“Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” (I Corinthians 12:27, NKJV)
I frequently arrive a little early for Sunday morning service. The sanctuary usually has a few other early birds, and the musicians are sometimes still practicing. I make my way to my “usual spot” (you have one too!) to await the beginning of service. In a few more minutes the pews will begin to fill.
As I sit and wait, I’ve frequently noticed another early bird as he quietly goes about his self-appointed Sunday morning routine. He carries a small wastebasket as he moves between each row of seats, eyes diligently searching the floor for any little bits of paper or trash that escaped the regular cleaning. I’m sure very few even notice what he is doing. After all, would it really matter if a small scrap of paper remained on the floor? It’s just a little thing.
Through the years, I’ve noticed others who have quietly gone about self-appointed tasks at church. No one asked them to perform the job, but they felt they should do it anyway. One lady would arrive early to give the glass doors an extra polishing, even though little fingers would soon smudge the glass again. Another man waited until the sanctuary emptied after service and then went through the rows picking up dropped tissues, children’s lost papers, or any other items left behind. I also frequently noticed a lady who would quietly slip into a pew to sit with someone new or someone who sat alone. She wasn’t pushy or intrusive. She just wanted them to feel welcomed and included. Little things—but things that showed respect for God and His house.
Not everyone in the body of Christ is a “platform person”—those we see taking a visible role in the service. The body of Christ is made up of many members, each unique and each with their own special talents and abilities to offer. Many serve quietly, without fanfare or notice, but are essential to the functioning of the church. Paul explains it this way in I Corinthians 12:20-22.
But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. (NKJV)
Two of the people I mentioned above had some disabilities that limit them, but they still found ways to contribute to the ministry of the church. Their place in the body, which may seem insignificant or “weaker” as Paul says, is still essential. Even if we don’t notice, God does.
In Exodus 4:2, the Lord asked Moses a simple question: “What is in your hand?” All Moses held was a rod (staff), but that was enough. God can use the most ordinary object to fulfill His purpose. All you have in your hand may be a wastebasket or a bottle of window cleaner, but that’s enough. Never underestimate the importance of small things in kingdom work.
Use what is in your hand. You are part of the body of Christ. You are necessary.