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Celebrating variety and difference

Here is a version of 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 and 13:13 that you might like to share with your team as a way of valuing everyone's contribution to the children's and family ministry at your church.

You can find a retelling of this Bible passage in The Barnabas Children’s Bible (story 344).

The body of Christ has many different parts, just as any other body does: some of us are children's workers while others are family ministers; some of us are experienced specialists while others are volunteers. But God's Holy Spirit baptised each of us and made us part of the body of Christ. We are filled and resourced by the same spirit.

Together, we are the body of Christ. Each one of us is part of this body. A body isn't really a body unless there is more than one part. God chose some people to be storytellers, some to be musicians and some to be activity leaders. But God also chose some to keep records, some to prepare the craft materials, some to encourage teams and some to help others in the church to understand what's going on in each ministry. Not everyone is a storyteller. Not everyone is a musician. Not everyone can talk to others about God while making cakes. Not everyone can keep records. Not everyone can do craft. Not everyone can understand changing cultures and how this affects young people today.

If our bodies were only made up of Sunday group leaders, how would we reach out to new children and families? And if they were only made up of holiday club teams, how could we nurture children in their faith? But God has put all parts of our body together to make all parts of the body work together smoothly with each part caring about the others. So, for example, if our all-age ministry is working well, the whole body will be happy, but if one part is suffering, the whole body will hurt.

But God also shows us a greater gift: let love for each other, and for those you work among, be your guide. Of course, we need to nurture children's spirituality; of course, we need to work for all-age faith formation; and, of course, we need to reach out to those who have not yet heard the story of Jesus. But in all these things, the most important thing is always love.

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