I recently accepted an offer to become the Outreach Coordinator for a ministry based out of Southeast Raleigh called Neighbor to Neighbor (n2noutreach.org). It comes after a long year of God opening doors and giving me opportunities and then for reasons I can't explain, taking them away and closing those doors. The list is exhaustive as far as what I've looked into and pursued. In some cases I've gone just about as far as you can go and all I had to do was say 'yes' but God made it clear that I had to say 'no'. I have a peace about this situation though. It really is an amazing opportunity that I'm going to be stepping into.I’ve gotten a lot of interesting responses from people when they hear about my new job.
I’ve had some people be genuinely interested in hearing about the ministry and why I’m pursuing that. But I’ve had an overwhelming amount of people give me a puzzled look with a Rob Burgandy-esque “good for you??” followed by "we need people like you." I still haven't figured out a good response for that..For the last week, I've been reminded and humbled when reflecting on the importance and the functionality of the Body of Christ or the Church.
Read 1 Corinthians chapter 12. It'll get you pumped up about being a part of the Church. It's easy to wrongly place people on a pedestal based upon what they choose to do with their lives (occupation, acts of service, etc.). And it's just as easy to do the opposite. Condemn others and place ourselves upon the pedestal. That's not how it works though.
"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men." 1 Corinthians 12:4-6Different gifts, different kinds of service, and different kinds of working, but the same Spirit, Lord and God.
God equips each person with a different set of gifts and talents that are tailored for His service and His work (Ephesians 2:10). God calls people to pursue full time ministry, corporate business jobs, public office, parenting, you name it. Neither one is a higher or a more noble calling if that is what God is calling you to pursue.
As the Church we are many parts but one body (verse 20). It's humbling to be reminded of that.
It's also encouraging for me to know that God calls people to enter into the God-less parts of society and is able to use them to change laws and practices that systematically oppress people and for them to battle structural sin from the top.
Take the story of Esther for example.. the only thing I ever knew about that book growing up was that God was not mentioned in that particular book. But instead of it just being cool trivia, what if it's a testament to having to go into those God-less parts of society to take on structural sin? Esther wins a beauty pagent, gets in with the king, finds out about this plot to kill the jews, and is able to persuade the king against doing that. She is able to use her royal position and influence the king who has the final say.
How much different would our lives be if we viewed it as if we were in each moment for a purpose, that God placed us in each situation for us to act, and that wherever we are, He's prepared us 'for such a time as this'.
The Body of Christ, just like the Christian faith, is designed to be holistic, integral, and balanced. We just need to be patient, listen, and be obedient as we ask, seek, and knock..