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Questions Part 5: Spiritual Gifts

I am taking some time to write about a series of questions for pastors that Timmy Brister posted on his blog.  You can find the full list here.  There are 21 questions and I plan to write about the 6 that I have highlighted on the list I printed out and hung on my office wall.  This is the 4th of 6 questions I plan to look at.


How many people know and are discharging their spiritual gifts in active service and building up of the body of Christ?

There are two areas to examine in light of this question. The first is do the people in our church know their spiritual gifts and the second is are they using those gifts.  I think in general we do a better job of education people as to what their gifts are than we do getting them to use those gifts.  It doesn't take a great deal of work to go to a website and take a relatively quick test to find out what your gifts are.  My church website directs people to a test created by ChurchGrowth.org.  The online test can be found here.  People can be convinced fairly easily to take a 5 minute test to find their spiritual gifts.  Of course, that is only the first half of the question, and the easier half by far.


The second issue is getting people, once they know their gifts, to actively use them to build up the church.  This requires a bit of work on the part of leadership to create an environment that expects and encourages people to serve using their gifts.


The message must be broadcast from the pulpit that one of the expectations and requirements of membership is that one will discover and use their spiritual gifts to serve their brothers and sisters in the church.  Any membership classes must also teach the same principle.  Their must be a structure in place that makes it simple for people looking to serve to find where their gifts are needed.  There must also be a system that allows leadership to hold accountable those who have agreed to serve to actually find their niche and get to work.  A system like this can become legalistic without a great deal of prayer, humility, and genuine love for people on the part of leadership but is necessary if we want to help people in their efforts to be a part of building up the body of Christ.  Everyone in the church should be involved in the work of building the church to some degree.  There should be no church member couch potatoes.  It is our job as leaders to equip, encourage, and teach our people to get up, get educated, and get to work.


Update: Desiring God has posted an article about spiritual gifts on their website.  You can read it here.

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