Use Your Spiritual Gifts to Help Your Church Grow
- Monday, July 11, 2005
If you're a Christian, God has given you at least one spiritual gift. And those gifts aren't just for your own benefit; their purpose is to bless entire Body of Christ. When you discover your spiritual gift(s) and use them in your local church, you'll see amazing growth take place for everyone in your congregation.
Here's how you can use your spiritual gifts to help your church grow:
Understand what truly constitutes a spiritual gift. Know that your spiritual gift (or combination of gifts) determines your purpose in Christ's Body. Spiritual gifts are special attributes given by the Holy Spirit to every member of the Body of Christ, according to God's grace, for use within the context of the Body. A spiritual gift is not a natural talent (everyone has natural talents, but only believers have spiritual gifts), a fruit of the Spirit (all Christians should develop the same fruit, whereas only certain Christians receive particular spiritual gifts), or a role (Christians should be ready to fill any role in case of an emergency or temporary need, but that doesn't necessarily mean the role makes use of their unique strengths). Ask God to help you discern true spiritual gifts from counterfeit ones that come from the evil side of the spiritual realm.
Recognize that many people have a mix of spiritual gifts. Realize that you may likely have more than one spiritual gift. Know that God expects you to use all the gifts He has given you as you serve Him.
Be thankful rather than proud. Humbly be grateful to God for giving you whatever spiritual gift(s) He has. Don't think of yourself more highly than you ought, but also realize that you are a valuable person whom God wants to use. Seek to glorify God and bless other people whenever you use your spiritual gifts.
Don't abuse the gifts. Never use a spiritual gift to acquire personal power, gain wealth, take revenge, or exploit fellow believers. Don't exalt any particular type of gift over another; realize that in God's eyes, all are equally valuable. Don't project a gift you have onto another person to whom God may not have given that specific gift. Give other people the freedom to exercise their own unique gifts.
Discover your unique gifts. Remember that there are four prerequisites to discovering your gifts: You have to be a Christian, you have to believe in spiritual gifts, you have to be willing to do the work necessary to use your spiritual gifts, and you have to pray for God's guidance. Explore the possibilities by studying what the Bible says about spiritual gifts, learning your church's position on spiritual gifts and how to use them in ministry, read what Christian authors have to say on the subject, talk to people who are already using their spiritual gifts, and discuss with friends and family what you think your gifts might be. Then experiment with as many gifts as you can by looking for needs in your church and trying to meet them.
Through the process, take note of what gifts you seem to have - and those you seem not to have. Examine your feelings to see if the work you're trying out excites you or not (ministry that makes use of one of your spiritual gifts should excite you). Evaluate your effectiveness by seeing if your church gets positive results from your work. Know that when true gifts are in operation, whatever is supposed to happen through them will happen. Look for confirmation from other people in your congregation that you have (or don't have) particular spiritual gifts.
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