The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.
As our learning community met this week, one of the common themes we encountered was the lack of clarity and uniformity in the language we use to engage with others.
Words move in and out of fashion as culture changes and, to engage effectively, we must be conversant with the language peculiar to the group we are encountering - not so that we can emit trendy sound bytes but so that we can converse intelligently with those around.
Currently, communities are increasingly concerned with health and well being - our church halls are filled with diet and exercise groups and local authority employees speak of the health and well being of communities and seek ways to deliver programmes that contribute positively to those facets of life.
While the last thing we need in local congregations is another programme or activity that taps into this agenda, it is possible to embrace the language, promoting Spiritual health and well being as part of the holistic care for our community.
Gauging the Spiritual health of the body of Christ and encouraging faith communities to care for souls wherever their daily life and work is focussed allows us to remain conversant with our communities and to be concerned with their concerns, building up the body of Christ, heart, mind and soul, releasing all those different gifts and growing together in community.