So this Sunday, we talked about how we can model Christ as His “body” by living in unity and harmony with each other while each of us performs our God-given function in the “body”. As a result of each member growing and exercising their function, the body grows strong. In Paul’s words, the body is built up from a child into a mature man, the measure of stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
If you are wondering which member you are and what specific function God would have you perform to build up the body in love, you’ll need to be aware of how He has gifted you. If you don’t know what your gifting is, don’t be too hard on yourself. Because the “clergy and laity” mentality that has been so pervasive throughout the centuries, many people don’t understand they have crucial, God-given gifts to add to the building up of the body… they are a critical joint supplying a need (Eph. 4: 16). Many think, “Well, I can only write checks or offer up a prayer now and then.” However, God has given everyone at least one gift and talents and resources and personal interests that add to the contribution of the body.
Gifts also require time to discover and develop through involvement. Gifts are not something you can discover through a simple spiritual gifts test or creative project, but through day-to-day interaction with the rest of His body.
Just as a personal testimony, I never would’ve dreamed that when I became a Christian I would eventually be the one teaching and preaching someday. In fact, it’s the last thing I would’ve guessed! But for some reason, God kept giving me opportunities to speak and share. Even though public speaking was my greatest fear and weakness, I knew that God’s grace was sufficient and perfected in areas of weakness. Through time and experience, the gift (they say) was recognized and I’ve been working to develop it continually. I share that not to boast or think more highly of myself than I ought (Rom. 12:3) but because many people underestimate the power of God’s grace in their lives and what He is capable of accomplishing through them.
In a podcast episode between Dr. Howard Henricks and Dr. Mark Bailey, Hendricks reportedly asked a faithful, promising “layman” in his church if he could teach Sunday school. The man said, “I can’t teach!” Mr. Hendricks replied, “Have you ever taught?” He said, “No.” So Hendricks asked, “Well, then how do you know?” He started teaching a class and within 5 years the man was the leading class better than those who were trained too!
When it comes to seeking your gifting, stay open, patient, humble, and look at it as an adventure. Also, don’t stress about it! I don’t know anyone who stresses out about receiving gifts – they look forward to opening them with joy! That being said, if you desire to discover your spiritual gifts, here are four steps I recommend:
To discover your gift, you will need wisdom which comes through prayer (James 1:5). Wisdom is not a spiritual gift (though some think they have it!). Prayer is necessary because only God truly knows how He has sovereignly distributed to you the gifts that He desired by His Spirit and He can reveal them to you.
There are around 20 spiritual gifts mentioned in the Bible and at least every believer has one. Read the passages that talk about spiritual gifts and takes notes about their purpose:
- 1 Peter 4:10-11
- Romans 12:6-8;
- 1 Corinthians 12:8-10
- Ephesians 4:10-11
In addition to that, consider going online to our website ˃ resources ˃ sermon series ˃ spiritual gifts study to study about spiritual gifts or click here: Spiritual Gifts Study (chadronberean.org)
Or read Spiritual Gifts: What They Are & Why They Matter by Thomas Schreiner, located on the library table in our foyer.
Roll up your sleeves and get ministry experience. Is there an area you are really interested in? Do you see a need? Do you see an opportunity? Be willing to serve. Step in and give it a try, with proper consultation of leaders of course for sensitive positions. You might step in and serve and feel like this area just isn’t your thing. I remember serving in a capacity once where I felt like a chair being used as a ladder – it worked, but it’s not really what it was designed for – and that’s fine! Keep getting involved with sacrificial love and building up of the body in mind. Remember, it’s not about you, but about how you can edify others.
Consult with other mature members of the body of Christ and ask them what they see in you. Ask for an honest opinion. Collectively, the church may recognize what your gifting is when you don’t.
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