F O U N D A T I O N S 40 the common good.” Some members receive the gift to teach, some to counsel and encourage, some to proclaim the gospel, some to praise God through music and art, some to care for the needy, some to contribute in other practical ways. But the greatest gift, offered to each of us, is the ability to love. Just as the various parts of the human body work together selflessly, so the members of Christ’s body should serve one another. Each Bruderhof, in connection with its sister communities, appoints brothers and sisters to be responsible for the various spiritual and practical aspects of the common life: pastoral leadership; stewardship of money and goods; education of children and youth; work departments such as the farm, workshop, kitchen, and offices; and hospitality. In this, we follow the example of the early church with its elders and overseers, deacons and deaconesses, teachers, and widows. 47 Whatever our gifts and responsibilities, we must use them to advance God’s glory, never our own. God can work through us only if our personal power – our desire for influence, recognition, and success – is dismantled and put away. This does not happen in a single heroic decision, but piece by piece, through the constant working of grace. If we assert our own power even a little, God’s spirit and authority will retreat from our lives to the same degree. But if we are spiritually poor, he can use us as his instruments to build up his church. Rom 12:3–8 1 Cor 13:13; Gal 5:6 John 13:1–17; Gal 5:13 1 Tim 3:8–13; 5:1–16 John 15:8; 1 Pet 2:12 2 Cor 12:8–9; Jer 9:23–24 Phil 2:12–13; 3:12–14 John 3:27–30 Matt 5:3; 1 Cor 1:18–31