Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bible Study Prepares for Common Ministry

Sixteen Grace members participated in a Bible study led by Roger Perna during coffee hour on January 10. This study, intended to help better understand the concept of Common Ministry, was on Ephesians 4:1-16, informally known as Paul's discourse on "Unity in the Body of Christ."

The following words or  phrases stood out to many members of the group as capturing the essence of the passage: 

  • "We must no longer be children,"
  • "Lead a life worthy of your calling,"
  • "Each of us is given grace,"
  • "Unity,"
  • "Speak the truth in love,"
  • "One faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all."
  Here are some ideas that were expressed during our discussions:
  • The message of this passage is pretty much the same today as it was when it was written in the first century; we must bear with each other's faults and weaknesses, and show love toward one another, while making an attempt to maintain the unity of the Spirit in peace.
  • This passage is a good analysis of human nature; we need to learn to yield our own wants in order to maintain the unity necessary to move forward. All of us have a "lesser self" that we must learn to overcome.
  • It is hard for us to be together "in Christ" if we are at odds with one another.
  • We all have different gifts that we can bring to advance the work of God, which is the mission of Grace Church. 
  • Many of us do not know our own gifts. Many times others are better at discerning our gifts than we are.
  • We are constantly learning lessons about our gifts that we did not know before.
  • One of us was reminded of the hymn "God is working his purpose out as year succeeds year . ."  (Hymnal 1982, #534).
  • We need to be in constant prayer as we discern our gifts.

  Here are some other passages recommended to study as relating to Common Ministry:

Thanks to Roger Perna for providing this excellent summary.

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