Spiritual gifts are given for service

We understand the following essential points derived from the Bible in relation to the spiritual gifts that God gives to his children:

  • Every Christian has at least one spiritual gift; generally two or three.
  • Everyone should use his or her gifts to serve others in the church.
  • No one has all the gifts, so we need each other.
  • God decides who receives what gift.

We have always understood that spiritual gifts exist. But recently we have become even more aware of it. We recognize that almost every member wants to engage in ministry ("ministry" refers to all ministries, not just pastoral work). Every Christian should bring his gifts to serve the good of all (1.Cor 12,7, 1.Petr 4,10). This awareness of spiritual gifts is a great blessing for each individual and the churches. Good things can also be abused, and so have some problems related to spiritual gifts. Of course, these issues have not been unique to any particular community, so it helps to see how other Christian leaders have handled these issues.

The refusal to serve

For example, some people use the concept of spiritual gifts as an excuse not to serve others. For example, they say their gift is in the line and therefore they refuse to do another service of love. Or they claim to be a teacher and refuse to serve in a different way. I think this is the very opposite of what Paul intended to say. He explained that God is giving gifts to people for service and not for refusing to serve. Sometimes work has to be done, whether or not someone has a special gift for it. Meeting rooms must be prepared and cleaned. Compassion should be given in a tragedy, whether or not we have the gift of compassion. All members should be able to explain the gospel (1, Petr 3,15), whether they have the gift of evangelization or not. It is unrealistic to think that all members are only commissioned to serve what they are especially spiritually endowed with are. Not only is it that other forms of service have to be done, all members should also experience other forms of service. The various services often challenge us from our comfort zone - the zone in which we feel gifted. After all, maybe God wants to develop a gift in us that we have not yet recognized!

Most people are given one to three main gifts. Therefore, it is best that the main area of ​​service of the person be in one or more areas of the main inputs. But everyone should be happy to serve in other areas when the church needs it. There are big churches that act according to the following principle: "You should choose specific ministries according to your own primary gifts available, but you should also be willing (or willing) to engage in other secondary ministries, based on the ministry Needs of others ". Such a guideline helps members to grow and the community services are only allocated for a certain time. These mismatched services switch to other members. Some experienced pastors estimate that parishioners contribute only about 60% of their service in the area of ​​their primary spiritual gifts.

The most important thing is that everyone gets involved in some way. Service is a responsibility and not a matter of "I will only accept it if I like it".

Find out your own gift

Now a few thoughts on how to find out what spiritual gifts we have. There are several ways to do this:

  • Giveaway, surveys and inventory
  • Self-analysis of interests and experiences
  • Confirmation from people who know you well

All three of these are helpful. It is especially helpful if all three lead to the same answer. But none of the three is error free.

Some of the written inventory is simply a self-analytical method that helps show others' opinions about you. Possible questions are: What would you like to do? What can you do really well? What do other people say that you are doing well? What kind of needs do you see in the church? (The final question is based on the observation that people are usually particularly aware of where they are able to help, for example, a person with the gift of compassion will think that the church needs more compassion.)

Often we do not know our gifts until we use them and see that we are competent in a certain kind of activity. Not only do gifts grow through experience, they can also be discovered through experience. Therefore, it is helpful for Christians to occasionally try different ways of service. They can learn something about themselves and help others.

by Michael Morrison


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