Just before the concert was ready to begin, as the music teacher stood on the podium, she leaned forward and whispered to her nervous musicians, "If you're not sure of your part, just pretend to play."
And with that, she stepped back, lifted her baton, and with a great flourish brought it down. Lo and behold, nothing happened! The band brought forth a resounding silence.
I can't help but wonder if we have the same problem in church at times. Christians may have the idea that since they're unsure of the part that they are to play, they'll just sit and pretend. The problem is, when everyone is unsure of what part they're supposed to play, the result is silence — nothing gets done.
What is the solution? The solution is helping each and every member of the body of Christ to learn his or her part. In 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, and Romans 12, Paul pictures the church as a body with all of the different parts of that body having different functions.
"Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them ..." (Romans 12:6 RSV).
Learn what your gift is, and then use it to the glory of God. Paul offers a list of possibilities. Maybe your gift is speaking, or serving, or encouraging, or giving, or leading, or showing mercy (Romans 12:6-8). Perhaps your gift is in that list, perhaps it's something else altogether — see also 1 Peter 4:10-11.
But, if you're not sure of your part, please don't sit and pretend to play. Find out what your gift is and then make use of it to the glory of God!