As Paul continues discussing the unity and diversity of the body of Christ, we pause to consider what that tells us about speaking in tongues today. Should everyone speak in tongues?
Paul argues that while all believers have the same Spirit, God distributes different gifts to different believers on purpose. Paul’s point in this section is not to give a catalog of gifts, but examples of the diverse ways the Spirit works.
Contrary to the popular view, I understand spiritual gifts as roles and opportunities to serve, rather than supernaturally given talents. For example, if I have the “gift of teaching,” the gift is the opportunity to teach, not the talent to teach.
Paul starts the topic of spiritual gifts in 1Corinthians 12. The Corinthians are confused in thinking that speaking in tongues is the mark of true spirituality and that those who have not spoken in tongues are lesser Christians. Paul lays the foundation in 12:1-3 for his argument which will run through chapter 14.
What happens when pastors start looking at their congregation as a means to an end instead of a flock to shepherd? Consider these real-life examples of the ways 3 different churches went about seeking volunteers.