You have a Gift

Read: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

Spiritual Gifts are an important part of being followers and servants of Christ. It is through these gifts/talents/abilities that the Lord has blessed us with the opportunity to bring his kingdom to this earth. The apostle Paul speaks of these gifts and their various manifestations in this week’s scripture passage. Different gifts, but the same Spirit who distributes those gifts. He later goes on to say that they work together as one in order to make a difference in our world.

Leadership coach Karen Miller tells the following story about how she and her husband needed to identify and develop new leaders for a new church plant: “One Sunday morning Irene, a church plant leader in her seventies, set up the Communion table. I noticed that she then went around to make sure everything else was in order—and people did whatever she asked them to do. Afterward I asked her, “Irene, have you ever considered that you have leadership gifts?”

“Absolutely not!” she said. “I am just an ordinary woman, housewife, and mother. I’m not leading; I’m just serving.” Some months later, our young church received a visit from a Rwandan church leader. He told the church how he dreamed of starting an orphanage and school for children whose parents had been slaughtered in the genocide. We decided we had to help. Could we hold a banquet to raise funds? Irene agreed to help put on the banquet.

When she visited a possible caterer, she somehow convinced the caterer to donate most of the food. Irene talked with a banquet hall, and they gave her a deep discount. So did the tech people. No one could tell Irene no. On the banquet night, over 200 people came, and enough money was raised to build the school and its first dormitory.

I teased her afterward: “Irene, that was amazing! Maybe you are a leader?” She laughed, for she finally had to acknowledge the truth. Each May, Irene led the banquet again. Now we could see photos of kids who had lived on the streets and never brushed their teeth flashing broad, white smiles. Boys who had been malnourished, their arms and legs painfully thin, now ran and jumped across the courtyard on strong legs. Girls who’d come dressed in rags showed off their neat school uniforms and barrettes. After Irene went to be with the Lord, Sonrise Orphanage named a dorm after her did I find out that the banquet she’d led had singlehandedly covered one third of the school’s operating costs.”

I tend to believe that we all have spiritual gifts that still need to be brought forth. Yes, many people know how they are gifted and what they are called to, but this may change over time. I never dreamed that someday I would be preaching sermons on Sunday mornings and be a pastor, but the Lord began to work in various ways and now I am. Many people have experienced this in other ways. One thing I have learned, never say never when it comes to how the Lord may use you.

Make it personal: Take some time to pray this week about your spiritual gifts. What are they, how can you use them in your family, in your church, in your current situations? The Lord will lead you, provide for you, and call you if you are an open and willing servant. You just never know where you might find yourself making a difference in this world.

Have a wonderful week, Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church