“According to the commandment of the Lord they were numbered by the hand of Moses, each according to his service and according to his task; thus were they numbered by him, as the Lord commanded Moses” (Numbers 4:49)
Regarding church growth, who in the church plays the largest role in growing the church? Is it a dynamic preacher, a charismatic Bible class teacher, or a bold and visionary leader?
As the children of Israel were making their way through the wilderness, God calls Moses to number the people. First, he has Moses number all of the tribes of Israel, except the tribe of Levi. God tells Moses, “"Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers' houses, according to the number of names, every male individually, from twenty years old and above--all who are able to go to war in Israel. You and Aaron shall number them by their armies” (Numbers 1:2-3). The important role of these individuals was to fight against the current inhabitants of the Promised Land and to conquer it as it had been given to the nation of Israel by God.
Next, God has Moses number the tribe of Levi (Numbers 3:5-6). Their role Levites was to attend to the needs of Aaron the high priest, the needs of the whole congregation before the tabernacle, and to do the work of the tabernacle (Number 3:7). The opening verse above comes after God had given instructions to the sons of Levi as to what each of their particular duties was to be in the service in the tabernacle (Numbers 4:49). Those of the sons of Levi who were of the family of the Gershon were responsible for carrying the coverings of the tabernacle (Numbers 3:25-26). Those of the sons of Levi who were of the family of Kohath were responsible for the holy things of the tabernacle such as the ark, the table, and the lampstand (Numbers 3:30-31). Those of the sons of Levi who were of the family of Merari were in charge of the framework of the tabernacle such as the boards, bars, and pillars (Numbers 3:36-37). Eleazar, the son of Aaron, was to oversee all of this (Numbers 3:32). Everyone had a particular way in which he was to serve for the overall good of the nation of Israel.
Today, the church is described as the “body of Christ” in which each Christian is described as a member of that body with a particular function regarding how they are to serve for the overall benefit of the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:12-26). In describing how the church is to continue to grow in Christ (Ephesians 4:15), the apostle Paul describes the role each church member is to contribute to that growth as he writes, “from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:16). However, God does not tell each of us as Christians exactly how He wants us to serve in His church. He has given us the liberty of discover our own ability and to use that ability for the building up of His body, the church, to His glory.
As Christians, each of us has an important part to play in the growth of the church. No one in the church is more important that anyone else when it comes to the growth of the body of Christ. We are so blessed to discover and use the unique abilities God has given us to minister to others. Today, I will remember that I am an important part of church and I have a unique part to play in its growth. I will remember that I am accountable to carry out my task in the church to God’s glory!
“Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave-- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:26-28).