In the 1990s I travelled to the USA to join a Lutheran Youth Encounter musical team, ‘Captive Free’ touring the US east coast for 12 months. There were six of us: a drummer, a singer, a bass guitarist, lead guitarist, keyboard player, and sound technician. For a year we played all sorts of Christian music to share the good news and God’s love.
When one of us got sick, the whole band had to reconfigure and try to do the same without one – it sure made things difficult, as we were often having to do something out of our comfort zone!
Share a time you were asked to act ‘out of your comfort zone’?
Read 1 Corinthians 12:12–27.
I’m sure we have all read these verses many times. God has created each of us with unique gifts and talents to make a ‘whole’ in the body of Christ … the church. Every person has a role: from ushering, being a musician, and helping with communion, to making coffee, looking after children, counting the offering, sitting on a seat singing or being on the church council.
Read Romans 12:4–8. What are some of your gifts or roles that you play in church?
Just as we all have a role to play in our congregations, so also, your congregation has a role to play in the wider church. Your congregation is a member firstly of your district and then of the churchwide LCANZ and, within the wider church, there are other roles needed to keep good order. Within the LCANZ, people have other roles and responsibilities – our bishops, mission departments, Australian Lutheran College, media ministry, Lutheran Education Australia, Commission on Worship, Lutheran Laypeople’s League and many more, including volunteer subgroups. Each cannot exist without the other to create a ‘whole’ body of Christ in this church.
Read Colossians 2:6,7.
How has your thankfulness for Christ extended to your thankfulness to your church and congregation?
Our church could not exist on its own. Each person has a role to play in Christ’s body, which is the church. This month we celebrate 100 years of the Lutheran Laypeople’s League (LLL). God has blessed our church with the generosity of each member in each congregation giving what they can to grow our Lutheran Church as we know it today. Over the years, LLL Australia has helped to build churches, schools, rest homes, early learning centres, and make many programs possible. We continue to give and share what we have to continue to grow our church’s outreach and other ministries.
In which ways could our LCANZ church grow and expand in its ministries? In what ways could your congregation improve or extend its role within the local community?
Read 2 Corinthians 4:5–7.
We are the body of Christ each with a role to play. Our focus is not to be on ourselves, but rather on Jesus Christ who died and rose again so that all who believe shall have eternal life. Our mission and role are not sedentary ones. We have been commissioned to spread the love and good news of Jesus to Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the world so that not one of God’s children will be lost.
Read Romans 10:13–15. So, what is your role now?
Anne Hansen is Lutheran Tract Mission (LTM) Development Officer. LTM is an outreach ministry of LLL Australia. Anne’s other roles have included pastor’s kid, state youth president, Lutheran Youth Encounter Events Director, nanny, Lutheran school teacher, pastor’s wife, mum to three children, puppeteer, musician and children’s ministry leader.