Imagine with me for a moment that you are on board an airplane. A spirited debate arises between passengers as to what is the most important part of the airplane. One passenger says that the engines are the most important part of the plane. Another passenger responds, “No!”, the wings are the most important part of the plane. A third passenger says, “I disagree with both of you!”, the rudder is the most important part of the plane. After a period of dead silence, another passenger calmly and quietly suggests that “ALL” of these parts are important for the airplane to function properly. You see the first three passengers were engaged in an “either/or” debate. The wise passenger was thinking more in terms of “both/and”. Whenever you and I board an airplane, the reality is that we want the engines, the wings, and the rudder to work properly! We know that we can’t get to our destination safely without all of these parts working as they were designed. When all of the airplane parts function properly, we experience the thrill of flight and cut our travel times down significantly.
When we as Christians remember that all of us play an important part in God’s kingdom work, we will experience the thrill of seeing people come to know Christ, grow in their faith, and land safely in heaven. You may ask, “but what is my part?”. There are several questions you can ask that will help you to determine where you fit best in Christ’s kingdom work:
What are my talents?
What are the things that you do well? Think broadly in all areas of your life. Is it possible that you could employee these talents to advance God’s kingdom on earth? Absolutely. A person who works construction for instance might offer to use their talents on a short-term mission trip to assist with building a new church. A person who does a great job cooking might offer their talents to cook meals for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. When you think creatively about your talents, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that many of them can be used to help others experience the love of Jesus Christ.
What do you enjoy doing?
Do you enjoy fishing or maybe golfing? Call up a friend that may be going through a difficult time and get them to go along with you. The companionship and beauty of the outdoors will lift their spirits. In this you will have performed a ministry. If they don’t have a meaningful relationship with a local church invite them to attend with you on Sunday! In doing this, the activity that you enjoy so much has become an opportunity for ministry and evangelism.
What are your spiritual gifts?
A spiritual gift is something that God gives you to enable you to serve His church. Lists of spiritual gifts can be found in Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12, 1 Peter 4:9-11, and Ephesians 4:11-16. I believe that every Christian is given one or more gifts that they can use for God’s glory and the good of people. We should prayerfully seek to discern how God has gifted us. Other Christians can help by serving as a mirror to reflect back to us how we are gifted. When I preach a sermon, and someone says that it really helped them, it’s an affirmation of my giftedness in that area. Listen to other Christians when they say they have been blessed by something you have done! This will help you identify your spiritual gifts. After identifying our spiritual gifts, we should then strive to develop those gifts and use them to benefit the local church. In doing so we will advance the kingdom. Don’t forget the best way to develop a spiritual gift is to USE IT!
Honored to serve alongside such a wonderful and gifted group of people.
Blessings in Christ,