Spiritual Gifts

God has given each Christian a spiritual gift. 

First, you are to do as commanded in 2 Timothy 1:6: “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you.” 

Second, you are to do as admonished in 1 Peter 4:10: “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” 

We encourage you to prayerfully consider completing the spiritual gifts survey found here: It will help you identify your dominant spiritual gifts.

The Bible states there are many gifts. This survey covers the nine (9) team or task-oriented gifts used in daily life to do the work of Christian ministry. 






Showing Mercy




Begin to discover and understand how your spiritual gift relates to your life, other people’s lives, our local church, and the body of Christ as a whole. 

The Growth Group Team would love to hear what you find out. After completing the survey at the link above, email us at and share your name and dominant spiritual gifts. By better understanding and exercising the gifts God has entrusted to you, you will press forward with joy to do what God has gifted and called you to do. May your daily service bring glory to God, and may His name be praised.

~ Central’s Growth Group Team

Victory Over Violence

Challenge Central: a CBC devotional

By: Rev. Charlie Lyons

Recently, I Googled “violence in the news” and the results were astounding. On a typical day you will read of random acts of terror, mass murders by drug lords in Mexico, continued violent aggression of Russian troops in Ukraine, bloody tribal warfare in Africa, and a whole array of other notable demonstrations of the depravity of mankind. Outside the national news, local reports in any given locale will tell of gang violence, incidents of murder/suicides, sexual violence on campuses, workplace violence, and profoundly senseless shootings among family and friends.

Our greatest need in the face of overwhelming societal violence is not more legislation, greater political diplomacy, or more security systems. The real issue rests deep in the human heart. Violence is the expression of hearts and minds that have become polluted with the angry, murderous, prideful poison of a life apart from a holy and loving God.

Old Testament passages speak often of wickedness, pride, lying, injustice, spiritual unfaithfulness, robbery, greed, and murder – all in connection with violence. We see the heart of God grieved by violence and His judgment coming in societal ruin upon cities and nations because of their character of violence. Many of these accounts almost feel as if they could be modern-day headlines for Toronto, Ottawa, or even right here in Brantford.

So, what are some of the issues at the heart of violence? While the complexities and motivations of the human heart are hard for us to accurately diagnose, God knows the heart and His word gives us understanding about these things. On page after page of Scripture, the primary root cause of violent behaviour is pride – a self-centred existence. As we hear often from Central’s pulpit, we do what we do because we want what we want. The first heart reality – in a sense the sewer pipe through which all of this vile behaviour flows – is that people are “lovers of themselves” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

The woman or man who lives with self as the centre of their universe concludes, “I deserve more than I have” or “I have been deprived of what I need,” so they will take from others what they want, sometimes at any cost. When a prideful heart encounters a personal failure, relational difficulties, or obstacles to selfish aspirations, natural emotions become negative, raging passions that result in destructive thoughts and even violent behaviour.

But, friends, there’s a better way. With the Prince of Peace, there is always a better way, and we have hope in a violent world.

Thankfully, we can turn from the headlines back to God’s word for hope, lest we become despondent or paranoid in the midst of the pervasive violence. We can trust His providence and protection in this chaotic world, remembering the blessed truth that because of Christ’s empty tomb, his redemption has the power to neutralize pride and produce heartfelt humility. Jesus transforms His true disciple from a self-centred, agitated soul to a Christ-centered, grace-giving servant. The Apostle Paul’s often-repeated blessing in his writings of “grace and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ” is a constant reminder of the possibilities of our experience in the face of disappointment, failure, and relational pain.

Friends, when we experience an authentic relationship of submission and trust in God, we will not be continually overtaken by the negative emotions so common in the human experience. Rather, as Philippians 4:7 promises, “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Our anger can be replaced with forgiveness.

Our revenge can be transformed into blessing.

Our violence can be converted into peace.

Today and every day, may it be so among us.

Fear is a Liar

Challenge Central: a CBC devotional

By: Rebecca Feere

This morning, a friend texted me, shared some things she was struggling with, and then asked me to pray for her. Her text ended with – “I feel fearful to be honest (to share these struggles).” Have you been there? Have you ever thought, “I can’t share this (thought, behaviour, attitude) with anyone”? If we are honest, we aren’t afraid of the other person; we fear their reaction. What will they think of me? I assume every one of us has found ourselves fearful of what others might think or say at some point in our lives. We are human and want to be approved and applauded by others. We want to be chosen for the team, the promotion, the award, etc. To some level, this makes us feel safe. Satan (the “father of lies” – John 8:44) wants us to stay bound up in those fears. He wants us to believe we are without hope, alone, useless, and too far gone.

