“I don’t care what your role in the ministry is. What is your function?”
The first time my friend ever asked me this, I blanked out. The mashup of “receptionist, shipping department head, and editor” – or “reshipmeditor,” if you will (though I would not) – died on my tongue. Suddenly I was in sixth grade again, frozen mute in my chair because I forgot to mentally practice saying “here” sixty-five times before the teacher called on me.
It was winter of 2018 the first time I realized my function in the Body of Christ and the role I served as a Christian worker were not the same thing. By the end of that day, I had a new answer—one that utterly reset a lifelong vision, reassembled my goals and desires, and in the years that followed, opened countless doors to places I had never once dreamed I’d walk.
All because I realized what my function was.
Recognizing the purpose for which you were created is a powerful thing—just read the Book of Esther. Within Christianity, there tends to be a narrow view of valuable functions, an outlook which was at least partially responsible for why I didn’t recognize my function for what it was in the first quarter-century of my life.
But there’s a tremendous shift happening in many Christian circles now; a recognition of called artists, musicians, writers, social workers, gardeners, farmers, school teachers, social media moguls, bakers, scientists—you name a field, God is calling His workers to sow Truth there. And a harvest is being reaped, my friends. The longer I live in my function, the more I see it firsthand.
God has called more than apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers—at least in the sense we’re used to thinking of them. Look beyond the pulpits and outreach of organized religion; look at the passion that burns within you, the fire God has lit in your heart. The one you’ve maybe never fully stoked, but it makes everything within you come alive in zeal and urgency—it makes you feel closer than ever to the One who created that flame within you.
Now tell me…what’s YOUR function?
What is Function?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines function as “the action for which a person or thing is specially fitted or used or for which a thing exists; purpose.”
Each of us was created on purpose, for a purpose. We are equipped with a function or functions with which we serve God and Jesus, our family, the Body of Christ, and the world at large. The more I’ve become aware of the importance of a person fulfilling their function, the more I’ve realized how often it looks like answering a calling within the individual’s spirit. Many people have spent years fulfilling the function God designed them for without even realizing that’s what they were doing! Writers writing, teachers teaching, mediators mediating, servants serving.
What Does the Bible Say About Function?
Romans 12:4 – For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function…
1 Corinthians 12:6 – There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.
Ephesians 4:15-16 – But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted together and held together by every supporting ligament, with each individual part doing its proper function, produces the growth of the body with the goal of building itself up in love.
How Can I Fulfill my Function?
Another way to look at function is this: it’s the assignment God has given us to carry out, each one as individuals. So you fulfill your function by carrying out your assignment; and even if two people have the same assignment, they may not carry it out the same way. God might call one person to teach scholars and another to teach children, and in His eyes both are equally important.
Discovering your function often takes a lot of introspection and prayer; it can also be as simple as looking for patterns in your life where God had nudged you, or where you’ve felt drawn to certain things—like to write, or to make music, or to encourage or research or evangelize or to pastor or serve.
Once you know what your function is, it’s as simple and as difficult as having the boldness to walk out in it regardless of what people think or say. There will always be some who elevate one function over another or say certain assignments from God are of greater value or importance than others. That’s human nature, folks! But the truth is, God assigns functions because in His eyes they are all valuable. They, and we who have them, all serve a unique purpose in the Body of Christ. We must embrace our purpose, our function, our calling, our assignment—and then get busy doing it, staying in sync with God to be certain we are walking out our function according to His will.
Do you know your function in the Body of Christ?
If so, what can you do to get busy doing your function?
If not, take some time in prayer and ask God to reveal what His assignment is for you!