I was talking with my team this morning about the role we have in leading people within the church. However, as I dug into the notes for this, I realized that the responsibilities I wanted to touch on didn’t just apply to leaders, but to every believer and follower of Jesus Christ. See, I think we so often fall into the trap of looking to “professional Christians” as the ones responsible to care for hurting people or to create a sense of accountability. But this mindset robs us of the priesthood that we all have as believers. Remember that 1 Peter 2:9 says “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” and 1 Timothy 2:5 says “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” We are all called to live out our faith and hold to the instructions given for each believer, rather than leave it to the “professionals” alone to do.
Here are some of the instructions we are given as it relates to other believers:
- Love one another (John 13:34-35)
- Serve one another (Galatians 5:13)
- Be kind to one another (1 Thessalonians 5:15)
- Have fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7)
- Offer hospitality to one another (1 Peter 4:9)
- Confess your sins one to another, and pray for one another (James 5:16)
- Carry one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2)
- Encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 4:18)
Depending on how God has gifted you, you may do some of these things more easily and be drawn toward certain actions as part of how you’re wired. But these are things each of us as been called to do. Don’t make the mistake of sitting back and thinking it’s the professional’s job to love, serve, be kind, and encourage the body. It is every believer’s responsibility to be about these things.
If you find yourself in a place where you are leading in the church, of course you as well are responsible to these things, just as any believer is. In addition, you have the responsibility to lead others in these ways and encourage them toward these actions. Live your life in a way that your faith is worthy of imitation (Hebrews 13:7).
God wants us to actively follow him and take ownership of the role He’s given you in His body, and in the world we live in.