July 11, 2024

Next week, Major League Baseball will hold its annual All-Star Game. This baseball "extravaganza" is nicknamed the Midsummer Classic, because it marks the halfway point of the season.

After 81 games completed (with 81 to go), most teams realize by this point in the season whether they have a chance to make the playoffs or not. For those in contention, they will commonly trade their best minor league prospects for proven talent with MLB experience, trying to "win now."

For instance, through most of the first half of the season, my Kansas City Royals have been the surprise of the league, winning more games than they've lost. (Most MLB experts projected them to finish toward the bottom of the league). However, one weakness in their team is the relief pitching. The pitchers who start the games have been phenomenal, but the pitchers who enter the game later haven't been performing very well. So many of my fellow Royals fans are saying, "KC needs new relief pitchers if they are going to possibly make the playoffs."

You Are Needed

Needed • Riverwood Church

Just as an MLB team needs quality players and coaches in all areas of the organization, the local church likewise needs people using their different-yet-brilliantly-designed gifts to help the One Body of Christ. Which means, if you follow Jesus, YOU are needed!

In 1 Corinthians 12:21 (which comes from our key passage for this series), God wrote through the Apostle Paul...

"The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you,' nor again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you.'"

1 Corinthians 12:21 (ESV)

As we've seen in this One Body series, Paul is not actually talking about physical human body parts, but the people in a church who make up the "Body of Christ." So his illustration in verse 21 means no one can tell you (if you are a follower of Jesus who is part of a local church body) that your spiritual gift of serving isn't needed, or that your gift of mercy is unwanted, or that a church doesn't need your ability to speak insightful truths. God gave you your spiritual gift for a reason - for the good of others.

At the same time, verse 21 means YOU can't tell someone else, "Your gift of ____________ isn't needed here." Just as a healthy biological family always find space for one more, a healthy church family always finds a way for a Christ-follower to use their spiritual gifts for the good and unity of the Body.

So whatever your spiritual gift is, hear me loud and clear: You are needed!

Erin Bird Lead Pastor - Riverwood Church

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Riverwood Church, Waverly Iowa

We are on a mission to help people love like Jesus loved and live like Jesus lived.

It doesn't matter to us if you:

  • are a Wartburg student or a grandparent,
  • vote Democrat or Republican,
  • are married, divorced, or single,
  • have gone to church for years or haven't been to church in years,
  • make $100,000/yr. or wonder how you're going to pay rent this month,
  • or fear your past mistakes make you unlovable to God or others.

No matter where you are in your spiritual journey, we want to help you become who God has created you to be.

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