Linda and I have a friend named Bill who loves to throw really fun Christmas parties. The table is always spread with holiday hors d’oeuvres, the conversations are engaging, and the games – well, you never know what to expect.
At one yuletide party we played a rousing game of musical Christmas gifts. Beautifully wrapped packages made their way around the circle, and when the music stopped, the winner would then open their gift. As fate would have it, my wife went home that night with a totally useless gift: A belly dancing kit.
Through the years we have gotten a lot of laughs from that totally useless gift, especially when it has been re-gifted to some of the more “proper” members of the family.
I am grateful that when it comes to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, all of the gifts are useful. These are gifts that are just right for the way God made you. Gifts that are needed in the church. Gifts that make ministry happen in the life of the local congregation. Gifts that help each of us to grow in the faith.
So how do you unwrap your gifts for ministry? You open your heart for such a discovery through prayer. You become aware of different gift possibilities through the study of passages like Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4. You can take a spiritual gifts inventory to get in touch with your ministry interests. You can try out for ministry in a variety of settings to see what works and doesn’t work. You can watch for ministry successes and the places where your gifts are affirmed. You can trust the Holy Spirit to bring it all together with an unshakable conviction of your special place in ministry.
Every Christian believer, by virtue of their baptism in water and the Holy Spirit, is gifted for ministry. More than ever before, your gifts are needed so that our church will fulfill its mission to live in Jesus, and share God’s love.