I know one of my gifts— service (Rom 12:7). I enjoy helping. (However, I dislike being in charge. I’d rather someone else made all the decisions; besides, I get a big head when I’m in charge. But that’s not what I want to discuss here).
One thing that gets under my skin is why more people don’t serve in church, and I was reminded of this last night as I sent an email to my Pastor’s wife. Some guests had found our church on the Internet (I designed and maintain the church website), and had asked her to compliment whoever was behind the site. Honestly, I’m a little tired of all the compliments, partly because I know that the site isn’t all that, and partly because I’d wish there was someone else to share the praise with. No, I don’t expect that everyone know how to code HTML and CSS. But I have asked for others to contribute- photos, little segments of text. I did receive some photos (last year), and that was it. Alas, my best contributors got married— to each other— and moved to England.
One of the reasons we are called to live in Christian community is so that we can serve one another. God gives us abilities (Ex 28:3), and expects us to develop them and use them for His glory in building up His people. But so may are content to sit back and watch others do the work, and even commend them for it. If only I had a photo contributed for every time someone complimented me on the church website…
Why are Christians so content in doing nothing? One reason was discussed on a recent episode of The Boundless Show— the “not my gift” excuse. A quote from that roundtable:
Isn’t it a luxury to be able to operate in your gifts? Meaning it’s only when everything is getting done that you’re in the luxury of getting people lined up with what they’re really gifted for… For instance, a church that’s gotta have help in getting people parked. How many people have really done the assessment and identified that “parking lot attendant” is their spiritual gift?
Which brings up another issue— that of pride. I suffer from this too, so I shan’t throw stones in my glass house. It serves to remember what Jesus said when James and John came to Him with their (outrageous) request: whoever wants to be first must be slave of all ( Mark 10:44).
Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve. Since we are to grow more and more like Christ, we should get with His program, and use our abilities to glorify Him. And those like me who feel overwhelmed; that we’ve been abandoned should quit griping and thank our Lord for the gifts He has given and the opportunity to exercise them.