In these days as I look forward to the year ahead, I’ve also been looking back at many years in ministry which include a rich variety of powerful moments in which God’s hand was clearly at work. Most of those moments involved just the right person turning up out of the blue at just the right time with the right gift needed to fix a problem or comfort a struggling soul (sometimes me!):
- Church members and elders who came alongside me when I was feeling very far down;
- Generous members whose special financial gifts at the right time enabled or transformed a project;
- An engineer who happened to have asbestos air quality testing equipment in his garage when the church discovered asbestos all over the place; a scientist who could estimate the safety (or danger) of having communion during a serious flu season;
- Members with expertise in finance and construction using time and talent to guide the congregation forward (here and elsewhere);
- Too many to count – Sunday School teachers, musicians, ushers, communion preparers – and many more whose commitment blessed others and simply helped “make things work.”
In the lists of spiritual gifts in the Bible, one of the most intriguing gifts inspired by God’s Holy Spirit is the gift of “helpful deeds” (mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12) — simply helping make things work. Maybe you have this gift? Actually I am convinced that you do! On top of other gifts, I’m convinced that this is one that every member of the church has:
1 Corinthians 12:7, 27-28 — 7To each member of the church is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, then helpful deeds, then ability to lead, various kinds of tongues.
In Ephesians 4, Paul takes the issue of giftedness by God’s Spirit a step further by asking the next question: are we using our gift(s)? And further, using them effectively for Christ?
Ephesians 4:15-16 — 15Speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.
So – what’s your gift?
And how are you using it within the church?
And . . how is the congregation “building itself up as the body of Christ” because of you?
You may have noticed in the bulletin over the past month that we have been announcing our need for volunteers – and for some new staff (a mission director, a new executive assistant, and a part-time communications assistant).
It can be hard during Covid to meet face-to-face and explain what volunteer positions entail. I can tell you that all of them take into account that Covid is not over yet; most of them can be adapted to the amount of time you have (every other week, once each month, etc.). If you contact us, we’ll tell you more, and then you can decide prayerfully and thoughtfully about next steps. Is God calling you to serve and grow in community as one of our:
- Worship Greeters at our doors
- Worship Ushers (especially at 8:45 worship; still able to attend most of worship)
- Children’s Ministry:
- Sunday School teachers,
- Room Aides,
- Docents to help move our children from place to place within our buildings,
- Helpers willing to check in/out our children so that they are safe.
- Musicians for our 8:45 band: not just drums or guitars (though welcome), but flute, violin, and other instruments as well.
Here’s a link to a simple form that will convey your interest and connect you to the right team members to answer your questions:
YOUR PART is crucial . . thank you for the myriad ways many of you have played and are playing your part. I’m praying that God would stir many up again to be “just the right person, at just the right time, with just the right gift.”
So glad to be your pastor,