Identifying your unique gifts [cc]

Uploaded by JRDViralVideos on 17.07.2011

Today we continue our series called finding our focus
which deals with the subject of spiritual gifts
last week he talked about our motivation
How we've each been gifted God to help others and glorify Him
today we'll examine how to identify the areas in which we are uniquely gifted
and then next week will be concluding on how to growth these kids into a sense of
a good place to start at discovery is in the list of spiritual gifts found in the
Bible the apostle Paul spells out the kinds of ways the Holy Spirit empowers
to serve in several places and today I'll read two of these passages
so listen carefully as I read from first Corinthians and Romans please open your
Bibles or read along in the bulletin
from first Corinthians chapter twelve verses seven to eleven
a spiritual gift is given to
each of us so we can help each other
to one person the spirit give the ability to give wise advice
to another the same spirit gives a message of special knowledge
the same spirit gives great faith to another and to someone else that one
spirit give the gift of healing
he gives one person the power to perform miracles and another the ability to
he gives someone else the ability to discern whether a messages from the
spirit of God or from another spirit
still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages
while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said
It is the one and only spirit who distributes all these gifts
he alone decides which gift each person should have
and from Romans chapter twelve verses four through ten
just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function
so is with Christ's body
We are many parts of one body and we all belong to each other
in his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So
if God is giving you the ability of prophesy speak out with as much faith
as God has given you
if your gift is serving others serve them well
if you're a teacher teach well if your gift is to encourage others
be encouraging
if it is giving, give generously
if God is giving you leadership ability take the responsibility seriously and if
you have a gift to showing kindness to others to do it gladly
Don't just pretend to love others really love Them. Hate what is wrong Hold tightly to
what is good
love each other with genuine affection
and take delight in honoring each other
for the last forty years
the Gallup organization
which is a polling organization
has been interviewing managers of organizations
to determine how they'd best develop their people
they have talk to
over a hundred thousand
managers of businesses
other kinds of organizations
hundreds of them, hundreds of these organizations
and they have been looking for consistent patterns
are used in the training that people use and their outlook
and they found some very profound things in that research that they did
one of them was that
a lot of what organizations do to develop people is based on flawed
and there are two basic flawed assumptions that many organizations have
when it comes to developing their people
first one is that each person
can learn to be competent in almost anything
and secondly that each person's greatest room for growth
is in their area of greatest
I'm glad you're laughing
but that's what a lot of organizations have believed through the years and that's
how they have been try to develop people so what they've done has been a
lot more time in training
rather than selecting the right people to begin with
and that people have been promoted based on the skills that they have acquired
someone who is well rounded is seen as more valuable than someone who's
very specifically gifted in a certain talent or in a certain area
now when they look at such a broad range of organizations they found those
were really doing well developing people in those that weren't doing so well
and as we see here the flawed assumptions
actually held these organizations back so when they look at ones that we're
doing well they found another set of assumptions
that that were present there
and so here's what they found
It is actually the polar opposite of this
each person's talents
came to be enduring
and unique
and unique that's other talents are
and each person's
greatest room for growth is in their areas of greatest
now that these managers had read the Bible
the first set I'm talking about
they would have saved themselves a lot of time and energy
because when you look at what the Bible describes how the apostle Paul
spiritual gifts
these are unique and enduring gifts
that people are to identify
and then focus their energy on
and when
people do that
they grow and they
do well
there are at least twenty spiritual gifts listed in in scripture
and if you were here last week I talked about how
really any ability that we have it is directed toward
glorifying God and helping people
can become a spiritual gift for them
now let me tell you a little bit of history
about eighty to ninety percent of the books that had been written about
spiritual gifts
were written after nineteen seventy
