As I survey the current state of ministry, I have been dismayed at how many churches are filling slots regardless of gifts. The focus seems to be that the people are there to serve the needs of the church rather than vice versa. In many cases, we seem to be abandoning our call to help people discover and develop their spiritual gifts.
Does your vision match the mission?
If you ask about the vision, many church leaders will talk about getting people to come to church, serve on a team, join a community group, and give financially. All of those are good things in and of themselves, but where is the focus? The focus is on filling the church’s preexisting programs. It’s not on the mission we were given to make disciples. The focus is not on the people being reached. And it’s not on developing those people into all that God has made them to be, whether it fits neatly into our programs or not.
The leadership development puzzle
Imagine a jigsaw puzzle. Our initial job of visioncasting is to display a clear picture—like the one on the box—that shows the vision for what the Kingdom of God is supposed to look like. This is the Kingdom in all of its fullness, much larger and broader than any one local church. As people look at that beautiful vision, where do they see themselves? You may be currently working on a green area in a corner. It can be tempted to take a new person—a piece of the puzzle—and try to jam them into that area whether they fit or not. After all, you really need help there. But that’s not where they fit. They are a brown piece that would fit great closer to the center, but will do a poor job trying to fill out the green space in the corner. You, as the person trying to put together the puzzle, don’t immediately know where all the pieces fit. You need to remain open to discovering new things as you go: “Oh, that’s what those brown pieces are supposed to be a part of!”
Our calling is to help each piece of the puzzle find exactly where they are designed to fit. What we need to be doing is creating a system for the discovery of spiritual gifts, the trial and error of placement close to where it seems a person would fit well, and a willingness to make changes and corrections along the way, then help them live out their unique calling.Our calling is to help each piece of the puzzle find exactly where they are designed to fit. What we need to do is create a system for the discovery of spiritual gifts Click To Tweet
The problem is most churches aren’t organized that way anymore. Helping people discover their spiritual gifts and calling is becoming a lost art. Let’s revive this essential ministry! For the next couple of months, I’ll be focusing my blog on various aspects of how we can rediscover that lost art and bring it back into the ministries of our churches. Here are the basic topics we’ll be covering:
- Gifts: a system for discerning spiritual gifts
- Passion: what God has put in a person’s heart
- Calling: the critical intersection of gifts and passions
- Ministry: job descriptions, gift alignment and working together on teams
- Crafting a gift-based ministry system
- Helping people grow in their gifts
- Pitfalls to avoid in gift-based ministry
I hope you read on and journey together with me as we think through this essential area of gifts-based ministry.Helping people discover their spiritual gifts and calling is becoming a lost art. Let's revive this essential ministry! Click To Tweet
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