Gifted To Serve
Gifted to Serve!
More and more it is becoming difficult to commit persons to serve at the local church. Have you not noticed the same? While the current Church Manual allows for church officers to be elected for up to two years, experience has shown many members are opposed to this length of time. Nevertheless, I share a few points that may be beneficial.
Looking at the Gifts
Known or unknown, we are endowed with spiritual gifts and abilities. The Apostle Paul, in three books of the Bible, informs us of this fact (Rom.12:6-8; 1 Cor.12:8-10, 28-30; Eph.4:11, 12). Among these, he lists “the word of wisdom,” “the word of knowledge,” “faith,” “gift of healing,” “the working of miracles,” “prophecy,” “discerning of spirits,” “different kinds of tongues,” and “the interpretation of tongues." And he emphatically states that they are all “given by the same spirit.”
It might be of interest to note that prayer is omitted. That is because prayer is not a gift. It would seem that God intended that all of His children would pray and not depend on another or a prayer specialist. Ellen White says, “Our heavenly Father waits to bestow upon us the fullness of His blessing. It is our privilege to drink largely at the fountain of boundless love. What a wonder it is that we pray so little!” (Steps to Christ, page 94).
The Use of the Gifts
According to Ephesians 4:11-15, Paul says that members are equipped with gifts for the work of ministry, and, secondly, to edify the body of Christ. The aim of this endowment as seen in verses 13 and 14 is to unite the body, thus allowing it to grow or mature spiritually. Then, says Paul, members will no longer “be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine.” Essentially, when members allow themselves or their gifts to be utilized for ministries in the church and outside, the church is effective, vibrant and strong.
On the other hand, when there is a reluctance to have our gifts, talents and abilities utilized to enhance God’s work, the church suffers and fails to grow. At times, there is in-house fighting over irrelevant matters; and the work of the church stagnates.
How is your local church? Is it operating on all spiritual cylinders? If not, is it because of something you are reluctant to do? Did not Paul say in 1 Corinthians 12:7 that "the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all"? (NKJV). I hope that you will serve and also seek to hone the gifts of others who may not recognize what they possess.
The Necessity to Use the Gifts
Christ’s mandate recorded in Matthew 28:19-20 requires that we go, teach and make disciples. How do we do so without the equipping of the Spirit? No wonder we find in Acts 2:17, 18: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on my maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy" (Joel 2:28, NKJV).
Has it occurred to you that there is no form of discrimination? The passage says God will pour out His Spirit on “all flesh!” What an honor to be endowed with the Holy Spirit! And what a privilege to serve! As we near our annual local church elections, let each of us ask, “Will I make a commitment to serve?” In fact we may not need to wait for elections, as there are numerous ministries requiring our involvement such as visits to shut-ins, the soup kitchen and the like. Whether the response is “no” or “yes” is left to each of us.