18 months ago I had an occasion to lay out my own personal views on a series of short topics … in about 200 words or less! Over the summer I’ve been rethinking a few things, so I thought I would reformulate these and put them here for comment or critique. (Other posts in this series: on leadership, on preaching and worship, on vision for ministry, and on my personal gifts and strengths).
<200 words on using spiritual gifts
I think a church that serves/ministers out of its giftedness by the Holy Spirit is the normal and expected shape in the New Testament. A true vision of the body of Christ doesnâ€™t elevate the the elders or pastoral or program staff of a church, but engages the least visible parts as well as the most visible, remembering that the one true head is Christ Jesus. Spiritual gifts are so tied into the Christlike way we care for one another that I canâ€™t imagine not leading people to discern and use them! That being said, I think most programs aimed at â€œdiscovering your spiritual giftednessâ€ have only limited use. They must be coupled with a serious commitment by the local church to (1) help people discern their gifts in community, and (2) provide easy â€œon rampsâ€ for people to experience and thrive in diverse ways of serving one another and their community.
Now make it your turn. Have you ever taken time to identify any spiritual gifts? Do you think that God wires us a certain way for certain kinds of ministry? How do you think spiritual gifts are meant to work among a pool of believers?