Summary: It is God’s plan that everybody get involved in the work of the church by contributing their spiritual gifts.
The Church Needs You!
The Seattle Central Korean SDA Church is a fine church. And I believe that it deserves the best. I believe that you deserve the best. I want you to help me out this morning. Help me to understand what the perfect youth pastor should look like?
The perfect youth pastor should:
Be holy, yet at the same time be funny and entertaining, and be everybody’s buddy.
Must be very social, and able to make friends with everybody.
Must preach sermons that aren’t too long, and aren’t too short. Not too boring, but not too funny.
Must be able to dress very well.
Must sing well and know how to play the guitar.
Must be willing to give rides to everybody.
Have the answer to everybody’s spiritual problem.
Must know the Bible like a scholar.
Have great leadership abilities, and administrative abilities.
Must be available to take phone calls at any time of the day or night.
Must work seven days a week. Is not entitled to vacations.
Should never raise his voice and have the patience of a saint.
Should have the wisdom of Solomon, the courage of David, and the endurance of Moses.
Alright, that was fun. I’m going to shift gears at this time and go in a completely different direction. Later I will return to this.
I want to share with you some documented remarks of what young people say about Adventism.
“Dull, and it gets in the way.”
“It’s just a bunch of do’s and don’ts.”
“I don’t have any feelings toward it.”
“No fun on Saturdays until the sun is down.”
“A ritual-type thing. Emotional ups and downs.”
Do these remarks resonate with you? Do you enjoy church? After one Sabbath is over, do you know what I look forward to? I look forward to the next Sabbath! I love coming to church on Sabbath! Do you love coming to church on Sabbaths! I know I’m not the only one. There are others out there who look forward to it too. For those of you who think church is dull, and who have no feelings for it, I’m going to tell you how church can become exciting for you too. Are you interested in knowing?
Christian A. Schwarz and his team from the Institute for Church Development in Germany analyzed responses from 4.2 million people, from more than 1,000 churches in 32 countries.
They looked at big churches. They looked at small churches. They looked at healthy churches and they looked at unhealthy churches.
They want to know what the common denominators were of healthy churches.
Now today, I don’t want to go into what makes a church healthy. But I want to share with you something interesting that they discovered. Christian A. Schwarz and his team discovered the one factor that made the biggest difference when it came to the contentedness of Christians. They discovered the one thing that made Christians more happy than anything else.
In his book Natural Church Development he writes:
“An interesting corollary result of our research was the discovery that probably no factor influences the contentedness of Christians more than whether they are utilizing their gifts or not.”
What makes Christians more happy than any other factor? It is whether they are using their gifts. People who understand what their gifts are, and who are using their gifts are the happiest Christians.
Do you know what kind of gift God has given to every member in the church?
He has given us spiritual gifts. That makes sense! God has given to every member of the church a spiritual gift. Don’t forget what I read to you earlier. People who use their spiritual gifts are the most contented Christians. Every one of you who have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior has a spiritual gift. Do you know what that gift is? Do you want to discover what that gift is?
Today, I just want to give you an introduction to what spiritual gifts are about!
Let’s read about spiritual gifts. Let’s turn to 1 Corinthians 12. Now before we read, let’s set the context.
The Corinthian church was beset with many problems and difficulties. The church was filled with division, arguments, lawsuits, and immorality. On top of that, there was confusion about marriage, food sacrificed to idols, worship, the Lord’s Supper, the Resurrection, giving, and spiritual gifts. In particular, some people thought they were more important than others because they had some pretty spectacular gifts. When Paul wrote this letter to the church he specifically addressed these issues.
(1) Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:
How many of you already have an understanding about spiritual gifts? Okay, Paul is speaking to us.