Friday, September 28, 2018

Nothing Doing

For the past few days, we have looked at some of the non-doing gifts of the Spirit, trying to illuminate just what it is that makes these gifts so valuable and why we desperately need them in our world focused on works.

None of this is to at all diminish the doing gifts, but those are fairly straightforward. When someone among us reveals a gift for teaching, we know where to start in using them to glorify the Lord. We put them in the classroom or in front of the small group or in the pulpit. When someone reveals a gift of encouragement, we've got a good starting point here, too. We put them at the bedside, in the alleys, in the darkness. When someone reveals the gift of service or giving, we know that we can come to them with needs. 

But should we sit those with non-doing gifts in our pews and tell them, simply, "Okay, now you just sit here and perceive (mercy and wisdom) for us." Or worse, "Your role in the church is to show up and believe (faith)!" It doesn't make sense, and it doesn't make good use of the gifts that God has given to these persons, gifts that are for His glory and for our edification - all of us, not just the one with the gift. 

So what I hope you've been able to see over the past few days is how the gifts of the non-doers are blessings to us all, how we can all grow deeper in our Christian walk by tapping into them. Because in a world that judges us by what we do and with a faith that becomes increasingly more about Sunday services and programs and whatever else we have to offer (whatever else we're doing as a church), what we all need is the constant presence of those whose gifts aren't tied up in activity. 

We need reminders that we are all human beings, before we are ever human doings

The question remains, to some degree, "how are these gifts best expressed?" How do we best use those persons in our community who have the non-doing gifts, especially when it seems there is so much to do? How do we tap into what they have that we desperately need and put being back on the radar? 

Actually, we harness and express these gifts the same way we ought to be harnessing and expressing all of the spiritual gifts: we start by asking the gifted what they see. What is in their line of sight as needing the touch that they can bring? What do they envision as the best way to reap the value of their gift? 

It's a question we're not asking enough in our churches. We find someone with the gift of teaching, and we plug them into a class structure we're already operating under. We find someone with the gift of giving, and we connect them with a budget line already in place. We find someone with the gift of encouragement, and we push them into our visitation ministry. But what if their gift has given them a vision for something we haven't even thought of yet? 

The truth is that persons of non-doing gifts are actually doing a great deal in our churches. And they are doing so because they have the freedom of determining what they do. We haven't boxed them in to our own understanding of their gift. Often times, they are leading our worship. They are offering our devotionals. They are staffing our welcome center. They are, more than we know, the face and the presence of our Sunday service, even beyond all the doers we've recruited. And they're doing an excellent job of it. 

Sometimes, I wonder what our churches would be like if we gave the same authority to persons of all gifts to determine where they best see themselves serving in our community. What if we let the holy imaginations of the gifted run wild? What if we equipped them to do what God has called them to do through their gift? 

What if we could encourage our doers to be in the same way that we encourage those who be to do?

Perhaps this is the greatest gift of all from all of the non-doing gifts. They remind us what is possible, if only we could just do it. 

No comments:

Post a Comment