I read a helpful and important quote recently: “Don’t mistake your role in the church for the role of the church.” (Mack Stiles, Evangelism)

It happens often. God gifts us with a passion for something and then we get frustrated that our local church isn’t as passionate about it as we are.

But here’s the reality: The role of the church isn’t to do every good thing they could do, run every good program they could run, or even reach every demographic in their community. This just is not what God calls a local church to and isn’t possible or realistic. However, the role of a local church, specifically its leaders, is to equip the church (the people) for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:12). So, a local church might not promote or run a specific program that you are passionate about, and that’s okay, but they should encourage and equip you to do it.

This is what is beautiful about how God has set this up; instead of a local church full of people who are all focused on one aspect/program/initiative...it should be a diverse group of people who are being equipped. Click To Tweet

The problem with this is that it doesn’t fit with the mentality we’ve developed in our culture with regards to the Church. We expect the leaders of local churches to be the people who do ministry and the rest of us consume and benefit from the ministry. We are consumers, not contributors. We view church like we view our trusted mechanic, favorite restaurant, or local internet provider; I pay you and then you serve me, you meet my needs. You fix my car, you serve me my food, you give me the fastest internet possible…you teach me, you disciple me and my family, you provide for me the best weekend worship experience possible.

But when a church functions this way, it eventually withers away and dies. Why? Because that’s not how the Lord has designed it to function. Instead, “the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (Ephesians 4:16)

So, how are you gifted and what are you passionate about? Don’t just expect your local church to do it for you, you do it, you take the initiative, you plan it and execute it. And church leaders, let us be the ones resourcing, encouraging, equipping, praying for, and supporting our people as they make disciples in a variety of fruitful ways.