Summary: Everyone has something to offer
If you have ever been around little kids enough it isn’t long before you sense this feeling of invincibility, this idea that they can do anything. Yea, sometimes kids are shy and it takes time to come out but eventually you see it. The late founder of an organization called Youth Specialties, Mike Yaconelli, talked about this in a message of his once. He said, “You can see this just by asking questions to a kindergarten class.” You ask them, how many of you guys can sing? Almost all the hands go up. What can you sing? ANYTHING! What if you don’t know the words? We’ll make ‘em up! Ask them how many of you can draw? Again, almost all the hands go up. What can you draw? ANYTHING! How about a dinosaur, riding a skateboard, down the Hover Dam? YES, how big do you want it! Ask how many can dance? Again, hands everywhere. What music can you dance to? ANY!!! Can you act in plays? YES! Can you play a musical instrument? YES! YES! YES, is the continual answer. Kids have this sense, that they can do anything. Yaconelli says, “They are confident in spirit, infinite in resources, eager to learn. Everything is still possible.” Somehow, as we grow up though we lose this. If I asked you in this room these same questions, there would probably be a handful of people raise their hands for each group. The ones who do raise their hands will probably have qualifications to what they can do. “Well, um, I only sing in the shower,” “I only draw horses”, or “I only dance rock and roll.” We somehow lose the sense that we can do anything. We lose the sense that we are gifted creations of God.
Today, I want talk about what our role is in the church and I want to look at some common responses to the issue of being gifted individuals. I think there are three myths that we normally think and some of you probably thought these things as you were looking in the bulletin and saw the sermon title before the service.
• I think one of the common thoughts is that, “I’m not good enough to be used by the church!”
I think this was the thought that running through Moses’ mind when God called him. He had all these excuses. “What if they don’t believe me?” What if they don’t listen?” “What if I say something stupid?” As God answered each one, Moses finally just blurted out, “Please send someone else.” Moses didn’t have confidence in himself; he felt that he was not suited for the job. His first response was, “Who am I, that I should go?”
I think we ask that same question all the time. Who am I, that I should serve the church? Who am I, that I should sing? Who am I, that I should usher? Who am I, that I should read scripture at youth group? We continually say, “I am not worthy. I sin too much. I make mistakes. I’m too young or old. I am a broken person.” I think what we fail to remember is that this is exactly the kind of person, regardless of whether we are 12 or 80, male or female, that God calls to himself. People, who can admit that we can’t do it by ourselves, people who have to depend on God to accomplish something. I think the best way God shows this is by the people that God uses throughout the Bible to accomplish some of the greatest Christian successes.
Look at Moses – He was a murderer. David was an adulterer as well as a murderer. Paul killed Christians for a living. Peter and Andrew, two of the disciples were just ordinary everyday fishermen. Noah was a drunk. Jacob was a liar. Matthew was a tax collector, one of the most hated people groups of the first century. God is a God of love and forgiveness. He doesn’t look for “perfect” people to do his work but only for people who are willing and wanting to please God. People who are willing to humble themselves before God and give themselves to Him.
• I think a second common thought is, “My gifts don’t fit in the church!”
The times that people have these thoughts are when they know they are good at something but there doesn’t seem to be a place for it in the church or they just can’t see how it would be useful. I think, sometimes the church, as a whole, makes it seem like there is a small list of ways to serve and that’s it. So, people will look at that list and if they don’t feel like they could do any of those things then there is no place for them to serve. I think a good way to look at this is to look at a baseball game.