Jigsaw puzzles have been around for hundreds of years. Years ago European mapmakers pasted maps onto wood and then cut them into small pieces. Who of us doesn’t remember learning the geography of the United States using a puzzle map? Even The Rolling Stones wrote a song about the Jigsaw Puzzle in 1968 (which, by the way is a song they never performed live).
Every piece of a jigsaw puzzle is important, but jigsaw aficionados will tell you that you usually start solving the puzzle by finding the four corners. The four corners are key to completing the picture.
In a similar way, when God designed the Church he gave us “four corner” pieces. Paul alludes to these in Ephesians 4:11 when he writes, “And he (God) gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastor-teachers” to the church. These four gifts are not more important than the rest, but they are foundational to the health and wellbeing of Jesus’ bride.
Paul is equally clear about the role and responsibility those so gifted are to have in the church. They are not to do all the work; rather, they are to equip others to do the ministry.