The Church isn’t a building or a program; it’s people. And surprisingly enough, it’s primarily run by volunteers. God gives us gifts, and we can use them in great ways, especially to serve others both inside and outside the church. How will you use the gifts God’s given you to get involved?
Work through the following Scriptures and questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning!
1. If you could choose to have any superpower, which one would you choose?
2. The past few weeks, we’ve seen examples of people working together to make a difference through Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Describe a time in your life when you’ve witnessed or taken part in such a team effort, facing problems big or seemingly small.
3. This week we talked about reaching our full potential by “jumping into the pool” of volunteer opportunities at Gateway. Have you jumped into the pool? If not, what’s holding you back? If you have, what has your experience been like?
4. Think of a time you’ve thought “somebody ought to do something about that.” Taking into account your gifts, have you ever felt prompted that that “someone” should be you? If so, describe that experience. If not, what might be keeping you from considering yourself in times like those.
5. Read 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. Why do you think the diversity of gifts is so important to the Church? Why should we not be envious of the gifts of others?
6. Read Romans 12:4-8. Think through these Scriptures. Have you discovered your spiritual gifts? If not, pray that God will help you discover them in the coming weeks. Then pray and make a plan for how you could best use those gifts to get involved in the church. If you have already identified your spiritual gifts, keep a journal this week of opportunities you’ve had to use them, and thank God for the opportunity to impact the lives of others.
1 Corinthians 12:1-11 – Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this. You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
Romans 12:4-8 – Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
If you’ve never taken a spiritual gifts test, taking such an assessment would be a great way to dive deeper this week. Go to gatewaychurch.com/spiritual-gifts-assessment to take the test. Another way some people like to find out more about their gifts is to have a close loved one fill out the assessment for them, too. It’s often enlightening to have someone who knows you well point out strengths in you that you may not be aware of yourself.
Additionally, as you’re beginning to apply this week’s message and move to get involved, dig deeper by working through the “Spiritual Gifts” outcome on Gateway’s Spiritual Growth Path. Here’s an excerpt:
…By working together, we re-present Christ to each other and to the broken world that surrounds us.We each have a part to play, and those who follow Christ will seek these gifts from God, so they can maximize their impact in a world that desperately needs healing and reconciliation…