The Apostle Paul writes these words in Romans 12: For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members don’t have the same function, 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another, 6having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us: if prophecy, let’s prophesy according to the proportion of our faith; 7or service, let’s give ourselves to service; or he who teaches, to his teaching; 8or he who exhorts, to his exhorting; he who gives, let him do it with generosity; he who administers, administer with passion; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
This is one of several lists of spiritual gifts Paul offers us in the New Testament. Other lists have other gifts. Some of the gifts have historically inspired the church—preaching, service and teaching. Some of the gifts have confounded us and been our claimed source of division—tongues, the interpretation of tongues, and healing. Other gifts, we tend to ignore. They are so commonplace, they hardly seem worth celebrating—generosity, mercy and the above-mentioned administration. On the one hand, I’m delighted these gifts have integrated themselves into the fabric of being human. On the other hand, I regret we do not give God’s Spirit credit where credit is due.
This coming Sunday morning, November 14, our congregation will gather in the Fellowship Hall after morning worship for our Annual Church Conference. During this session, we will focus on the administrative work of our church. We will receive an update on deacon nominations, vote on committee nominations, and vote on the 2022 Mission and Ministry Plan (budget). These reports (and the work expended to produce them) and these moments (the church gathered to affirm them) is as much a part of our spirituality as hearing a sermon, sharing communion, dedicating a baby, or bowing for prayer. Gifted people—moved by the power of Holy Spirit—have carved a path, enabling us to serve each other and our world in 2022. I’m looking forward to this Sunday as we celebrate the gift of administration together!