The other day, I was reading this blog post here (and another one by the same author that I’ll link to in a bit), and it gave me some splendid things to think about, so I thought we might think through them together.
Here’s the main idea I got out of the posts:
Individual people aren’t interchangeable pieces in the church puzzle.
So… the example Mike Breen uses is the hypothetical situation in which Peter, James, Timothy, Lydia, Priscilla and Paul all go to your church and ask what they can do to help. What would your pastor or leadership team ask them to do… probably get them to lead small groups, help out with hospitality, or maybe play in the band, right?
Does that horrify you as much as it horrifies me?
Leading a small group is a perfectly wonderful endeavor, but it seems like it’s become the only thing a disciple can really do with his/her life to serve. I suppose we could all run out to the mission field as well, but aren’t there any other options?
Let’s be honest. I don’t want to lead a small group. I’m smart, well-read, and I teach for a living, which all seem to qualify me for that role, but I also don’t always walk the party line and might even post something scandalous here on my blog. 🙂 I hate following curricula with formulaic questions and I hate inauthentic correctness – all of which are common in small group settings.
I don’t want to go to the mission field right now, and besides that, evangelism is not one of my spiritual gifts, so it seems unwise to make evangelism my career unless God specifically tells me to (which He hasn’t).
I always volunteer for whatever roles my church needs filled like greeting, cleaning, VBS leader, etc… because I enjoy being involved, but those things rarely engage any of my spiritual gifts.
My particular skill set seems to be mismatched with the church, which is sad. I don’t just want to volunteer. I want God to use me. Of course I’ll keep volunteering, but I want more than that. I believe there’s more out there, because occasionally, I glimpse it. I say just the right thing to the right person, without knowing why I’ve said it. I show up when I’d planned to stay home and the Spirit works a divine moment that I get to participate in. The Father answers my prayers or shows me why He’s formed me to be who I am.
Wouldn’t it be cool if the church tried to use people as we were made to be used rather than asking us to fill one of three or four positions that would help keep the status quo? I don’t know if what I’m writing is even possible, but wouldn’t it be cool if it was? Sometimes it seems like the movement of the Spirit to engage my spiritual gifts is completely disconnected from the church, and I don’t think I should be. I wish it wasn’t, but I’m not sure what to do to change that.
Thoughts? What are your spiritual gifts and is the church using them? How could the church use your gifts and skill sets more fully?