We all have a part to play

We all have a part to play

Mar 21, 2014

We all have a part to play

by Seth Osborn



As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, I love the stage. Acting is one of my favorite things to do.

There are a few reasons for this. First, I love just being able to “be someone else.” Transforming into another person for the time I’m on stage is incredibly fun. I doubt I’m alone in that.

Next, I like to entertain people. This isn’t exclusive to acting, of course; it ranges from big things like acting and singing on a stage to smaller things like cracking jokes with friends. Still, acting is definitely a method I can use to amuse and engross people, even if it’s only in a small part like the chorus. And finally, I enjoy being a thespian because of the community.

Plays and musicals aren’t the result of just one person’s work. You need actors and actresses for the lead roles, the supporting roles, the extras, the chorus… however many people the show calls for. You also need set builders, stagehands, sound operators, light board operators, directors, playwrights, and so on. Even in one-man shows, there will usually be people running lights and sound at the very least. No stage production is a solo effort.

Without all of these parts working together, the show would be a lesser product. The lead may seem to be the most important character, but what if one of the supporting characters forgot a line during a crucial scene? What if the spotlight didn’t come on when it needed to?

15 0414 beacon parts CLR

What if the sound operator forgot to turn on somebody’s microphone? The show could still go on, I’m sure, but everybody involved needs to put in their strongest effort to achieve an effective production.

The church functions in a similar fashion. No one member of the church is more important than any other. Some roles may appear to be more significant, but without all of the parts the church would crumble.

In 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, there’s an analogy comparing the church to a body. Every member of the church has significance. We shouldn’t decide that we are less important or less worthy of being a member because we aren’t a pastor or a worship leader or a deacon. “If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body” (vv. 19-20).

As a corollary, we also can’t tell other people that they’re unimportant to the church. This isn’t to say that churches should accept “anyone and everyone” without question; there should be discipline if necessary. (This discipline should be voted on by the members or a group of members delegated to do so, mind you. It should not be a vigilante act.)

We shouldn’t turn to people who we believe to be of lesser importance than us and say that they don’t belong, or that they need to put in more of an effort to do the work we’re doing. We may think they’re doing less, but they might just have strengths in a different area than us. (This isn’t always the case, of course, and if you feel an urge to encourage someone to do something, go ahead! The key word here is encouraging. If they try and don’t feel a calling to it, then don’t push them to continue doing it.) And don’t scold them for not doing things; simply give them opportunities, and maybe nudge them a little bit.

We don’t all have the same gifts as each other, but we can use all of our unique gifts to work toward a common goal: glorifying God. And if everybody in the church puts their all into this goal, then, just like the stage production, we will be able to fulfill this the best we can.

Clip to Evernote