By Chris Higgins
December 10, 2006, brought a rare moment in NFL history. LaDainian Tomlinson of the San Diego Chargers rushed for his 29th touchdown, setting the single season touchdown record. But what made his accomplishment so rare is what he did as the crowd of 67,000 cheered him on. He didn’t celebrate by himself, basking in the glory of his accomplishment. Rather, he called for his offensive linemen to join him, and together they basked in the glory of their accomplishment. Tomlinson’s name may go in the record book, but the victory was shared with those whose teamwork made it possible.
The Common Good
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:7, “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” We are given gifts and talents to be used not for our own glory but for the good of the church.
A harmonious, unified church is filled with disciples of Christ who do not clamor for the spotlight of recognition or credit. Rather a disciple understands that his or her unique gift is meant to complete those of others, not compete with them. It’s the harmonious strains of interwoven gifts offered up to the Lord.
I love music, and I believe that ministry is much like conducting a great orchestra. A good conductor understands that he is responsible for making sure the different instruments enter on time, play at the proper tempo, and keep the correct intensity and volume. Those called to lead a church must know how to conduct the gifts of God’s orchestra.
As I attempt to lead, I may feel that certain areas of the church need to be strengthened or highlighted at a certain time. All of this is done in an effort to further the ministry of the church that the Lord has entrusted to me. And getting folks to understand their gifts and roles is key.
How boring is a piece of music or a church where everyone wants to hold down the melody! Let there be harmony in the body of Christ. And so, as our conductor steps to the podium and raises his baton—what instrument will you play?
Chris Higgins has been the pastor of First Church of Christ in Owosso, Michigan, since 2002. He and his wife, Lori, are parents to Daniel, Andrew, and Becca.