One thing I’ve been discovering over the past few years is that tradtional views of spiritual gifts is very limiting. Many tend to think of spiritual gifts in terms of teaching, prophecy, faith, healing and the like. We often think that pastors, elders, and those in visible ministry are the ones that excercise these gifts. Now most of us would quickly acknowledge that it’s much broader than that but we don’t always realize that God has given us interests, abilities and talents that are every bit as spiritual.
I’m sort of a self taught nerd. Over the past 8 years I’ve developed enough skills and knowledge combined with my teaching experience to carve out a nice position helping teachers use technology. As I was developing this talent, I began to realize that our churches could use an infuse of technology. At first it was largely administrative…developing websites, setting up projection systems and supporting office management. I also began to realize the power of video. During this time, I’ve been involved in the creation of numerous videos and presentations designed to draw attention to Christ. I now understand that God has given me a gift of storytelling through video and I’m excited to use this gift in whatever way it’s needed.
At the same time my wife also began turning her ability to design quilts into a ministry as well. She’s created a number of quilts and designs for others including a cancer quilt for a friend of ours. It’s helped us realize the diversity of gifts God has given us and that they are all important. We need to be more diligent in helping others not only discover their gifts but recognize the ones they’re already using.
Our pastor met with a lady who was feeling badly she wasn’t more involved in the church. She genuinely wanted to be used by God. He asked her what she enjoyed. She mentioned she loved her job which was counselling. She had never thought of her job as a ministry. Maybe that seems odd but I wonder if many have missed this too.
“…Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church. ” 1 Corinthians 14:12
Look around you, consider the talents and gifts you’ve been given and think about how God can and may already be using them for His glory.