Using Your Gifts

USING YOUR GIFTS

Many ways that we serve the body don't show up on a formal list. These are vital needs in the church and are carried out behind-the-scenes without an official title, and often secretly without recognition (e.g., prayerfully showing up early on the Lord's Day so you can find someone to encourage before the service, bearing one another's burdens in prayer, writing a note of encouragement or offering a word of admonishment, sharing a resource, meeting a practical need, helping, etc.). These many ways of serving are simply too numerous to list out comprehensively, but each is an opportunity by which God himself works through you by his Spirit for the good of others. It's incredible that God designed the church to function in this way. Namely, that his Spirit ministers to people through people. I see this ministry taking place all the time at CBC. It's a joy to my heart. I'm the blessed recipient of it as well.

If you are a Christian, unless you are infirmed or unable, God calls you to serve one another (1 Peter 4:10-11). This means (quite frankly) that if you aren't serving the body then you are sinning against the one who called you and gifted you for this purpose (1 Corinthians 12:7). A lack of service is typically rooted in self-focus and spiritual immaturity, although there can be other issues as well. Serving always requires sacrifice (i.e., you can't do it without a cost to your own time and comfort) and in our flesh we naturally care more about serving ourselves than others. But this is part of why God asks us to do it, because it's worship! How incredible is that? 

To the degree that you neglect serving you withhold something beneficial to others, which weakens the church. Friends, God placed you in a local assembly so that you could contribute uniquely to the work he is doing (Ephesians 4:16). I write this to encourage you if you are already serving, and to exhort you to love and good deeds if you are not (Hebrews 10:24). Serving is a privilege and it will bless your soul to invest in others. It will contribute to your growth in Christ and protect you from self-centeredness (Proverbs 18:1).

Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight (Proverbs 9:8-10).

With each opportunity there is a degree of gifting and ability required. Part of my job and my joy is equipping you for doing the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12). Prayerfully consider how you are contributing to your brothers and sisters and the advance of the kingdom.