I talk to way too many people who think their contribution doesn’t matter in life. They have lost hope and purpose and think their uniqueness is irrelevant. The truth of the matter is that every person and every gift matters. The church should be shouting and proclaiming this every chance it gets! Paul explains five types of gifting that we receive as Christ followers: Apostolic: Blazing new territory, Prophetic: Discerning spiritual realities, Evangelistic: Going and finding the lost sheep, Shepherd: Caring deeply for the needs of people, and Teaching: Inspiring with the truth of scripture. Every gift set is needed and when we are self aware we can then maximize our contribution.
Everyone is unique, are you using your gifts to their maximum potential?
“…When each part is working properly makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Ephesians 4:16
Here is the challenge. Sometimes we feel like a round peg in a square hole and sometimes we don’t know how our gift set fits our church family. Traditionally, if you have a teaching or shepherding gift, it is usually quite easy to integrate into the body of Christ organized as a church. But if you are an A.P.E. (Apostle, Prophet or an Evangelist) it can be more difficult to find your spot. The latter three tend to be more comfortable with change and new initiatives. But here is one thing we need to make sure we do. Celebrate each others uniqueness. In the five fold ministry, no one gift set is better than the other, they all should be given equal weight. As a church leader my constant question is, “does our church structure and practice provide a place for each gift set?” You are unique, it matters.
4 Reasons Why Your Uniqueness Matters…
#1 God Doesn’t Make Junk – Everyone has value! Even if you are frustrated by people not seeing your value, take heart that Jesus created you exactly the way he wants you. Your spiritual gifts, natural abilities and acquired skills will be used of him if you let them. You were created in the image of God and your gifts reflect the very image of God. You have his DNA, you resemble Jesus. His fingerprints are all over you.
#2 Others Need You – Namely the church. My primary gift set is the Teacher/Apostle. These two gifts operate with almost equal weight at the front of my contribution to the church. This means I will always motivate movement and understanding towards the mission of God. What I need most to complement is the other three gift sets functioning at a high level. I need you, you need me, we need each other.
#3 Your Gifts Give You Purpose – Clarity brings enjoyment. There is nothing worse than trying to be something you are not. No one wants to see a shepherd try and do the work of the prophet. When you know who you are and what you are about, it narrows your clarity with laser like focus and this is when you will be personally satisfied beyond belief. Real contentment can’t come from external things like pride, possessions and power. Only dependence on the Gospel of Jesus perfecting the gifts among the church will advance his mission.
#4 With You The Church Will Expand – Synergy brings incredible growth. When we are all operating at the pinnacle of our gift sets, yielding to one another, sharing in the ministry, encouraging for the sake of the growth of His church, the energy is scintillating. Nothing excites me more than when you can see all the gifts at work discovered and directed. You matter. But even without you God’s plan will still happen. He doesn’t need you, but He will use you. It’s up to you. The invitation to a purpose greater than any other in the world is right before you. His Mission, it’s time to Activate it!
This week we will discover, share and grow in the depth of our understanding of our gifts and how this relates to our mission. You are unique, it’s time to capitalize on it!
We are the church that meets at two theaters! Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ. 217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 9:30 & 11am and Starplex Cinemas in East Windsor, NJ at 10:15. Our new East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday. If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information.