FoundationsForGrowing

Can I Get Some Service Please: Part II

by Joanna Pierce on August 11, 2016

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:6–8, KJV).

Last week, we learned how Jesus had the power to become more than what He was, but instead He chose to become less—He became a servant. If we are to be a servant in God’s kingdom we need to follow Jesus’ example, have the right motives, and allow servanthood to be a part of our everyday walk with the Lord.

Two Ways to Serve in God’s Kingdom

There are two ways to serve in God’s kingdom: 1) exercise our gifts and 2) filling gaps. Working for God may be in using our talents, abilities, and passions, but it also may be about filling in the gaps because work just needs to be done!

Exercise Our Gifts

God has placed abilities in each of our lives to fulfill a work in His kingdom. These abilities can come in the form of Spiritual Gifts, and other ways the Lord chooses to gift us. Once we identify our gifts, there are three places God wants us to use our gifts.

Three Places God Wants Us to Use Our Gifts

God wants everyone to use their gifts in an ongoing ministry. This is a ministry we have in the church that we work in on a regular basis. But, there is other work to be done within the church, so we should use our gifts to help with short-term projects. We might find ourselves lending our hand to VBS, Food Bank, or other areas we don’t normally spend a majority of our time. Lastly, we need to help in spontaneous situations. Our giftings come to help us help with the day-by-day work, making our ministry a lifestyle we live instead of a role to play, or a position to fill.

Spiritual Gifts

Understanding how we are gifted will help us become more effective in God’s kingdom. If we don’t understand our giftings, we can get frustrated with working in a ministry where we’re not gifted. Everyone will always have a primary place to serve and a secondary place to serve. The secondary places we serve are ways we help fill gaps in the church with our giftings.

Ministry is determined by several factors (I Corinthians 12:4–7), but God has put something in each of us to benefit His kingdom. We should exercise the SHAPE of our ministry.

SHAPE

S—Spiritual Gifts

Spiritual Gifts are not natural talents, or something we develop. But, God will develop certain gifts in us through the Holy Spirit inside of us—it’s supernatural workings in our life! Everyone is blessed with a particular Spiritual Gift that God has ordained (I Corinthians 12:7), and we might operate in one or more of the Spiritual Gifts listed in Scripture.

H—Heart

We have gifts in our life that are tied to passions God has instilled in our hearts. We can determine what we love to do or have a passion to do, and fulfill that ministry in God’s kingdom (Revelation 17:17). We could have a burden for orphans, young children, missions, etc. God will help us find ways to work in a ministry that helps us express this passion.

A—Abilities

God has also blessed each of us with the ability to do something. God can anoint us with the wisdom and/or skill to be able to do something in His kingdom that no one else knows how to do (Exodus 31:5–5). Our abilities can also be vocational skills that we can use to help the kingdom.

P—Personality

Our personality will map over into the different places of service in God’s kingdom. An introvert will not be outgoing and may not be best suited for a ministry in church greeting or a ministry that’s in the public eye of the church. But, God knows our spirit (I Corinthians 2:11) and will help us find the best fit in ministry that matches our temperament.

E—Experiences

We should examine our experiences and see how we’ve been shaped for ministry. We should look at our spiritual experiences. If we’re a babe in Christ, we may not be ready to work in a Sunday School ministry (Hebrews 5:12–14), but if we’re more seasoned, we can teach others God’s Word. We should look at our painful experiences. The trials and tribulations we’ve experienced in life will help us help others (II Corinthians 1:4). We should look at our educational experiences and hold fast to what we’ve learned (Proverbs 4:13). Lastly, we should look at overall ministry experiences. The roles we’ve played, placed we’ve worked, and jobs we’ve had in the church will help us. What we’re doing now for God’s kingdom may be shaping us for a ministry in the future.

God uses all of these factors to SHAPE us to serve. Our SHAPE will help us exercise our gifts but also to fill gaps in God’s kingdom. We must remember that service is not always about finding a way to always work in our giftings—we must also fill gaps. If God reveals a work to us, it’s most likely because God has given us the ability to meet it. Let Christ’s mind be in us today (Philippians 2:5). Let’s follow after His footsteps and serve!

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on August 10, 2016