Members in Particular
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:27-28)
Once you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, you are part of the body of Christ. Paul expressed our individuality when he described us as members in particular. Every person in the body of Christ has a distinct assignment, just as the parts of your natural body each have different roles. Your physical body has a head, but it also has arms, legs, feet, hands, fingers, etc. How much could you accomplish if you only had a head? You could make plans, but you couldn't put them into action. Your physical body needs all of its parts, and so does the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:27-28 lists various positions in the body of Christ. Paul organized them, not by hierarchy, but by order. Apostles are first, then prophets, teachers, workers of miracles, gifts of healings, helps, governments and diversities of tongues. Why are apostles first?
Apostle means sent one. They are primarily sent into areas to either develop churches or ministries where they don't exist or raise them up where they once were but have disappeared for some reason. The apostle starts or restarts the work but needs the others to follow to solidify what he begins.
Starting a church is similar in many ways to beginning a business. If you don't know what you're doing, it's a risky endeavor. Nine out of ten companies close their doors within the first 24 months. Did you know that four thousand churches in the United States go out of business every year? Most start-up churches either fail in the first few years, or they never get past about a hundred people, so their main focus is staying open. They're not free to get out into the world and do what God intended. So, God will use apostles to go into places where churches have either never existed or have failed to thrive to get His work started or restarted.
Practical Application – You have something to do in the body of Christ. Begin by helping someone else with their ministry, and God will open doors for yours.
Ephesians 4:11; Romans 12:6