Sunday, December 10, 2006

Opening Your Spiritual Gifts (Day 8)

Yesterday, we said that the first thing to do to determine your spiritual gifts is to ask. We should first, ask God, and second, ask trusted Christian friends who will tell us the truth.

Third: Ask the Church. By this, I mean the more formal decision-making groups of the Church. Jesus created the Church to be a fellowship of mutual accountability. That’s part of what it means to call the Church the Body of Christ.

Recently, I presented Friendship Vision 2007, a four-part list of immediate goals for our congregation as we pursue our church’s mission. The four elements include:
  • Exalt the Lord
  • Each one reach one
  • Engage in service
  • Expand your vision
Expanding our vision means being on the lookout for new ministry opportunities--new ways to share the Gospel, to bring people into the fellowship of the Church, and to serve others. My dream is that people will constantly find new ways to use their spiritual gifts that will engage them in our mission. Along the way, they’ll be asked to come to our Church Council for guidance, refinement, and affirmation and sometimes, funding. No matter what spiritual gifts we may think we possess, Christ has made each of us accountable to His Body,.

Fourth: Ask yourself. Frederick Buechner, novelist and pastor, observes: “The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” What activities trigger gladness in you, while filling a need experienced either by those within the Church or those outside the Church, people Jesus Christ wants us to reach? Those activities may use your spiritual gifts.

The first thing to do to determine your spiritual gifts is to ask. Ask God, ask a trusted Christian friend, ask the Church to whom all Christians are accountable, and ask yourself.

Bible Passage to Ponder: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).

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