For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.
1 Corinthians 3:9-10 NIV
The church at Corinth struggled with leadership issues. It was not that they had poor leaders. Quite the contrary. They had been founded by the apostle Paul. Apollos, an eloquent speaker, had also spent time with them. But when Paul wrote this, they had divided into factions based on their preferred leader.
In this passage, Paul told the Corinthian church that he and Apollos were co-workers in God’s service. They had different roles in the life of the church there. Paul had laid the foundation while Apollos and others had built on it. But all of them were working toward the same end and serving the same God. It is Christ that the church should look to as its head rather than popular human leaders.
There is another important lesson to be learned from this passage. And not just for those who are leaders in the church. Regardless of where you serve within the body of Christ, we are all co-workers in God’s service. And we are building together on the foundation of Christ. And this is true, not just in individual local churches, but also in the universal church scattered throughout the world.
I am thankful I can partner with each of you in the Lord’s work. Regardless of where you live, your denomination, your skin color, or the many other things that so often divide us. I am glad we can work together to build up Christ’s church. And I pray that together we are building with gold, silver, and costly stones rather than wood, hay, or straw; building something that will last (1 Cor. 3:12-13).