before that they were very few books written on spiritual gifts
it's interesting that that that forty year period is exactly the same is in
the same period that research is being done on all kinds of different
organizations about developing people
the spiritual gift books were also written
so before that
pastors and ministers were trained to be well-rounded
and they weren't necessarily focused on developing the latent talents and
abilities of the people in the congregation
but thankfully a lot has changed
in the last number of years
and there is a renewed interest in this whole subject matter so you hear a lot
more about spiritual gift these days
people want to understand those gifts
and focus on them
and this is all good and really accord to what God desires and you see in
your outline
first verses is first Corinthians twelve now about spiritual gifts I don't want
you to be ignorant it
God doesn't want us to not know what the spiritual gifts are
and he also wants us to remember in first Corinthians twelve eleven
it's the one and only spirit who distributes all these gifts
keep the focus
on the Holy Spirit in on what God
is doing
and when we do that it is incredibly
for everybody involved
most of us
when we think about the average person in the church
they have about three or four hours per week they can give
in their involvement in the life of the church
not all that time is actually been spent in service sometimes we cheat a
little bit me we come to church and we hear a message or we go to a Bible
study and listen
and we're not necessarily using our spiritual gifts
and we're giving our three, four, five hours a week to church
and think the amount we can really give for this is a pretty small
a church doesn't have a spiritual gift orientation
what happens is that the leaders are out looking for willing people
There is a lot to get done
We need some willing people and what develops out of that is called the
Twenty principle
that is
twenty percent of the people
do eighty percent of the work
and that leads to burnout
what's much better is that
eighty percent of the people
understand what their gifts and talents and abilities are and find ways
to use them in the church
and then maybe it's just a small part of their week but they're using them
joyfully and productively and it really is something that God has designed
them to do
If you had eighty percent of the people involved serving entire church
then everybody
so it behooves us to understand and identify our spiritual gifts we're not to be
ignorant about that
and today I'm going to talk about three ways that we do that
next week we're going to talk about growing the gifts that we've identified
and a sense of calling
but today we're going to talk about identifying
our gifts
the way we starts really with this
is to
the possibilities
explore the possibilities
we have just read a long list of spiritual gifts here from scripture
and there are many ways to categorize spiritual gifts
I read some different books on the subject in preparing for this
and it's different authors characterizing different ways but
I thought this would be a good way to do it serving gifts
speaking gifts
and supernatural gifts
now technically all the spiritual gifts are supernatural gifts
but there are some gifts that we can get our hands around a lot easier you know
that the things we can relate to
much more easily and those tend to be the serving gifts
giving and leadership
showing kindness
there's also another places gifts of administration, craftsmanship
Hospitality, mercy
ways that we serve other people, help them to know God better
many of us have heard of those gifts and said yes, I can relate to one of those
or two of those
then there are the speaking gifts
that are mentioned
and these again some of them are things we relate to well, wise advice
or teaching
another place it mentions evangelism
now here's where
things get a little harder for many of us because they'd beget start
getting a little bit more in that supernatural side there's prophecy
unknown languages
and then you jump right into the
the big list of supernatural gifts there is
special knowledge, faith
Miracles, discernment
now I have a theory and I think is bears out in history one
of the reasons that very little was written on that spiritual gifts
before nineteen seventy
was that some of these super natural gifts
make people a little nervous
and in some ways the baby has been thrown out with the bath water
it we're nervous about the supernatural gifts and how they work
so we're not going to talk about spiritual gifts at all
this happens
any I want to talk a little bit just from my perspective on this
if you've had trouble
with the supernatural gifts in the Bible and
just how they would know
if God is using them now and how they were used in the past them
and how that all works let me tell you one word of advice
you need to get out more
you need
to look around
I have had the privilege of being in a lot of different contexts overseas as a
and one of the things that was part of my experience was that I was part of an
an inter-denominational ministry that had people from
