We always speak of an engine as if it is a singular part of a car. We might say something like, “I have a very powerful engine,” or, “I have a very efficient engine,” or, “I have a problem with my engine,” or, “my engine sounds funny,” or, “my engine is losing power.” For most people it doesn’t really enter into their conscious thought that the engine is a multitude of parts, that is, until their mechanic comes to them with the news that they need to replace their muffler bearings, or their blinker pads. And while an engine has a multitude of parts, in reality, it is far greater than the sum of those parts. Quite profoundly, it is a multitude of vastly differing parts working together as a unified whole. This truth becomes abundantly clear when one of those parts fails to function properly. A single engine part failing in its function can suffocate the performance of the entire engine. When several parts fail, the engine can cease to perform altogether. In fact, every part is invaluable to the engine’s peak performance. And of course, the engine itself is an invaluable part of the larger car, which is made up of other invaluable parts.
This is a bit like the Body of Christ. If you are a born again believer, you belong to Christ’s Body on earth, and you have a specific role to play in that body. Paul makes this clear in his well known analogy in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. In this analogy, the church is comparable to a human body. Paul argues that not everyone can be the same body part in that body. He wisely asks, If everyone in the body is an eye, how can the body hear? He makes the case that a body is made of many parts working together in a unified whole, and that if any part suffers, then the whole body suffers. Each part, Paul implies, is invaluable to the peak performance of the whole.
Just like our conception of the engine, we forget that our church requires many moving parts. Even more important, is that we forget that each of us is one of those moving parts. Not everyone can be on the staff, and the staff cannot do everything in the church. For the church body to function at peak performance, every person must do what he or she is gifted to do, and every person is gifted to do something.
So what is invaluable to your church’s peak performance? You are! Discover your worth, and contribute to your church body with whatever gifts God has graced you with.