I had a birthday last month and was blessed to receive gifts from family members. A dozen golf balls, a couple of gift cards and cash. There is something exciting about both giving and receiving gifts. Even when you know what it is, there is that special moment when open the box or the envelope and it is right there.
But think about this: What if I placed the golf balls on a shelf, stuck the gift cards in a drawer and stuffed the money in the glove compartment of my car? In other words, what good is a gift unless it is used? Already I have used the cash and cards to get something I wanted, and I’ve used the golf balls in a round (not all of them in one round). There is no purpose to receiving a gift unless you are going to use it.
That leads me to this thought. If the New Testament teaching is true (and I operate under the assumption that it is), then every Christian has a spiritual gift of some kind. According to what Paul wrote to the Ephesians, the purpose of these gifts is to build the church, the body of Christ.
So if followers of Jesus are faithful, they will identify the gifts God has granted them, and they will use them for the benefit of the church where they are members. Now, my beliefs on this require a handful of things to be true: First, I am saying that every Christian ought to be a member of a church, and an active one at that. You cannot serve a church unless you are in some way committed to its cause.
Second, I am saying that every church ought to offer its members opportunities to use their gifts by serving in some capacity. The church’s ministry is not limited to pastors and staff. In fact, Paul said the pastor’s gifts have as their purpose the equipping of others for the work of ministry.
And so as I write to fellow believers today, I ask you this: Do you even know what your gifts are? Have you found a way to use those gifts? Are you serving and building your church to be all that God intends it to be?
I am convinced that every church has every gift it needs to be the church God meant for it to be. But it requires that believers recognize and use those gifts. I would challenge you to discover and utilize the gift, or gifts, that God has given you. You will be amazed at what a blessing you can be to your church as you employ your spiritual gifts.