Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ministering Through Your Spiritual Gifts by Charles Stanley

I attend and am active in one church but go to a weekly Bible study at another church.  Why?  Because one of my best friends (Dave) leads the study at the other church.  Our pastor, his wife, my wife, and I lead the Young Adult Bible study at our church.  During our vacation Bible school this summer, my pastor taught about the spiritual gifts.  Pastor Jeff gave us a spiritual gifts test.  Mine showed that I have the gifts of knowledge and teaching.  

In the past, I have been a Sunday school teacher, worship leader (including writing our services when we were without a pastor) and on one occasion I delivered the message.  A couple of years ago, I stepped down from teaching due to my mother developing dementia.  She went to live with our Lord over a year ago but I never returned to teaching.  Satan kept reminding me about how I needed the free time.  Pastor Jeff's test reminded me that I needed to return to doing God's work through teaching.  And, in typical God fashion, that leads me to this book.

From the Introduction...

Do you know your innate spiritual gift?  Have you identified the most important gift that God has given to you for the purposes of ministry in His name?

Every person has been given a spiritual gift from God-a gift designed to be used as part of the body of Christ and for the purpose of assisting others.  These gifts reside in a person from the time the person accepts Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.  They are intended to be the main avenue through which a person ministers to others within the church as a whole.

This summer we used Charles Stanley's book in our Tuesday night Bible study.  Many Christians have never identified their gift(s) or do not know how to use them.  The author focuses on the seven gifts listed in Romans 12.  He does a good job of explaining each of the gifts.  Some might not be what you think they are.  By using the Bible, Stanley is able to support his explanations.  It is a good book for both the new and long time Christians.  The people in our study group range in age from the 30s through the 90s.  

Dave, the leader of the Bible study, was going to be out of town one of the nights.  He asked another member of the group for suggestions on who should fill in.  God spoke to him and gave him my name.  This was right after I took Pastor Jeff's test.  Their was no way I could say no.  God was making it as obvious as possible that I was to do this.  Due to other circumstances, I ended up teaching two lessons.  God has a way of putting opportunities in front of us.  And, like Charles Stanley writes, it is up to us to listen to his "still small voice".  I don't know about you but I am not ignoring that voice again.

Highly recommended.

Table of Contents
Introduction:  God's Special Gift to You
1.  Approaching the Motivational Gifts
2.  An Overview of the Ministry Gifts
3.  The Gift of Prophecy
4.  The Gift of Service
5.  The Gift of Teaching
6.  The Gift of Exhortation
7.  The Gift of Giving
8.  The Gift of Organization
9.  The Gift of Mercy
10. Developing Your Motivational Gift
Conclusion:  Do Try This at Home!

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