Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-16 NLT
Gifts. That’s something that I was familiar with as a child growing up. I wasn’t spoiled, but compliments from your neighbors were easy to come by in a small town. Growing up in little Boothbay Harbor, Maine, there wasn’t a lot of competition, and I was an overachiever. I was in the school play, took piano lessons, and was at the top of my class. It wasn’t until college that I became the little fish in the big pond. There were so many smart, motivated, innovative people just like me, and I didn’t feel as if I could measure up to them now that I was just one among many.
After graduation, the feeling that I was worthless, with nothing to much to offer didn’t improve much, especially after failing to acquire a job at any of the schools I interviewed at to teach Latin in the DMV area. In my lowest low, luckily, I reached out to God, and he pulled me out of a very dark place, and showed me that I was indeed not worthless, and had much to offer.
Now, I want to reiterate some of the things Pastor Jeff had to share with us on Sunday, since I completely understand how easy it is to put yourself down and tell yourself that you’re no good at anything. But can I just ask you to disagree with your opinion of yourself? Jesus disagrees with that voice inside your head, and your reflection. He knows that you are worthwhile as opposed to worthless, you have great potential, and that you are wanted.
What are we wanted for? Growth, both personally, and with the church, and Pastor Jeff outlined five pillars for us to follow if we want to grow both as Christians and help the church develop to its potential.
Show up, be expectant, be early, and be engaged. The first step to success in any area is committing the time to anything you want to do.
Serve. Accept what you’re good at, and use it for good in the church.
Invest. Investing gives you ownership. Owners care about their church and their community.
Invite. Live a life of invitation, and make more connections, both in church and outside of it!
Get Small. You cannot grow unless you are intimately known by God and others. I’ll get back to this point later in the article.
Also remember that while the major players and pastor of the church are excited to help the church grow, we need help from everyone and we value each and everyone’s certain gifts. If we want ourselves and the church to reach the highest potential, everyone should pitch in so that they can grow themselves and our church the way God wants us to. As pastor Jeff has said, the job of the apostles, prophets,evangelists, pastors, teachers is to teach the stuff. The job of the church and its members, so to speak, is to do the stuff. The church needs a lot of things, so most likely your gifts will fit right into the church’s needs, but if you need to stretch your personality to fit the needs of the church, that’s totally ok. In fact, that’s growth! Stretching yourself a little is a good thing and it most often means stretching yourself to be more like Jesus.
As a note about the last pillar, community groups are opening soon! Community groups are the absolute best way to get to know the people at Skyline and explore God’s word in a comfortable, supportive setting, sometimes even with some tasty food. Plus, my fiancee is a group co-leader, and he’s awesome, as readers of this blog know. So sign up soon, and get connected!
Kahla Vise is a native Mainer, and graduated with a BA from Bowdoin College. Currently she is a graduate student in Teaching English as a Second Language at American university. She loves animals, chocolate, and anything to do with the Ancient Romans. She also is looking forward to growing her relationship with God.