Charismatic, Pentecostal, Baptist, a Presbyterian and every
pretty much every flavor of church there were people represent from those
different denominations and from different countries to boot, we
had South Africans and Germans and
and English people, wow what a mix that was
and I worked together with those folks for years and got to know all
kinds of things
and I have to tell you I've really seen everything
you know I've seen all of these gifts in action in some way or form in the years
I've been doing ministry
so for me I can relate to all of them because I've seen them
and one of the things you got out to realize is that there's a purpose for
the spiritual gifts
their main proposes this and that is
to help people who don't know Jesus
to realize that he is true
and real
and loves them
and wants to be deeply involved in their life
and sometimes people need a wake-up call
to realize that
they need a crisis
they need a miracle
they need a touch from God in a very per profound way an unusual way
and the spiritual gifts are designed to do that for people
so when you're in a context where that's what you're doing that you're in a place
the churches being established
it's never been established before they're people who are skeptical when
there's opposition
spiritual gifts are deeply necessary
All of them are deeply necessary to do that
a second thing to realize
is that
in order to active relate to spiritual gifts beyond just seeing the
list and what not
you got to get around people that are exercising faith
people that are expecting God to show up
when you have a context where again where God has to show up
and you're willing to exercise faith
spiritual gifts
show up themselves because the Holy Spirit uses them to bring people to
and I put in the notes here you look at the Bible and the stories in the
Bible, the Bible is full of stories
about spiritual gifts being used
and they are examples to us through the great cloud witnesses that help us to put our
eyes on Jesus the author of and perfector of our faith
we look at the Bible for examples of of how spiritual gifts work and we
in our time today to look at missionary biographies and you can look
people today out in in-service in places where in context where
It is so necessary for God to show up and you see it happen
so a faithful people are people who exercised, were full of faith
If we're around people who are faithful people we're going to see spiritual gifts
In action
if we are not, if we're isolated then we,re not going to see them
And we might be skeptical about them
two things, a couple things I want to talk to related to that I when I was
thinking about all the spiritual gifts I got really inspired and I realize I
could go on for hours about this
because of the things I've seen
and heard and read
and I decided that in the fall
when I teach my Sunday seminar classes in the middle of September I'm
going to do a series on
each and every spiritual gift mention in the Bible and look at biblical examples
of how it was used
examples today if there's controversy we will talk about that
and it should be a great time to really get in-depth on each of these gifts and
how necessary they are today so I'll be able to unpacked out over a lot of
I'm not going, of course, be able to do that today
but let me tell you a couple stories related to this one of my
favorite ones is related to the unknown languages and that's when the people are
concerned about you know and that's caused a lot of controversy within the
but a friend of mine from my other church
He went on a mission trip to the Philippines
he was there in the Philippines
and he ended up talking to
a young Filipino man who was actually a member of the Augta tribe
there in the Philippines this little island out in the middle of nowhere
he starts speaking to him and the guy had a conversation with him
He didn't think anything of it until he came back later that night and talk to
one of the other leaders and the fellow and he told me about this and
you know that guy don't speak English, he doesn't?
Well I had a conversation with him and he answered me
No, he doesn't speak English
went back to talk to the guy and guess what?
He didn't speak English
now the interesting thing about that story, this is my friend he was a men's
ministry leader
nobody doubted that was from God
nobody had a problem with that
Because it was in the context
this is somebody did not know the Lord God needed to the show up
and he didn't even know he exercised faith you know he was just talking to the fellow
the Holy Spirit did something and nobody doubted it
I'll tell you another one I have a long list but I'm going to tell you a couple today
my wife and I at one point we were in
going to seminary during our first year of marriage
and we had I been planning to go back overseas we bought plane tickets we're
planning to leave within four weeks
and go back to Albania
and we made all the plans we knew what was going on and we were to
gathering and there was a fellow who wanted to pray for us and he didn't
know us he didn't even know we were going overseas as missionaries or anything
