Creating an enviroment for Spiritual Gifts to be discovered, taught and recognized.
I was reading on my friend Santosh’s Blog a little bit of David Fitch’s view on Spiritual gifts.
Santosh writes “In order to exercise these gifts, church members need to recognize, affirm, test each other’s exercising of the gifts in the arena’s of Christ’s body.”
While I completely agree with the above statement, it raises an interesting question. That question is what about those who come to serve, there are a number of people in the fringes of our churches that may not necessarily be believers. They may not even know that they are gifted, they might benefit from the more structured approach . Funelling works great for them. There are also those who come to serve and so the ability for them to serve where ever needed is important.
I think that the Holy Spirit has the ability to alter one’s giftedness over time as it sees fit. One of the struggles I have had and I think we experience it in our ecclesiology is the separation between learned talents and god-given gifts. The ability to discern these two different blessings (some are bestowed from God and from other believers, the other are learned as a result of circumstance).
An example in my life would be the ability for me to work with technology. While God might use this gift to an extent to bless other people (or just keep me out of trouble), it is not explicitly referred to as a ‘spiritual gift’. On the other hand, the ability to discern right from wrong, or have wisdom or knowledge beyond ones years is most definatly a spiritual gift.
My intention is not to compartmentalize but the word “Gifts” and its colloquial definition with regards to our Christian culture has been stretched to cover secular talents more so than spiritual gifts.
I suppose I have arrived at the following conclusion:
The change that has happened with regards to the term gift, a spiritual gift and a talent (that may not necessarily come from the Almighty) which is causing confusion in our interpretation of the ministry of the Holy Spirit and its manifestation in the Body of Christ.
Gifts, how do we know them? Do we pray for them(Phil 1:19)? Are they given directly from other ministers (Rom 1:11)? Do we simply stumble across them? Do they come with repentance (Acts 2:38)? Do we already have them? (1 Cor 1:7)