He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and
some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of
service, to the building up of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12).
Church is not a spectator sport where a crowd of people desperately in need of exercise watch a few people desperately in need of rest. God's intention for His church was for all of us to work together to spread the gospel, instead of having a few hired guns do all the work. The pastor and staff are directed by God to recruit, train, and empower church members to do the work of ministry.
Service builds the church. It gives people purpose and fosters friendships. It helps people feel like they belong. Equally important, service builds the individual members of the church to be stronger Christians. “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” (Ephesians 4:14)
Mature Christians have an unshakeable faith. The highest level of spiritual maturity is experienced when we become like Jesus in attitudes, perspectives, and actions. Most life's problems could be solved if people became more like Jesus. We need to grow up.
Truthful, loving communication is a key element to spiritual growth for individual Christians and the church. This is the opposite of the malicious gossip that can so easily infiltrate the ranks of “the body of Christ” and diminish it’s witness to the unchurched.
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).