like that
and he said he wanted to pray for us we said ok go ahead and he started praying
And he said I really sense that you're going to be led not knowing where you're going
you're going to be like Joseph and Mary or Abraham and Sarah are going out and
you're going to just have to trust the Lord to point the way
and I heard that I said
Ahh, I know where I'm going
I said thanks for praying
I went home that night
and the next morning open the newspaper and guess what was there
Albania is in anarchy
and the government was overrun, basically in a
very short period time at all the missionaries left the country
They were gone for
I think nine months
before people came back
and here we were
plane tickets bought
wondering what we should do
should we go to Europe should we wait we didn't know
All of a sudden I realized
that person who took a risk and prayed for us and so it's a very
specific things to the Bible
directly speaking from God
they were prophesying in the sense and that is what prophesying is really taking the
scripture applying it directly to a certain need that people have
and he took a risk
and pray that
another interesting thing
we were there, we had our supporters and everything and they were
wondering about the situation and we went back to them and said
we're still going to go overseas and we're going to just see what happens
and then we told them the story that this person had prayed for us the
night before
the riots started and the all the chaos started in Albania
And they said you know what we agree with that
That sure seems like God has been speaking to you
again nobody's doubting
because it fit again the context we needed God to show up
we desperately needed
to get direction in that particular circumstance and
we wouldn't have had it we would have been fumbling around not knowing what to do
and God directed us through another person
That is how spiritual gifts work
Very, very powerful
I've heard
of stories of even folks who think they know and understand what God
does you know that they're theologians
and they've got it all dialed in you know, God did this then God does this now
what's going to happen next
they're all set on that you know it's all and all of a sudden their daughter gets sick
They pray to God for healing
God heals the daughter
all the sudden their whole frame of reference is shot
Oh, God is different than I thought
and they have to change the point of view
That is because the Holy Spirit is at work
and the Holy Spirit
is stirring these things up so the first thing is to be
I think for spiritual gifts is that ok God you can do what you want to do
I'm open to You
and I will let You work
so explored the possibilities and study the Bible and study the lives of faithful
the second thing
is to examine them
examine your experiences it says have you experienced so much for nothing?
surely it was not in vain, was it?
Galatians three four
None of our experiences
are in vain
I remember when I eventually when overseas for a longer period of
time it was a whole bunch of little experiences that lead up to that
little things that happened to me
little exposures that God brought into my life that eventually led me to go and do
a bit bigger thing like that so he builds those things into our lives
not experienced anything for nothing
if you take the 301 class this coming October
that's the course we offer a few times of year
about the topic of spiritual gifts and also are shaped for ministry how God has
uniquely given us abilities
and heart passions
and experiences and how all that fits together into
the thing that God has helped us to be and do the gift that God has given us
what you do as part of that
courses to take a gift inventory which is a at checklist of a different
ways that you might have experienced different spiritual gifts
now what I have found what those kinds of inventories
is that if you have a lot of experience with different kinds of spiritual
gifts then you tend to do pretty well in identifying
things that
God has brought up
if you don't have a lot of experience
you tend to think I'm not gifted at anything
it's really not that it's just that the level of experience you've had
in certain areas
because everything we do has a point of reference to it
when we hear about something we try to relate to it
Does it correlates with what I really know and understand to be true
if I say to you parenting is easy
immediately think of your frame of reference and you come back
about that and
it may be true or might not be true for you
if I was to say
my high school years were the best years of my life
again not everyone of us had great high school years
some of us did
are certain things we relate to are based on what we hear
and when it comes to our abilities
learn how work good at something
By our experience
With it
so how did you find that you had an ability
your experience
here's a little if the ways you can tell about an ability whether it's
something that's that is something that that is a strength for you
I'm going to give you an example from a public speaking at this could relate to
anything you could say
