believer, you gain knowledge that can be shared to help the next generation.
5. You are always a servant. I wish I knew exactly how many times in my ministry I have said, “I will help in any way that I can.” I never know exactly what role will follow, but that’s okay. I have been a mover, a cook, a cleaner, a lawn care guy, a babysitter and a hundred other roles. Numerous jobs simply require a willing body.
What I have found through all my years of being a Christian and especially a Christian leader is that many people are looking for spiritual and emotional help. They have no one close enough to help them or listen to them. God in his wisdom created a community of people who are here to help. You just have to be willing to fill whatever position needs to be filled. In fact, I am sure there is someone who needs you this weekend. Open your eyes and be what someone needs.