Summary: This sermon is going to focus on how to overcome the reasons why Christians choose to ignore their gifting by examining five simple steps to get them to use their spiritual gifts.
The Music of Ministry
Online Sermon: http://www.mckeesfamily.com/?page_id=3567
While most Christians rightly point to a lack of attendees, financial resources or society’s increased immorality as reasons for the decline of church influence; how would one’s perspective change if one were to judge those contained within its own walls? For instance, is it reasonable for a church to expect to be a light unto this world when many of its members do not know of and do not believe that God has given them any spiritual gifts? Will not the church continue to remain on the fringes of society and be perceived as one “voice” amongst many as long as her words remain unaccompanied by the demonstration of the Spirit’s power (1 Corinthians 2:4)? With only one in five people attending church in North America and 65 to 94 percent of teens leaving church because they never established a personal relationship with God, one would think that every single Christian would want to know and use their spiritual gifts to plant seeds of righteousness before these people perish! This sermon is going to focus on how to overcome the reasons why Christians choose to ignore their gifting by examining five simple steps to get them to use their spiritual gifts: overcoming fear by faith, acquiring some passion, be willing to feel some pain, acknowledging one’s limits and working together within the body of Christ.
Step 1: Overcoming Fear Through Faith
The fear of trying something new is scary and keeps many people in a vice that stops them from growing, evolving and progressing in life. Our first experiences are scary because of the unknown elements they contain and the higher probability of failure. Remember how scary it was to ride a bike, go on a date or work at a job for the very first time? If the unknowns of these “firsts” were not scary enough were not our minds also racing with probabilities of being hurt by scraping our knees, being romantically rejected or fired due to poor performance? Overcoming our fears takes courage and commitment! I am 51 years old and I am in the process of learning how to play the guitar. This is a little scary for I have zero musical background and am incapable of singing a single note! My apprehension does not stem just from a “fear of looking bad” but also of wasting many hours on an endeavor that in the end might not be successful. Even though the music theory comes easy for me, the constant misplaced fingers and buzzing of chords only reinforces my fear that I am wasting my time! And yet I press on for I truly want to know if I can learn enough to play beautiful music for my Lord, Saviour and King!
If you think learning to ride a bike, going on a first date or starting a new job was scary, how much more frightening is it to try a role inside of God’s church? I don’t know about you but to be asked to do miracles greater than Jesus did (John 14:12) while wrestling against the spiritual forces of this world (Ephesians 6:12) is a BIG ask especially in light of the testimonies of Christians whom tried to serve and were either unappreciated or downright failed to make any noticeable impact! To overcome the fear of failure one must have faith that giving oneself fully to work of God will not be in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58) because He who is responsible for the harvest (1 Corinthians 3:7) will reap it in His due time! Also, the fear of trying new roles in the church is greatly diminished when one accepts the fact that failure is not a reflection of one’s character but merely that one has not yet found out what one’s spiritual gifts are and the divine role assigned to him/her. As His hands and feet, we are to have faith that any church whose members use their spiritual gifts will have light that shines far beyond their walls!
Step 2: Acquiring Some Passion
One of the primary reasons that today’s churches have so little influence on society is due to her members being carnal and lukewarm! It is nearly impossible to get passionate about serving in God’s kingdom with one or both of one’s feet firmly planted on the broad paths of this world! Apostle Paul tells us that considering Christ’s atoning sacrifice for us we are to no longer to live for ourselves but are to fulfill the role of His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 2:14-21). Should not those who have been bought at a price (1 Corinthians 6:20) be willing to make serving God their top priority or has the Greatest Command to love Him first (Matthew 22:37-40) not penetrated our stone hearts? It is only when the church members see God alone as their portion (Psalms 16:5) that they will begin to have passion to serve! Spiritual gifts are not to be a burden but a great privilege that God would choose to work through such great sinners (Romans 3:23) as us! Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), without passion faith is dead and useless (James 2:17)! So, let us run the race of life not to please ourselves but to use our gifts to serve God and one another!