sports or a hobby or whatever but I'll do public speaking because that's
One that
I've seen this pattern in my life
I've been interested in public speaking for quite a while now
and a few years ago, actually about
eight years ago
I jointed a
speech club called toastmasters
just to learn more about public speaking
I like the area and I like to listen to people
I was drawn to others with the same Interest, I joined the club
and I enjoyed watching those who are good at it
and in fact today it whenever
see a public speaker or a preacher and especially a really good one
I've taken notes about what they're doing how they starting
How are they finishing what are they pausing and how was their eye contact
with everybody
you know I look at all the details of what they're doing
and what in the public speaking and other things like this as you start
picking it up quickly and if you try to get you get
positive feedback
you also find out if you can do it consistently well are not your
if you're only able to do it once something well once so you don't you
Grow in it maybe it's not an ability
you do it consistently you enjoy it
and I love this thing at the end at creative twist
and lose track of time
I'm doing that today in effect
really have to watch yourself here
and not too much in this service for the first service definitely
Not to and too many creative twists to lose track of time
again you learn by
your experience
and you're shaped by all kinds of things in in our lives we're shaped
by our education experienced by our job experience by
family experiences and even by painful experiences in our life
these things
help us to identify
Areas where God has gifted us area where we're not-so-good or good in fact no
is wasted
Says here this happeneds that we might not rely on ourselves but on God
once along time ago
tried out middle school ministry
middle school ministry
let me tell you I have a huge amount of respect for Tony
and I lasted maybe two to three weeks
in middle school ministry
And I brought a lot of suffering on myself
and a lot of suffering on others I think
No just kidding
it really wasn't my thing
then later on I tried out high school and college ministry and
I was a little better with that in fact when I was overseas
the folks that I started with in that church I started, a lot of them were
in high school
and in college and we worked with them for a number of years until they grew up
and were able to become church leaders but I really did a lot of high
school ministry overseas
but the one that was what most interesting to me
that I tend to do almost the best with folks that are older than me
I can relate really well with folks That are older
and I had no idea what the reason for that was until I came to Sequim
and now all of a sudden it makes sense
so God leads and guides and uses experiences
For a purpose and a reason
and especially even the ones that are are difficult for us
he says here that we know suffering produces perseverance and perseverance character
and character hope
nothing that God brings us through is pointless
it all has value
and it does
move us toward understanding and identify our gifts if we will examine
the things we go through
part of the reason we have
experiences that are frustrating is that so that we don't become prideful now the
worst thing that can happen with the spiritual gift which identify is to
think it's about you
It's not about you at all
It's all about God and about the Holy Spirit In fact, if you look at those verses that
talk about spiritual gifts
the Holy Spirit is mentioned
much more than the individual
because it's the Holy Spirit that should be getting the focus
in any kind of gift or talent and you should be wondering about it
if someone is getting a lot of attention for their spiritual gifts it's
all about them
really the thing that should be happening as we should be focusing on
what the Holy Spirit is doing how it's blessing and helping people and that's what
difficult experience do for us
they enable us to have
have peace let me tell you a little story from the Bible about this
the apostle Paul
here we have a very busy
and talented individual
He'd like to go out and do a lot of things
but there was one area of his life where he was kind of thwarted
and he shares a little bit about that in second Corinthians ten
he's writing to them and he says some people say
his letters are weighty and forceful but in person he is unimpressive
and speaking amounts to nothing
here we have the apostle Paul
The prime example of a teacher in the Bible and They're saying he doesn't speak very well
he's boring
you know there's an example in Acts
he actually put somebody to sleep
he was talking a long time and the guy was up in the windows and he fell
out the window and landed on the ground
how embarrassing
poor Paul put the guy to sleep
And he had to go down and heal him
There's some irony there you know
Paul put him to sleep and goes down and heals him
then poor Paul gets all this trouble all the suffering all these trials he's
thrown in prison has to sit around
and you can be thankful for that you know why?
