It’s amazing to me that God would choose to do it this way, but He chose to reach this world with the good news about Jesus by shaping believers into the “body” of Christ. This way, whenever people encounter the Church, and of particular concern to me, our church, they are encountering Jesus.
Just like your own body, our church has many parts, and each part has a unique role to play, and unique abilities that make it suited for that role. Just try walking on your nose for a few minutes and you’ll appreciate that things go much better when each part does what it’s gifted to do!
Spiritual gifts are abilities that God gives you (some for a particular moment, others for life) so that you can help build up, encourage, and strengthen the church: His Body.
We’re going to be talking about what it takes to be the body of Christ this month, and for this week I want to emphasize one point and then give you a few suggestions for discovering your spiritual gifts.
Spiritual gifts are not medals to be worn, but tools to be worked.
Don’t love the gifts. Love the body of Christ with the gifts. If each one of us will love the body of Christ, and focus on using the gifts God has given us to build our church, we will become a beautiful and captivating body of Christ.
Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts
There’s no magical process to discovering your spiritual gifts, no secret ritual. God wants you to discover these gifts and use them. So He’s not hiding them from you! But you need to put yourself in the place where you can hear Him speaking to you about what He wants you to do.
1. So, first of all, Pray. If you’re not speaking with God, as a daily and constant practice, then how could you possibly know what gifts He is giving you, or what He wants you to do? If you’re bad at praying, then do what I do…pray anyway. If you aren’t going to commit to praying, then you might as well stop reading here because nothing else you do will matter without prayer.
2. Good, you’re still reading! So, after you’ve prayed, the next thing to do is Practice. Get out there and try something. If you feel like God is putting it on your heart to work with babies, then volunteer in the nursery. Maybe you’re the Baby Whisperer! Who knows until you try? If you feel like God wants to heal someone through you, then go pray for them. Maybe you feel like God is telling you to work with immigrants; volunteer for our immigration ministry. Get out there and try some things. The worst thing that can happen is that you’ll have great time experiencing the various ways God uses people.
3. The third way to discover and grow you spiritual gifts is Community. Honestly I think this one is right up there with prayer when it comes to discovering and using our spiritual gifts. You need to be engaged in Christian community that goes beyond Sunday morning worship services. Whether it’s a small group or a ministry team, that community is where you can experience authentic Christian relationships, and where you can most effectively practice using your gifts to build up the body of Christ. It’s also where you will get the maximum benefit of the gifts God has given others. Without authentic Christian community, your gifts won’t grow. And without your gifts, our Christian community won’t grow.
Here are a few passages from the Bible that list various spiritual gifts. Keep in mind that none of these lists are exhaustive; your gift may lie outside these lists. So read these passages and pray about them. Ask God to speak to you and show you what gifts He’s given you, and how He wants you to use them to serve the Body.
If you want to explore this topic further, log in and post a comment below and I’ll help you take the next step. Or you can email me directly.
Listen to this week’s message about spiritual gifts here.