My daughter, Kaylee, had a lock-in with her youth group last night. For those of you without youth, what that means, in a nutshell, everyone meets at the church then stay up all night long, playing games or eating or fellowshipping or whatever. I was listening to a mom talk to some youth and the youth leader on Thursday night about how much fun she’d had at the last lock in, and it crossed my mind that participating in a lock in would not be any fun to me. At. All.
While I was listening to this parent, I was cleaning up the kitchen from having fed the youth beef stew, homemade whole wheat rolls, and a homemade whole wheat chocolate chip cookie that I decorated for Pastor Appreciation month.
I’ve been pondering that for a couple of days.
God is so amazing.
He has supplied each of us with a gift that is ours and ours alone. Our youth minister is AMAZING. He is so good with the kids. Even my Jeb, who goes to absolutely no one but me or Gregg or Kaylee, cries if he doesn’t immediately pick him up and play with him. His wife is just as skilled with the kids. I love that they are our youth leaders and pray for them every day. Because of them, the youth ministry at our church is booming, and the kids are never at a lack for something to do. They impress me constantly with their energy, talent, and dedication.
And I am so glad that I don’t have their job.
I’d rather plan a regional pastors’ conference complete with Friday night welcome party and ending with Sunday after services lunch and everything in between than plan and participate in a youth shut in.
But God hasn’t gifted me with working with youth and children. He’s gifted me with the ability to cook, to plan and schedule events, to organize teams of people. That is where I thrive, where I get the most out of serving Him.
It reminded me of a spiritual gift test I took one time, and I went on an internet search this morning and found it. (While doing my search for this survey, I came across this book: Discover Your Spiritual Gifts by C. Peter Wagner. The reviews on the website are very good, though I haven’t personally read it.)
When I took this survey, I had no question as to where my spiritual talent lies. My place is in the kitchen and always has been. But it’s not so clear for everyone as it was for me. Some people struggle with knowing just where God intends for them to be.
If your service in your church isn’t giving you immense satisfaction, take a moment and take this survey and see if you are serving where you should be. I re-took it this morning and got a very similar result to what I got when I first took it years ago:
The results of your Spiritual Gifts Inventory indicate that your number one dominant gift is SERVING! The Greek word “Diakonia” means to do service. In Acts 6:1 the word is interpreted “ministration.” Our word deacon comes from the same Greek word. Actually the gift of serving combines helps and ministering. The word “helps” is used in 1 Corinthians 12:28 and “ministering” in Romans 12:7. As a server you have the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by rendering practical help in both physical and spiritual matters. You enjoy meeting the practical needs of your fellow Christians and the church.
The gift of serving is not the gift God gives you when you cannot do anything else. It is spiritual in nature and as important as any gift in the church. Never think it is anything less; it only becomes less if you do not use it as God intended.
Your dominant gifts are Serving, Administration
As a server you are the person who is willing to do a million and one necessary tasks in the church. You probably do not realize that your love for the Lord is showing every time the doors of the church are open, especially if you oiled the hinges last week so they don’t squeak any more. You are happy working behind the scenes. You are ambitious, often involved in a variety of activities, and enjoy manual projects. You are loyal, sincere, tolerant, faithful, and devoted. Most people find you easy going, likable, congenial, and inoffensive. You can listen to others without being critical. You do not like to be in the spotlight and prefer not to express yourself publicly.
You are quick to respond to needs and impressed with the need to respond when exhorted to serve. Because of this, you find it difficult to say no. You like to support a good leader. Some consider you a workaholic. You tend to emphasize practical needs over spiritual needs.
Be careful that you complete what you start and do not neglect the needs of your own family by trying to meet so many needs in the church or in others’ homes. Be willing to read and follow directions in the beginning–not just when all else fails. Because of your quick response, some people think you jump in too fast. Others think you neglect spiritual needs.
Beware of Satan’s attack on your gift. He can cause pride because of the work you do. He may cause you to feel insignificant or cause you to lack concern for people or for spiritual growth. Impatience and lack of knowledge cause poor-quality workmanship.
HOW CAN YOU USE YOUR GIFT? Your gift may put you into action. You may serve as manager of maintenance and grounds. You can do may tasks such as paint the walls, pick up trash, sort hymnals, clean the baptistry, keep the nurseryÐor launder nursery bedding, cook meals, paint signs, drive the bus, help with the choir, run errands, serve as an audio-video worker, help with recordkeeping, be the church librarian, act as a greeter or an usher, serve as a stage hand in drama productions or as a photographer. You may want to help in special ministries such as migrant or community help (with home repairs or meal-on-wheels for the needy and elderly), as a hospitality worker for newcomers, or as an instrumentalist. You may also enjoy beautifying the church ground with flower gardens and landscaping. The list goes on.
I’d like to encourage you to take this survey today. Then pray over the results and see where God takes you. There is NOTHING more fulfilling that knowing what what you are in God’s will in your service to Him.
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