We have many parts in the one body, and all these parts have different functions. In the same way, though we are many, we are one body in union with Christ, and we are all joined to each other as different parts of one body. So we are to use our different gifts in accordance with the grace that God has given us. If our gift is to speak God’s message, we should do it according to the faith that we have; if it is to serve, we should serve; if it is to teach, we should teach; if it is to encourage others, we should do so. Whoever shares with others should do it generously; whoever has authority should work hard; whoever shows kindness to others should do it cheerfully. Romans 12:4-8 (Good News Translation)
Paul describes the worship of our God as becoming living sacrifices to our God, giving up seeking what we want from life and learning to know and serve what God wants. That begins with using our spiritual gifts to serve each other in the church. Our goal as Christians is surely to love and lift each other up.
Paul uses the analogy of the human body to describe this interdependence. It is just one person, but it has many different parts that serve different functions.
LESNW as a collective group of learning communities, are also a body. We are comprised of 42 different parts in many different places with vastly different jobs, but together we are, by analogy, one unified “being,” a single entity with what should be a united purpose.
Importantly, no LESNW learning community exists outside of the body; no LESNW learning community is an unattached community. We are all members of each other, connected to each other with the purpose of serving each other.
However, it is not intended for each learning community to be exactly the same. Each is responsive to their context and serves different functions just as all the different parts of a human body serve different functions. Our collective job is to serve our function, in service to each other, in the power of God. Paul in this text describes our differing functions in the body with the word “gifts.” In the church, we usually call these the “spiritual gifts”. One of which is the gift of service. This is the ability to step in and meet the practical needs of individuals or the ‘body’ as a whole. People with the gift of service often do not realize that it is, indeed, a gift. They assume that everyone can zero in on what another person needs help with and to provide that help at the right time and in the right way. They are wrong, though. The body of Christ could not function if those with the gift of service neglected their role.
How might we then as members of the LESNW community of learning communities, using our gifts in service to each other, together with the power of the Holy Spirit, bring our vision to reality?
Lutheran Education SA, NT & WA is a community of learning communities that is thriving, supportive and compassionate, having a common foundation, that collaborate to enable each community to achieve its vision.