By Jim Boesch
What if we helped men use their spiritual gifts?
How much more kingdom-building for Jesus could be accomplished in our local churches if we helped get the right men in the right places for the right reasons and at the right time?
How much more discipling could occur if we helped just one church leadership team focus on a spiritual-gifts ministry whose goal is to help believers get more engaged and equipped to be fruitful and fulfilled in meaningful places of service to and with others?
“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather, serve one another in love.”
What if the vision for this spiritual gifts ministry was to “glorify God and edify others?”
Our serving glorifies God because it is a form of worship.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
“If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen”
1 Peter 4:11
Our serving builds up or edifies others.
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”
What if we helped men serve in accordance with assessments in three areas of discernment?
- Spiritual gifts that answer the question: “What do I do best?” “In what areas of service do I show the most competence?”
- Personal style that answers the question: “How do I best serve?” “How can I find an area of service so I will be confident I am serving the kingdom in the way God has planned?”
- Ministry passion that answers the question: “Where can I serve that will motivate me?”
By definition, spiritual gifts are special abilities given by the Holy Spirit and distributed to every believer according to God’s design and grace for the common good of the body of Christ.
“To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues and to still another the interpretation of tongues.”
I Corinthians 12:8-10
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms
I Peter 4:10
“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
I Corinthians 12:7
A key point to remember as we help other men ascertain their spiritual gifts and the role they can play in their discipling journey is there are no right or wrong gifts, no right or wrong personality styles and no right or wrong ministry passions. They are just different. And God has planned it that way!
But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.
I Corinthians 12:18
Note: The questions and comments above are birthed from the Network Ministries International’s Spiritual Gifts assessment resource. I am deeply immersed in participating in and learning more about this ministry as I lead a church-wide initiative to offer this spiritual-gifts-discovery process beginning September 6, 2015.
One of our key spiritual growth strategies of this kingdom work will be to reach out to men in our pews and in our community. We will invite them to join us in experiencing this gifts-based assessment opportunity. A hopeful outcome of this is it will be to provide men answers to questions about purpose, value and legacy.
If you have had any experience with this Network Spiritual Gifts Ministry program, please contact me and share your comments, thoughts, advice and shortcuts that were birthed during your time in this outreach ministry.
Jim Boesch, deployed staff member
General Commission on United Methodist Men