You Can’t Do Everything, But You Can Do Something
The imagery of a human body is consistently used throughout Scripture to illustrate the identity and activity of the Church – how the people of God relate to one another and function together. Some are hands and some are feet. Some are fingers and some are toes. Some eyes and some ears. In essence, different roles all serve the same purpose (1 Corinthians 12:14-20).
In the Body of Christ, no one is called to do everything, but everyone is called to do something. Unique gifts are given to unique individuals, not for their own good but for the good of the whole body (1 Corinthians 12:4-7). These roles are established not on the basis of rank, as if one person’s position was more important than another, but on the premise that when each member fulfills their responsibility the whole body will function better together for it.
The proper functioning of the people of God to fulfill the purposes of God are always portrayed in communal terms, not individualistic ones. While one role may be more visible and another more subtle, both operate on a cooperative level of equal codependence, to the extent that if even one seemingly “small” part suffers, like stubbing a toe, it effects the larger whole, like bringing a grown man to his knees in pain. Likewise, when one part fulfills its role, like a hand holding a fork, the larger whole benefits, like a mouth chewing and a stomach being satisfied (1 Corinthians 12:26).
Ultimately, the proper functioning of the body of Christ in fulfilling the mission of God is dependent upon each individual member being aware of and obedient to the designated role God has assigned them. When it comes to those whom God has called us to love and serve together – when we fulfill our role, they benefit; when we don’t, they don’t.
Specifically, as we look at how the cooperative efforts of the Body of Christ work themselves out through the care of the marginalized, abused and orphaned, we find the same premise to hold true – no one is called to do everything, but everyone is called to do something. We all have a role to play – some more visible, some more subtle – all of equal importance in serving the cause of children and families in need.
If we’re not careful, we may unintentionally define “orphan care” too narrowly – to simply mean permanent adoption or some other form of bringing a child into your home long term, like foster care. While these are of course crucial and essential places for the Church to engage, they represent only two of the items on the buffet of limitless opportunities available to people to get involved in child and family welfare.
At the end of the day we could perhaps boil it down to this: In the noble and God-honoring task of caring for the marginalized, abused and orphaned, you’re either called to bring a child into your home or you’re called to serve and support those who do. I would go so far as to say this – If God is not calling you to bring a child into your home through foster care or adoption, then please don’t. You’ll end up doing more harm in your life and theirs if you do. There’s other ways to serve.
No one is called to do everything, but everyone is called to do something. Unique functions. Same purpose. All equally important.
Agape would love to help you find your something.
These are a few ways you can be involved in the care of vulnerable children through the ministry of Agape:
-Be a foster parent
-Pray for foster parents
-Be a part of a foster parent support team
–Start a family advocacy ministry to support foster parents at your church.
-Sponsor a child for back to school or Christmas
-Pray for adoptive parents
–Be supportive of adoptive parents you know
-Talk to your church leadership about doing an awareness Sunday on the needs of vulnerable children. Agape would love to help you do that.
-Pray for expectant parents working with Agape to make the best plan for their child.
-Participate in the Run For A Mom or other Agape events.
-Give to Agape so that the needs of vulnerable children and expectant mothers will be met.
About the Author:
Jason Johnson, National Director of Church Ministry Initiatives, with Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO). In his work he speaks and teaches at churches, conferences, forums and workshops on church-based ministry strategies and best practices as well as encouraging families that are in the trenches and those that are considering getting involved.
Jason is the author of ReFraming Foster Care (for families and support groups), Everyone Can Do Something (for church and ministry leaders), ALL IN Orphan Care (small group based study). Jason has a passion to equip churches and encourage families no matter where they are in their foster care and adoption journeys.
Jason will speak at Agape’s upcoming event, Raising Hope, on August 5, 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama. Mark your calendars to save the date now.