Gifts of the Church
By Mike Stickler
6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;
7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;
8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
In these three short verses, the Apostle Paul describes the gifts that we in the Body of Christ have been given in order to serve the Body, according to the size of one’s faith. If you carefully review Paul’s intent, he clearly says we are to exercise these gifts generously.
But, many of us don’t know (or seek out) what our gifts are or we allow them to lie unused within us. Sometimes we desire a gift we don’t have out of selfish ambition or covetousness as someone else exercises his or hers with great passion.
My wife, Kim, and I have served together more than 20 years in His ministry. We have different gifts in which to serve the Body: I am blessed with a gift of teaching, encouragement, and leading that builds in me daily. She is full of mercy and service. Together as we serve we don’t find any of these gifts more meaningful or important than the other. Let me explain…
When we arrive at a teaching or conference venue, we immediately fall into our gifts. I talk with the staff at the host church; I work with the sound and video people to make sure the message will be properly communicated, etc. Kim makes sure that the registration and hospitality functions are set up and that each and every individual‒helper and guest alike‒feels welcomed and well cared for. Some might say this is a division of work by gender – male versus female; but, I reject that because only together can we make a full-functioning team, and bear the fruit of every participant in our ministry feeling valued, appreciated, and, most importantly, feeling loved.
Today’s Generosity Challenge:
What are your gifts? Where do you operate to ‘build up the Body?’ Can you find your completeness as part of the Body of Christ in your gifts? Find the several spiritual gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and Ephesians 4- and in other references to the Holy Spirit working through God’s people. Ask other mature Christians who know you well which gifts they see in you.
Tell us about your real-life experience using your gifts here.
About Michael Stickler
Mike is an author, radio host, and a highly sought after motivational speaker. His best-selling book, A Journey to Generosity, is widely acclaimed throughout the Christian community. He is the publisher of Generous Living Magazine and writes for the Christian Post, 'A Generous Life' column.