I assured my friend that I would pray for her and thanked her for sharing honestly with me and pushing past that fear. That is not easy! Staying stuck in our shame and brokenness and isolating ourselves is far easier. She wrote back to say she was searching Scripture for verses about fear and had titled the page in her journal where she was listing those verses Fear Is a Liar. That has been an anthem in my soul for several years now. There is a song with that title, and it is worth listening to (on repeat):

While listening to a song about fear is helpful, looking to Scripture is a better, more beneficial, transforming step. It really shouldn’t surprise us that God mentions fear so often in the Bible. (The word fear is found 443 times in the ESV.) God made us, and He knows everything about us. He is not surprised that we are prone to fear. Do you know what God says about fear? – FEAR NOT! This does not mean we won’t encounter fearful situations in life because we will. God doesn’t want us to suppress our fears or foolishly walk into dangerous situations. God instructs us to FEAR NOT because, as His children, we have the solid hope that the fearful scenario we are experiencing does not define us and will not last forever. What we see and encounter on this earth is temporary, but what is unseen (God’s ultimate power, protection, and love for us) is eternal (2 Cor. 4:18). God gave us His Word, and it is filled with hope we can cling to in moments (or seasons) of fear.

Here are two passages on fear that you could meditate on, memorize, or jot down on an index card. I challenge you to look up other passages on fear. God will speak to your heart as you come with a humble heart longing to be changed by the Truth of His Word. He will give us the strength and courage to respond differently.

Isaiah 43:1, 2 – “But now thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.

God not only instructs His people to say “no” to fear; He also equips us with the Truth about Himself that enables us to do so. Take a moment to reread those verses, focusing on who God is! He is our Creator; He formed us; He redeemed us; He knows each of our names; He claims us as His own!

1 John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

This passage is about God’s love for His children. God loves us perfectly, forever, and unconditionally. His love is not dependent on our abilities or anything that we have done or not done. His love for us is based on what Jesus has done! “Fear has to do with punishment” – the Bible tells us Jesus took our punishment on the cross (Rom 3:21-31; Col. 2:13-14)! Ultimately, eternally, we have nothing to fear because NOTHING can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:31-39).

If you find yourself in moments or a season of fear, please know you are not alone. I would encourage you to cry out to God, express your fears, worries, and anxieties to Him and ask Him for His strength and courage (Josh. 1:9). Our ultimate hope in this battle against fear is found in clinging to the Truth of what we know to be true of God as revealed in Scripture. Study His Word; set your mind on things above. His Word is life; it brings light out of our darkness (Ps. 119:105, 130).

Afraid of Monsters?

Challenge Central: a CBC devotional

By: John Kerr

Do you remember, as children, being afraid of monsters or, in some cultures, the boogeyman? As we grow up, we usually outgrow these childish fears, or do we?

When I lived out west, I enjoyed the freedom of riding along quiet roads that cut through the rugged Peace River valley. On one trip, I stopped for a hydration break and looked at Peace River as it snaked through this part of BC. While I was standing there, I heard leaves crunching not too far away. I looked around, trying to pinpoint where the sound was coming from, ready to make a quick exit. The crunching leaves continued and seemed to be getting closer! I was most afraid of black bears because they are amazingly quick runners, despite their size. Many a cyclist has been chased by Yogi!

I confess that the adrenaline was starting to flow, and I was ready to go when I saw the source of my concern – a robin! A big fat robin was hopping along crunching leaves like a creature many times his size. If you have experienced being out in the bush in an area free from the noise of anything other than the wind blowing or a stream flowing, you know how sound can travel. I got on my bike, smiling to myself at my embarrassment.

In our spiritual lives, we have certain things that, often from an early point, we are taught to be aware of. Our enemy, who is very real, is pictured as a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8) and an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). He manifested himself to Adam and Eve as a serpent, a very crafty creature.

Sometimes we can be beguiled by the enemy and stand around watching rather than putting a safe distance between us and his threat.

Monsters and boogeymen may be childish fears, but we must be on guard against what can harm us. So, remember to be aware of the bad things out there, but our confidence is in the Lord.

By the way, I have never looked at a robin the same way again!

