1 Corinthians 12:26-28
1Co 12:26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it. If a part is respected, all the parts celebrate with it.
1Co 12:27 But you all are the body of Christ, and each is a part of it in some ways.
1Co 12:28 And God has arranged these parts in the church: first missionaries, second prophets, third teachers, next those ministering miracles, then those with gifts of healing, assisting, leading, communicating to different families of languages.
the missions gift list
There are various places in the New Testament where the spiritual gifts are listed, and each list is different, because each has a different purpose. This list appears to be a summary of specific gifts utilised in the mission of church planting. Missionaries come first, planting a core group of new believers by sharing the gospel with them. Since this core group is new in the faith, prophets are needed who can speak the word of God to their specific context, calling them to show more loyalty to him than to their past or present society. Then, teachers emerge within the group who can share the whole counsel of God from the scriptures. Next, God will give those with supernatural ministry gifts (miracles and healing gifts) to verify his presence among them. Then, leaders will develop within the group who can assist and lead the whole group to maturity in the faith. Finally, those with language gifts will emerge who can begin crossing language and cultural barriers so that this church can begin the cycle again by sending its own missionaries to plant new churches.
Paul’s point was in reference to the Corinthians’ tendency to over-stress particular gifts to the exclusion of others. He implied that when we do that, we halt the cycle, and stifle the mission. As a consequence, churches become self-centered, and unproductive.
LORD, create in our churches an atmosphere where all the missions gifts can grow unhindered, so that we can reach the lost around us with your gospel.