Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. (NLT)
In some church circles it is common to find that being ‘called’ to full-time paid ministry on a church staff is the most important calling of all. Going to bible or theological college is the pinnacle of academic achievement. This is a dangerous half-truth.
Certainly the church needs people who are well trained in the Bible. And it is thoroughly biblical to pay some individuals to minister in churches so they can do it more freely. We are to honour those who lead churches on a paid basis.
But we dare not assume that their work is somehow intrinsically more valuable than the work of the individual Christian who faithfully witnesses in the home or neighbourhood or workplace. We dare not label a pastor of a church more spiritually worthy than a carer for the disabled or an honest tradie. As our text suggests, God equips us for all sorts and shapes of service. We serve him within and outside the church.
In our rightful respect for those who teach the Bible and lead our churches, we must not forget the everyday ministries of those who are relatively anonymous. No theological degrees, no titles, no mentions in the church news-sheets; just faithful service seen only by the only one whose opinion really matters.