Pastor's Blog

Last week I noted a simple truth from Ephesians 4.12 that forms the foundation of how we should think about “ministry” and “church”.

The pastor is not the minister.  The PEOPLE are the ministers.  YOU are a minister.  YOU are in the ministry.

Ministry is service.  When you minister, you serve others.  You do something to bless and benefit other people as they live life.

And you are gifted by God to do so.  Every Christian is.

That’s what Paul says in Ephesians 4.8:  “But grace (a favor, a gift) was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”

Many people think spiritual gifts are miraculous and appear suddenly and unexpectedly.  You become a Christian and *poof* -- you have this sudden magical skill, skill you never had before, that you don’t have to master – it’s just there now, full-blown -- skill that just flows out of you unbidden and enables you to bring blessing to other people without you even trying.

Maybe God does that sometimes.  But I’m more inclined to see God’s sovereign work of gifting as more providential than miraculous.

Most people say that God has given me the gift of teaching.  When I teach, people seem to be able to understand truth and want to respond to it.

It is a gift, but it wasn’t dropped on me suddenly when I converted.  God started putting the pieces of my personality in place when I was a child.  Everything in my life – the parents to whom I was born, the home where we lived, the environment around me, the people that taught me, the experiences I had in school with other kids, the friends I had, the enemies I made, the good things, the bad things – all of it molded me and pushed my life in a certain direction.  All of it is of use in the functioning of the gift for the blessing of others.

It’s not miracle.  It’s providence after providence after providence.

God made me good at certain things.  And he also made me want to become better at those things.  And I received insights along the way to improve my gifts.  I learn something almost every week that strengthens me (or alters my course in a more needful direction).

Do you think the Father in heaven, from whom all good gifts flow, only does this for pastors?  Or does He delight to give gifts to others in the same way?

What do you enjoy?  What has He made you to enjoy? 
What are you good at?  What has He made you good at?
How do you find yourself bringing blessing to other people?  What do others appreciate about you and your input?

Don’t think of these things merely as your strengths.  Think of them as gifts of God that are to be used and honed.

Stop looking for miracles and trust instead how Providence has molded you.

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