Most days at our house are filled with lots and lots of games. Uno Flip. Connect 4. Checkers. Candyland. Kickball. Football. Double Trouble. Etc. I could go on and on. We are almost always playing something.
And we love new games. Birthdays and holidays are full of new games for us to open up and learn. At the start of each new game, we have a kind of pseudo orientation where I try to explain the game to a 3, 5, and 7 year old. (No easy task!) I explain the rules. I explain the challenges. I explain how you win. Essentially, I am trying my best to communicate how the game works.
1 Corinthians 12 is Paul's attempt to explain to us how the church works. Go read it again when you get a chance and see what I mean. Paul is explaining to the Corinthians how the church works. And as I read it, here's my summary of what he is saying: "The only way this thing (the church) works is if everyone uses their gifts!" Every gift, from every person, is needed for the church to work. It's give and take. That's how the church works.
This morning, I hope you hear, once again, that your gift is needed and wanted and valued in this place. It doesn't matter if you are 7 or 77, your gift is needed and wanted and valued. In order for this group of Jesus followers that meet at the Southwest Church of Christ to live out our vision and advance his mission, we need everyone's gift. I hope, this morning, that you are encouraged and challenged, to find a way to use the gifts that God has given you. Every gift matters. Every gift is needed.
That's how the church works.