Using Our Gifts

Christian women sorted out vegetables in front of a church.
Christian women sorted out vegetables in front of a church.
By George Veith November 16th, 2018

Recently, as I was entering a side entrance of the church here in NE China, I noticed a group of church sisters sitting outside in their caps and aprons sorting and trimming a large pile of root vegetables. These women were part of the group at the church that are in charge of cooking for the church staff that often eats meals in the church cafeteria in the basement of the church. Seeing them hard at work, talking and laughing, was again a reminder to me that every gift of service and ministry in the church is important and should be affirmed.

We often think of the pastors and elders in the church having the "real" God-given gifts to do the ministry of the church.  Preaching, teaching, and shepherding the flock are necessary.  God's people need to be fed spiritual food. Often it is only the leaders of the church who are thought of highly and sometimes even "put on a pedestal".  Was it not Stephen in the book of Acts who we remember as the church's first martyr who was chosen to be one of the deacons to care for the widows in the church? Who knows, when using his gifts to serve these widows, Stephen may even have spent some time sorting out vegetables!

One of the important theological emphases of the Reformation was that all work was considered Kingdom work and there was no distinction between sacred work and secular work.  All labor has dignity and value.  

The apostle Paul, reminds us that all gifts are necessary if the church is to grow and believers are to be strengthened in their faith.  In Romans 12:6 he says, "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us." Let us therefore use the gifts that we have been given by God to serve His church, be it working with our hands, working with ideas, or working together with other people.  As 1 Corinthians 12:4 says, "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit." May God be glorified through every gift of ministry and service that is offered. 

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