Gifted to Serve

Every spiritual gift is given freely by the Holy Spirit, “who apportions to each one individually as he wills” (1 Cor. 12:11). In other words, the Holy Spirit sovereignly dispenses the gift, and the gift is not predicated on the believer’s maturity or performance. The Corinthian believers, whom Paul described as unspiritual “infants in Christ” (1 Cor. 3:1), nevertheless, seem to have experienced many manifestations of the gifts (1 Cor. 12, 14), and their disorderly use of the gifts proved divisive.

The fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) is a mark of every Christian, but the gifts of the Spirit are not. Theologian Alister McGrath helpfully illustrates the difference between the two: “Think of two trees. One is an apple tree. If it really is an apple tree, it ought to bear apples. You know it by its fruit (Matt. 12:33). Similarly, Christians ought to show the fruit of the Spirit in their lives, although the extent will vary from one person to another. Now think of [a fir tree] … inside a home [on Christmas Day] with presents around its base. Those presents have nothing to do with the tree! They didn’t grow there. They were placed there by someone. They are someone’s gifts, not the natural fruit of the tree.”

The gifts of the Spirit reflect an intentional diversity within the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 teaches:
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

The diversity and unity within the Trinity, the “Spirit,” “Lord” Jesus Christ, and “God” the Father, serve as the basis for the diversity and unity of spiritual gifts within the church. This diversity promotes the interdependence of the body of Christ, rather than independence or interchangeability of its members (1 Cor. 12:12-30).

Please feel free to take this fun test on spiritual gifts, and share your results with and the Leadership Team.

Creative Ministry

In Exodus 28:2, God commands those who are “filled with a spirit of skill” to make the priestly garments “for glory and for beauty.” This is because God Himself is beautiful (Ps. 27:4) and His heavenly sanctuary is characterized by “beauty” (Ps. 96:6). Every believer is to reflect God’s beauty by cultivating inward beauty through faith and obedience (1 Pet. 3:4; Titus 2:10; Eph. 5:27), but some believers are gifted with the skill to point people toward God’s beauty by creating things that are outwardly beautiful. Creative Team is for those who are gifted in art, graphic design, photography, and videography to showcase the beauty of God in the church’s various activities and communications.

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Hospitality Ministry

Hospitality is such an important character trait for the believer that it is a requirement for elders (Titus 1:8). Christians should not be reclusive or withdrawn. We must never be too busy to welcome and invite people to our dinner tables and homes. Of course, this involves being hospitable to fellow believers and meeting their material needs (1 Pet. 4:9; Rom. 12:13). Hospitality was, and remains, a critical part of Christian missions. If it weren’t for the hospitality of people, Jesus would not have been able to travel around to proclaim the gospel.

But hospitality goes beyond our care for one another. The Greek word for “hospitable” literally means “loving the stranger.” That means hospitality has a missional orientation. Our orientation toward outsiders (i.e. unbelievers; 1 Cor. 14:13-25; 1 Tim. 3:7) must not be one of apprehension or antagonism, but of love. Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” The Hospitality Team is made up of people who are gifted in giving and serving, who work together to provide a warm, loving environment for our guests and visitors.

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Music Ministry

Our Creator Himself “exult[s] over [us] with loud singing” (Zeph. 3:17), so it is no surprise that the entire cosmos, from the beginning of creation (Job 38:7) to the culmination of the new creation (Rev. 5:6-10), sings. Throughout Scripture, music mediates spiritual experiences (2 Kings 3:14-15; 1 Sam. 16:23), and as Theologian Jonathan Edwards writes, “the duty of singing praises to God, seems to be appointed wholly to excite and express religious affections. No other reason can be assigned, why we should express ourselves to God in verse, rather than in prose, and do it with music, but only, that such is our nature and frame, that these things have a tendency to move our affections” (Religious Affections, 115). The importance of music is such that, the longest book of the Bible is a collection of songs, complete with musical notations—music inscribed ineffably in God’s eternal, infallible Word (Isa. 40:8).

It is not surprising, then, that Scripture commands God’s people to worship in song. Colossians 3:16-17 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” The Music Team exists so that those who are gifted musically (1 Chron. 25:7; Ps. 33:3) may lead the church in singing during corporate worship. 

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Prophetic Ministry

1 Corinthians 14:1 says, “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.” “Spiritual gifts” are not some extra things that a Christian may take or leave. Scripture commands us not only to “desire” it, but to “earnestly desire” it. And of these spiritual gifts, prophecy is commended to us as a particularly desirable gift for its value in building up the church. The Prophecy Team is for those who have received the revelatory gifts of prophecy, tongues, and/or the interpretation of tongues. We pray regularly for one another and for the church, and when God speaks to us, we test the revelation to ensure that it was from the Lord (1 John 4:1-6) and then share it with the church during corporate worship for the encouragement and comfort of the church (1 Cor. 14:2-3).

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During His ministry, Jesus did not consider children who were coming to Him a nuisance as His disciples did. Instead, He spent time with them and ministered to them (Mark 10:13-16). As the people of God, we want to follow Christ’s example and obey the command to “teach [the words of God] diligently to [our] children” so that they might “love the LORD [their] God with all [their] heart and with all [their] soul and with all [their] strength” (Deut. 6:4-7). Childhood is such a formative period that some missionaries now speak of the “4/14 Window,” referring to the unique opportunity of ministering to children between the ages of 4 and 14. Children’s ministry Team is a particularly good fit for those who have gifts of teaching, shepherding, and serving. If you’re unsure that you have those gifts, but simply enjoy spending time with children, there are ways you could serve our little ones also.

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