Read: Ephesians 4:11-16

One of the main goals my spouse and I share has been to raise good humans that love the Lord and serve their communities. Each of us had spiritual roadblocks to overcome while our children were growing up, not to mention the challenges that came with having two more personalities to navigate lovingly. Thankfully, we had Godly examples to lead us. We had people around us that were further along in their parenting journeys and showed us how to be united and lean on one another. Being united in our approach helped us ensure that our children now (mostly) use their talents for good. Leadership from our circle of influence was what God had in mind when he blessed believers with spiritual gifts.

God gave some believers special spiritual gifts to lead and teach those around them. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes life experience and spiritual maturity are all you need to become a leader to those around you.

Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
— Ephesians 4:12–13

The goal for believers is for us to one day be united in the fullness of God, so that we won’t remain like “immature children,” as Ephesians 4 says. This is best achieved in circles, not rows. When believers do life together and meet together often, we can use our spiritual gifts to lead and grow one another. As younger parents, we needed examples of what it meant to parent lovingly with boundaries. We saw this lived out in the way that our friends and family parented their teenagers. Paul explains in Ephesians 4 that this is exactly how God designed it to be.

Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
— Ephesians 4:15–16

Reflection Questions:

  1. How have you seen the leadership gifts listed in this passage at work in your faith community?
  2. What role do you play in helping the Church grow in unity, knowledge, and love?
  3. How can you support and encourage the leaders in your faith community as they use their gifts?