In the summer of 1987 I taught a 3-week class at Grace Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana. I spent one of my weekends there driving to Youngstown, Ohio to visit relatives. On the drive the radio stations kept playing a Genesis song that mesmerized me. It was called In Too Deep. Every fourth beat you heard the sound of a wood block. I had never heard this before in music of any kind, be it classical or rock. You can listen to it here:
I thought to myself, What would this piece be like without that subtle yet amazing sound? I also wondered, Did the person who struck that block ever realize the important role they played in producing such a sensational piece of music?
There is nothing more pathetic and abortive than a church that fails to understand the concept of every-member ministry. "Grace," writes Paul, "was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ's gift" (Eph. 4:7). This "grace gift" is a capacity -- large or small -- for service given to every true Christian without exception. Each Christian has at least one. It might lie dormant and unused, you may not know exactly what it is, but it is there. The Holy Spirit makes no exceptions to his basic equipping of each believer.
It's obvious that there can be no hope of ever getting the church to operate as it was intended to do until every member recognizes and begins to exercise the spiritual gift they have received. No one can say, "There's nothing I can do," or "The gift I have is so insignificant it doesn't matter." As in a musical group, we need each other, and that desperately. That's why the Lord has equipped his church with gifts, and filled it with his life.