I listened recently to a sermon by a well-known preacher. He described well the functions of different members of the Lord’s body and stressed the importance of each member’s role. He referred to Ephesians 4:11 and following: “He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…”

We focus a great deal on elders, deacons, and ministers-but those of us who serve in these leadership roles really have one job: glorifying God by equipping everybody else for the work of ministry! (Remember, ministry is just a fancy word for service…)

The preacher I listened to said that there are only three kinds of people: those who go out with the gospel (apostles, missionaries), those who send others and equip others (elders, preachers, givers, and disobedient saints-that is, everyone who isn’t going or sending.

Every person at Burns has a special responsibility and opportunity to spread the good news to our friends, family, and world. While our elders shepherd us, and our deacons serve around us, and our ministers teach to us, we all share a common responsibility as the body to make a difference in the kingdom of God. This year is more than halfway complete: will your spiritual status be different than it was on January 1? Did your “spiritual new year’s resolutions” keep you on fire, or have they fizzled out?

A teacher once referred to himself as a “red-circle” player on the basketball team. What he meant was that he was one of those players who spent the entire game on the bench, with his elbows on his knees. If you do that for long-you have these nice red circles on your legs to prove it! If you haven’t quite found your niche in the body at Burns, look around for your opportunity to minister-or ask one of the elders or deacons for some ideas. There is no room for red-circle players in God’s church.

Listen to how Paul concluded his message about the united body of Christ: “when each part is working properly, [it] makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (Eph 4:16). Will you be a go-er, or a send-er?