I’m convinced that the spiritual gifts we’ve been given are meant to be used beyond the church. After all, the call to be a part of the body of Christ is a call to be a “missional people.”
Our diverse gifts
How exactly are we to be a missional people? The Holy Spirit unites all believers as a body and empowers us on mission. We all bring something different to the table, yet together we should function in harmony: “We, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another” (Romans 12:5).
The Lord has uniquely blessed each of us with certain gifts and skill sets. These gifts are useful to us as members of the body of Christ as we go forward in mission together. Our gifts are diverse, but God unifies them for the same purpose (1 Corinthians 12:4-7). Everyone’s different gifts complement each other and work together for the common good to further God’s kingdom here on earth.
The call to be a part of the body of Christ is a call to be a “missional people.”
Being a part of the body of Christ means discerning what your spiritual gifts are and using your God-given talents as you feel called to into mission.
My spiritual gift: service
Here’s how I’ve exercised my spiritual gifts outside the church building: One of the spiritual gifts God has given me is the gift of service. In my case, that service plays out in the stewardship of creation. I feel particularly called to this part of our mission as Christians.
In my occupation as a rangeland agrologist, I work on a collaborative stewardship program for native grassland species at risk. I make grazing recommendations to ranchers and other landowners that improve the health of native rangelands and the quality of habitat for many grassland creatures.
I am fortunate that I can serve God as a steward of creation in my career, and I’ve also taken on the role of a “creation care advocate” for Canadian churches within my denomination, the Reformed Church in America.
Your spiritual gifts: TBD
How do you determine how God has gifted you? Ask yourself these questions:
- What things am I drawn to?
- What do I have a knack for?
- What activities stir my heart when I’m doing them?
Determining where your passions and strengths intersect is a good start. If you recognize gifts in another follower of Christ, tell them! This can be a great moment of affirmation in that person’s life. Similarly, ask people who know you well what gifts they see in you. And, of course, pray. Ask God to show you how you can use the gifts he has given you in service of the kingdom in your neighborhood, community, or city.