Team Players – Sermon Summary   Leave a comment

1 Corinthians 12:14-27.

Sometimes being a team player means that you will receive little if any recognition.  Some jobs are simply not performed in plain view for everybody else to see.  For example, playing defense as your primary focus on a basketball team doesn’t provide nearly the recognition of those who score most of the points.  This principle applies to the church as well.  Sometimes, this can present some difficult feelings and issues that must be understood.

Vv. 14-20.  Gift comparison can be a troublesome event.  Sometimes those who are in the less public positions feel as if they are ignored or under-appreciated.  This can lead to jealousy, envy, or even a lack of self-worth.  Just because you have a less visible gift does not make you unimportant at all.

I’ll use myself as an example.  I am a Pastor, called by God to lead.  Of the spiritual gifts that I have received by God’s grace, the gift of evangelism is not one of them.  An irrational response would be to state that this means I am not qualified to be a Pastor in God’s kingdom work.  Paul told Timothy to do the work of an evangelist.  It is frequently stated in the minds and lives of many people that evangelism is primarily the preacher’s job – to witness in the community.  So am I supposed to feel bad or disqualified?  No.

Vv. 21-26.  Sometimes when people get caught in this comparison trap, they respond with an unhealthy dose of gift elevation.  It would be easy for me to flaunt the gifts I do possess as a defense mechanism against those I do not.  I could state from my ego that my training as a minister places me above the need for particular gifts and that I can handle the situation without them.  This too is an irrational response.

Have you ever known an egotistical worker in the church?  They’re tough to deal with.

The solution is to understand that some gifts from above are simply more visible and get more attention and credit than others.  Paul is reminding us here that nobody is more or less important than anybody else in God’s kingdom work.  In fact, these “lesser” jobs should get more glory to show equality in the family of God.

I believe that those who worked in the church yesterday to clean and prepare for today are just as important as me.  I believe that those who scrape up the food and deliver trash to the dump are equally as important as the Deacons.  All jobs are vital and essential in God’s kingdom work!

V.27.  Leadership roles will be defined later, but the critical issue here is TEAM.  All of God’s people are gifted and therefore empowered to serve a specific role in His work.  Therefore, all of us are also required to be good stewards of that which the Lord has so freely given each of us.

If these gifts from God are neglected, frustration results.  The individual is frustrated for not doing what they are called to do, the church is frustrated because others must pick up the slack of the neglected job, and God is certainly being let down because of His present being ignored.  Everybody has a specific task.

God’s kingdom work is not all glamor and glory.  We must not look down or feel as if we need to look up to others.  Each member of God’s family is vitally important.

Everybody has something to contribute.  Excuses are not acceptable because ultimately you are telling God, “No.”  Maybe we need to hear the voice of the Lord asking us today, “What did you do with the talents I gave you?”

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