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A Vision for Spiritual Gifts

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Sermon October 30, 2011
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  Page 1 of  10 SLIDELast month six of us attended Leadership Institute at Church of the Resurrection inKansas City. It was a church conference. While we were there Jennifer Huehns, PauletteZvorak, and Val Owens attended a seminar on Spiritual Gifts. They got excited about starting aSpiritual Gifts ministry here at Chain of Lakes Church.When I saw their excitement I decided to have us focus on Spiritual Gifts. For the nextmonth we’re going to look at Spiritual Gifts. We’ll do it in three ways. First, starting today I’msharing a three week series on Spiritual Gifts. This is our stewardship drive sermon series thisyear. Normally in a stewardship drive sermon series the preacher talks about finances. We willtalk about finances, but we’re talk more about Spiritual Gifts, how we discover and share thegifts that God has given us. The second focus is a small group on Spiritual gifts I’m leading thatis starting this Wednesday. We’ll use a curriculum called “Serving from the Heart” that Churchof the Resurrection developed. In the small group we’ll go more in depth into an understandingof Spiritual Gifts. The third focus will be a congregational retreat we’ll have a week fromSaturday. At the Retreat we’ll learn how to develop a system of ministry based on spiritual giftsand the placement of people into ministry based on gifts. Judy Urban is a trained consultant onspiritual gifts. She’ll lead us in this retreat.I believe this focus on spiritual gifts could be a defining moment for our newcongregation. We’re getting very close to receiving a new piece of property for our ministry.Securing that property will be a defining moment for the future of Chain of Lakes Church. I believe that this focus on spiritual gifts can have just as much an impact on our future as this new piece of property. This focus could establish a culture in our congregation where we help peopleidentify their spiritual gifts and then equip them to use them in the church and in the world.  Page 2 of  10 With that introduction let me invite you to get out this brochure that is in the bulletin. Inthis bulletin is a place to take notes. I believe that God might say something to you today in thissermon that you’ll want to write down. You have a daily devotion. This week I chose a couplestories on Spiritual Gifts and a couple stories of God calling people based on gifts. God wasvery particular about the people who were chosen to do God’s work. That choice was based onspiritual gifts. Finally you have a prayer sheet. Please pray through this list daily. My Dad is onthis prayer list. It means a lot to me that all of you are praying for him daily. It means a lot toeach person who submitted a prayer request that you’re praying for that person.I’ve talked before about the idea of the Inspirational Intersection. The InspirationalIntersection is a process of discovery where we find what God wants us to do and be and whatwe want to do and be. At this intersection is a place of wonderful energy and excitement and joy. No one has to motivate us when we discover our Inspirational Intersection. When we are atthis place we are directed by something that goes far beyond ourselves. We are excited aboutwhat we are doing; we are clear about who we are; we are becoming the complete person thatGod wants us to be.A first step for discovering our Inspirational Intersection is to know and articulate our spiritual gifts.What is a spiritual gift?SLIDE“Spiritual gifts are special (divine) abilities given to every Christian, by the grace of God,through the Holy Spirit, to be used to serve and strengthen one another, and to glorify God.”Everyone receives Spiritual Gifts. Just by coming into the world, by being human, we have beengifted by God. These gifts are freely given by God to us. Even if we don’t know that we havethem they’re part of us.  Page 3 of  10 There are three places in the Bible where spiritual gifts are mentioned. They are all in theletter section of the New Testament. Today we heard a passage from 1 Corinthians where theapostle Paul shared one listing of spiritual gifts. Paul identified the following as Spiritual GiftsSLIDEWisdomKnowledgeFaithHealingMiraculous powersProphecyDiscernmentSpeaking in tonguesInterpretation of tonguesEvery one of us here has at least one of these gifts. Today when we take a SpiritualGifts inventory each of us will identify three of our Spiritual Gifts.When we use our Spiritual Gifts we experience a deep sense of joy.The English word gift is translated from the Greek word that is transliterated as charisma. A person who has charisma has a personality that draws us in. When we use our gifts we’resharing our own charisma.There are other Greek words that are similar to charismaSLIDECharisma—giftCharis—graceChara—joyEucharist—thanksgiving.We might have come across the word “Eucharist” before. Some traditions called Communionthe eucharist.We can see the similarities. Char is a connection to all these words. When we use our gifts we experience grace, joy, and thanksgiving. When we use our gifts we share a beauty withthe world.  Page 4 of  10 On the converse, when we don’t use our gifts life is just a lot harder.Let me give an example. There technically is no spiritual gift called handyman. That is atalent, and I’ll share later in this series the difference between a spiritual gift and a talent. I knowthat I do not have the talent of being a handyman. I’ve always shared that if you see me walkingaround the office with a hammer it’s time to call the prayer chain. This past Monday night Amyand I started to clear off our deck for winter. We have a big table and four blue, deck chairs, andwe started moving them to the garage. It’s not a big task and it’s not a hard task—but I don’thave talents at this task. I started moving the chairs. I took one chair from the deck and carriedit to the garage. Then I carried a second chair. I figured the chairs would stack. But I couldn’tfigure out how to stack the chairs. So I put the second chair next to the first one. Then I carriedthe third chair and the fourth chair. By the time I had the fourth chair I was running out of roomin the garage to put the chairs. I walked away and then came back about five minutes later.There was Amy—in the garage—standing next to the four chairs—which were all stacked. Shelooked at me and said, “Really.” I stuttered back, “but”. She said “but what?” I shook my headand walked away.SLIDEYou might say, “it’s not that hard to stack chairs.” I would say, “no it’s not that hard.” Idon’t have the gifts at this. I’m not a natural at handyman tasks. God didn’t design me that way.God designed me with other gifts.Too often in the church people are not using their gifts. They’re not using their gifts tohelp the community. Instead of using gifts people have been put into a slot.In the church we have what I call a recruitment model. The recruitment model is whenwe identify tasks and then start recruiting people to do those tasks. Often the criteria we use in
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