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Summary: One of the least developed secrets of a thriving healthy church is that if the WHOLE church recognizes and uses their gifts, it will have great impact! God wants to use us, and has specifically designed us to be used for his glory! Part of a series base

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CHRISTMAS FOR EVERYBODY, ALL YEAR LONG!

--Love, God

1 Peter 4:10-11

(This was for “Family Sunday” at our church and the sermon, though part of an ongoing series on growing a healthy church, was designed more for the many young children that would be in attendance.)

“The last time we had family Sunday, each of you had a seed and we talked about how God makes those seeds grow into all kinds of plants, depending on the kind of seed they are. We also talked about how the church is kind of like a seed: God will make it grow, but like all plants, there are things we can do to make it healthy, or things that will make it sick.” (I used a large painted poster, done by one of our youth, showing a tree with 8 roots feeding it. The roots correspond to the “8 Quality Characteristics” of a healthy church, as found in “Natural Church Development” by Christian Schwarz.)

Now, for you children that are part of our “KidMo” Sunday School program, you know that after each lesson you get questions for your team competition. So, here is your question: (which side of the church will answer correctly?!)

What makes a church grow?

A. Lots and Lots of Rain

B. A really Large Llama name Burt

C. Yoghurt

D. God

YES!! You all did good (so I hand out “hugs” to each person . . . we are a smaller church. Not recommended for mega churches . . . )

But there are also things that we can do to help God’s church be healthy. Let’s take a look at 1 Peter 4:10-11 and see one thing (of many) that we CAN do!

10 God’s gifts of grace come in many forms. Each of you has received a gift in order to serve others. You should use it faithfully. 11 If you speak, you should do it like one speaking God’s very words. If you serve, you should do it with the strength God provides. Then in all things God will be praised through Jesus Christ.

Give him the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

What is this scripture about? “Gifts!” “Grace” (itself a gift) USE them! For others!

So,

Which of these things can we do to help serve God?

A. Feed everybody seaweed and mustard

B. Go to bed at 5:26 p.m.

C. Use the gifts God gave us to help people

D. Stand on our head and blow our nose

BIG IDEA: When we use God’s gifts to serve others. . . we help God’s church!

1. God gives gifts to his people (COOL, what’s mine?)

10 God’s gifts of grace come in many forms. Each of you has received a gift

Now, the best gift we get is absolutely Jesus!

but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 6:23)

And we not only get him, but we can share him with others.

Now, Some gifts, God packs in our suitcases when we are born.

13 For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

OBJECT: Get a suitcase (or three . . . ) and use it to show things God gives us. (crayons/artistic talent, writing tablet—gift for communication, Cowboy hat—adventuresome, confident and able to lead others, etc. These or similar ideas I got from Max Lucado’s great little book: “Cure for the Common Life.”)


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