S184P5 – The work of the brethren: gift building

Rom. 12:6-8

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; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 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.

The only church I ever saw grow from an idea to a functioning congregation, if even for only a short time, was quite a place of growth.  This was a labor of love that did not come without its problems.  After all, none of us had planted a church, and we were really doing this off-the-cuff.  Despite all the newness, there was much fulfillment in the opportunity for ministry there.  That is the place where I was encouraged to try my hand at many things and discover the gifts God had given me.  Whether in teaching, music ministry, prophecy or administrative tasks, the opportunities were there for the taking.  I would not stay there long, and the ministry would collapse after only a few years, but that church remains the springboard for the development of my spiritual gifts.

I remember the first time I spoke a prophetic word over someone.  I simply was describing a picture I had seen in my head, and I was clueless about prophecy.  That person could have listened to my words, thanked me and just called it a day after that.  Instead, she identified that prophecy for what it was and encouraged me to seek after growing that gift.  I think many of us focus correctly on developing our individual gifts, but we forget the hand we should have in the development of others’ gifts.  Whether at church or out anywhere else, there is a way that we can make every environment open and conducive to the exhibition of our spiritual gifts.  It is invaluable to the body for us to encourage our brothers and sisters to practice these gifts, which are necessary for the function of the Church.

The first step to making this goal a reality is being open to the spiritual gifts God has given us and seeking their exposure.  If it has been some time since we have seen the Spirit move through gifts, that is something that must be addressed.  We must ask whether we are pursuing the gifts, whether we are encouraging the gifts, whether we are welcoming the gifts.  As my gifts have surfaced, I have felt an incredible connection to God and the Church.  It gives me value to know the role that I play.  Let us help others find that same value within the body.  Father, reveal to us not only our gifts but the gifts of others that we would encourage them to practice allowing your Spirit to move freely through those gifts.