Guess what his spiritual gift really was
He had plenty of time to write the Bible Didn't he? good for him
good for us
so God uses these things and
our maturity is really being able to extract lessons
from the things that God brings us through
so here's a couple questions what aspects may be disappointing
or encouraging
It's always an incursion in the midst of a trial you know
and what can I learn from this thing used to help other people
so we
Keep our minds open we're
evaluating and looking at what's out there in terms of spiritual gifts we
examine our experiences and the third thing this is what I really love
with as many gifts as you can
try things out and if you've identified an ability in an area
that's a perfect place to experiment with it
perhaps you've got an ability doesn't fit the mold of something you think
is going on in the church
or might fit
you can experiment with it and try to see if it applies to something going on
in the church or perhaps even in the community to help someone know about Jesus
one of the things I did
in researching this particular subject today was I decided to go and talk to
the staff
Talked to Peggy
Talked to Joel and Tony
about how they see people getting involved in their ministries in the church
and I look at what I also do and it didn't surprise me that we were all very
consistent in our answers for how that happens
so I thought I'd talk a little bit about that for everybody here how
actually does it work here
in the church
one of the main ways that people have gotten involved
using and finding their gift
they have just come in and asked
one of us
to observe our ministry
they've I said hey I just want to check it out for a couple weeks and see what you
do and learn about it and come and watch
and we say of course, sure
One of the things you should really know about this church if you don't know it already is that
we're not all not just about finding people that are willing
looking for people that are gifted
and are going to get energy and joy and passion out of doing what they do
and so we're not about
you come in all the figure if you're hooked with ball and chain for life in a
Ministry just because you came in and observed it
Not what we're about
we want people to be able to come see and say yes or no and a lot of freedom
and that's one of the ways that
people have gotten connected
Another way
is that asked someone serving in ministry like children's ministry or our
youth ministry or even in in music
been encouraged by
Joel or Tony or Peggy to look around for folks they think might be good at this
and who would be they would enjoy working with
and invite them to come in
so we have a lot of that is well where
a friend invites a friend to serve in ministry
another one is that they get asked to try something and they
like it
there's a certain need and one of us thinks of away that we can involve
somebody we ask and
sometimes that's an area where there's been very little
I do this a lot even in the small group ministry where we say hey would
you like to be an apprentice and learn about
how to be a leader for a group they say I don't know how to lead a group
well can you read? yeah
you if you read if you can lead you know I mean in my ministry
I make it real simple
and I really want to see what emerges you know in terms of gifts we're
trying to really get people that are loving and caring and
so we ask people
and time and time again people have come back and said I can't thank you
The fourth way that this happens to in this goes back to
the class three zero one
during that time there is a gift inventory that is given and there's a
little check boxes that are done about areas that you might have an interest in
choir and children's ministry or in serving
in another way of the church or missions
And you check a box now this is what has happened
it's come to my attention at different times
people had have checked those little boxes and they didn't hear back from
and let me take a little something about this that's a challenge for us here at
on staff we have five staff people and a couple of administrative
assistants in a pretty big church
and sometimes what happens is the dots don't get connected now sometimes they
but sometimes
you know you got an interest but it just didn't connect with something that
was present and the list is there in a drawer in the file
if something is burning in your heart like you know six months ago you check
the box and nothing happened
none of us are offended in the least
if you come in and talk to us about it
that burning in your heart is actually maybe
something that God wants to bring to bare so
Don't sit back on anything that you You're saying I really want to get
involved but no one has called me back
Try again
and come to us. I have seen time and time again
where ministries of actually birthed you might have something
in your mind that but no one's doing here that's really on your heart you
come in you talk to one of us leaders and we say yeah, go ahead and do that
will give you a place to do that
you can, God has created ministries out of people coming and asking us
so we asked but you can also ask
as well and these are a lot of free and openness to do that
and then finally on this list I put in announcements and
sometimes we do put out the net
more broadly
and that's because we want to find people that that we don't know yet
not just a little club of people that we know
but we want to see who God is stirring up in the life of this church to serve
so that the eighty percent
Can find their place service
so getting engaged in something
using our gifts
if your gift is says that many, many times in Romans
and what we do with that, what is your initial reactions to things that you
Are asked to do or things you have experienced does this give you
Energy or does it zap you
and are others confirming
this gift in you
are more opportunities presenting themselves
the last part of Romans
says we are many parts of one body and we each all
belong to each other take delight in honoring each other
That's the bookends to this passage We're parts of the body
if we're using our gifts we're doing it well, we're doing it abundantly
We're doing it generously, we're doing it gladly and we can take delight in
honoring each other
and that is what God would love for each of us to do to identify those
next week we're going to talk more specifically about growing our gifts
and this for today that I would hope and pray that God
would use
Perhaps something that was said today
to help
you to pinpoint
Your areas of giftedness. Let us pray
Father I'm so thankful for everybody here today
and I know that as you
work in our lives as you bring things to mind
you want to mobilize us to impact
and even beyond Sequim
you want to build our church you want to have us function in the way that
you've designed is to function
so what I thank you that you have a great purpose for each of us, you have a great
purpose our church
and you have given us gifts and abilities to use for the sake of others and for
Your glory
in Jesus name Amen
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