Challenge Central: a CBC devotional
By: Barb Rogelstad
Have you ever heard these requests made at church?
• We need more volunteers to serve in the Nursery.
• We are looking for a few more coaches for our Soccer Ministry.
• We are seeking leaders for our Kids’ Club starting in September.
• We invite you to come out and meet the neighbours and share the Gospel.
• We need individuals to help make a meal for new parents.
• We need teachers for our Growth Groups.
• We are looking for volunteers to BBQ hot dogs at Northland Gardens.
• Prayerfully consider being a monthly donor to our Academy.
I’m sure you recall hearing at least one of these pleas, and perhaps your heart was moved to respond. The question may be, “Is this where the Lord wants me to serve?” After all, each of us is part of a body of believers who WORSHIP-GROW-SERVE, but where and why should I serve?
As a Christian, who is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit has distributed at least one gift to you. God wants you to use this spiritual gift to bless others and give glory to Him. We minister not for personal gratification but to give glory to the One who created us. One point to keep in mind is that … “the creator God does not need us at all, but in His grace and mercy He chooses to use us to accomplish ministry in His church. In a sense, He allows us to become co-labourers with Him in this world through our gifts and our ministries. What amazing grace!” [Source: Understanding Spiritual Gifts published by Precept Ministries. 2010]
God gave an order of gifts. The spiritual gifts given to believers fall into two categories: Speaking & Serving
“As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies;” 1 Peter 4:10
Are you inspired to discover your own spiritual gift? Knowing your gift takes the effort and stress out of figuring out what you should be doing. Furthermore, it takes the guilt out of saying ‘no’ to some requests and brings joy in saying ‘yes’ to another request. So, are you saying ‘yes’ to the Holy Spirit’s nudge towards a certain area of speaking or serving, but you are still unsure what to do?
Here are some helps.
The New Testament lists 21 gifts, but most Bible scholars agree on a list of 18 due to similar characteristics. There are miraculous gifts such as tongues, interpretation, miracles and healing (1 Corinthians 12:9-10, 28, 30)). There are enabling gifts such as faith, discernment, wisdom and knowledge (1 Corinthians 12:8-10). There are team gifts for use in daily life and ministry. Here is that list:
1. EVANGELISM: passionately leading others to the saving knowledge of Christ. Ephesians 4:11
2. PROPHECY: boldly and fearlessly proclaiming God’s truth. Romans 12:6; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28 3.
TEACHING: making clear the truth of God’s Word with simplicity & accuracy. Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:28
4. EXHORTATION: motivating others to action, application and purpose. Romans 12:8
5. SHEPHERDING: overseeing, training, feeding, coaching/leading. Ephesians 4:11
6. SERVING: providing practical help both physically and spiritually. Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:28
7. MERCY-SHOWING: identifying with and comforting those in need. Romans 12:8
8. GIVING: releasing material resources to further the work of the Church. Romans 12:8 9. ADMINISTRATION: organizing, administering, promoting, leading. Romans 12:8; 1 Corinthians 12:28
[Source: “Your Gifts. Discover God’s Unique Design for You” developed by Larry Gilbert. 2015. ChurchGrowth.org]
Recently, I completed the spiritual gifts survey at https://gifts.churchgrowth.org.
My dominant gifts are:
3. Teaching & Exhortation (tied)
These spiritual gifts made sense to me. Since the age of 12, when my mother became ill with cancer, my role in the home as the eldest child was to ‘shepherd’ my younger brothers by caring for them and watching over them. In my youth, I tried my best to “show mercy” to my mother by comforting her in times of physical stress and pain. I also had a passion for teaching. God was faithful to provide a way for me to go to university, graduate, and begin teaching students with special needs. During those tumultuous years, I was not a Christian, but God waited patiently for me to repent of my sins, ask forgiveness, give my heart to His Son Jesus Christ, and follow Him as my personal Lord and Saviour. Then…what a privilege to be given these spiritual gifts! I find great joy in teaching others to learn the truths of God’s Word through Bible study. I also find that the Spirit leads me to people who are hurting and in need of comfort. I am so grateful for these spiritual gifts and that He has given me purpose to bless others and bring glory to Him alone. I am where He wants me to be! Praise Him!
So, what makes sense to you? What brings you great joy? Are you where God wants you to be? Most people are naturally drawn to areas of ministry that fit their gifting. Are you being drawn to a particular ministry? Are you using your gifting to glorify God in that ministry?
To get started on this path, completing the spiritual gifts survey at https:// gifts.churchgrowth.org is so helpful. It only takes a few minutes, and the results may surprise you or confirm what you already know. Why should you bother to know what your spiritual gifts are? Paul wrote his concern in 1 Corinthians 12:1 “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed.” The believers in Corinth were not all that different from believers today. They had a lot of questions about spiritual gifts and how the gifts were to operate in the church.
Once you complete the spiritual gifts survey, the Growth Group Team would appreciate hearing from you. Just email your top 3 dominant gifts to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to support you as you serve the Lord in the place He desires for you according to your gifts.
Today’s Challenge Central for you is to discover which spiritual gift(s) God has given you and find ways to employ them to bring glory to Him.