This Is The Way

Challenge Central: a CBC devotional

By: Pastor Lars Janssen

If the phrase “this is the way” makes you think of a popular television show set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, you’re probably celebrating Star Wars Day today. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, that’s perfectly fine. But it is informative to take note when pop culture claims to show “the way,” even if it is in a fictional TV series. In the case of this series, “the way” is an honour code that followers must adhere to, even if it costs them their lives. If I’m honest, when I hear things like this (even from fictional characters on TV!), my audible response is often, “That person needs Jesus.”

God’s way is so much more than an honour code that requires great sacrifice to achieve. Listen to how God’s way is described in Isaiah 30:18-22.

18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
19 For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. 20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. 22 Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, “Be gone!

There is so much encouragement in these verses! God’s way with us is to eagerly show us mercy in our struggles. He is ready to give justice to those who wait for him. He can comfort the weeping and is quick to answer our cries. He is ever-present in times of need and willing to be our Teacher to show us the way. His way is tailor-fit to us, perfectly tuned to our situations, and magnificently greater than any other way. God’s way will make us want to say to every other way our culture suggests, “Be gone!” His way is not an honour code, a philosophy, or a moral high road. God’s way is a person, and that person is Jesus.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus is the way. He once prayed to God his Father concerning his followers, “Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them” (John 17:26). Because of this, we don’t need to prove our true grit by grinding ourselves down on some honour code that can only be explained with the resigned growl, “This is the way.”

We can face our sorrows through tears of hope, knowing that we are never alone. Jesus is the way, and, believer, he is always with us! There’s no need to drag yourself through a lonely grind of empty solutions to your struggles. Are you looking for another way? Are you looking for a way defined by personal pleasure, independent freedom, some code of conduct, or anything other than Jesus? A fresh view of Jesus will make you want to “scatter them as unclean things.” He will make you want to say to those other ways, “Be gone!”

Living with this Jesus of ours and with his people…This is the way!

Can We Be Honest?

Challenge Central: a CBC devotional

By: Shannon Green

How are you? No, really, how are you? How is your heart? How many times a day do you pass someone and ask that question or have that question asked of you? What is the response? Good or fine? Is it true, though? When we ask, do we wait for a truthful response? If we respond, why are we not always honest? What holds us back?

Pastor Jeremy has made the statement, “Be honest with me in 2023!” What holds us back from this? We may make assumptions when we look around the church or see others interacting on social media that we are the only ones struggling. When we see each other’s highlight reels, we sometimes think everyone else’s life is perfect. We think everyone else has it all together, and we are the only one who seems to be falling apart. The truth is that we are all sinners who have fallen short, and no one is perfect or has it all together all the time.

There are many reasons we should be honest with one another. For starters, the Bible says that we should. James 5:16 says, “therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”. We need each other, and there is power in humbling ourselves and seeking support in prayer from one another. As this verse states, there is healing in this. The act of taking something from the dark and bringing it into the light is freeing and allows us to not only be honest with others but with ourselves and allows God to continue to work in our lives and lead to growing sanctification.

Second, being honest allows others to speak into our lives and to carry our burdens. Galatians 6:2 says, “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you fulfill the law of Christ.” The opportunity to care for, minister to, and support others is a commandment, and the opportunity to do so builds community. By really getting to know one another, we get the chance to do life together and to create a church where we encourage one another and build each other up. It also allows others to “Speak the Truth” in love and to draw us closer to Christ by showing us what God’s word says about our situation. Humbly seeking Godly counsel from others allows us to seek clarity and move forward.

Finally, there is power in your testimony to bring glory to God. By telling your story and how God has been working in your life, you may help others who are now walking through something you have experienced in the past. Coming through a time of struggle and then sharing that with others, rather than keeping it private, helps others see how God can help them too. In John 4, Jesus interacts with the Samaritan woman at the well. When she believes, she runs off to tell others about what Jesus did in her life. As it is written, because of her testimony, many came and heard, and they, too, believed. You never know the impact your story can have on others, and by sharing the hope you have found in Christ; it draws others closer to Him. It may even help them to know that we all need Jesus in our lives, and no one is perfect!

So, this is the challenge. Let’s be honest with one another. Let’s be willing to be vulnerable and share what is going on and how we may need support. Or let’s be willing to share the joy of how God has been working in your life in this season. Hey, maybe we could meet one another for coffee in the church café and practice honesty in 2023.