What the Spiritual Gifts Model Requires

The spiritual gifts model of church life does not eliminate these:

Commitment. My commitment comes from an inner unction rather than from outward prodding. The very fact that I have gifts is a supernatural work, and my commitment will be stronger than that which any human could lay on me. Follow-through is fluid, leaving room for me to change, while also recognizing, responsibility for what I said I would do.

Learning Better Ways to Do the Work. Since gifts are often given in less than full bloom, leaving us the duty to develop them, I learn to expect, give, and receive correction and instruction gratefully and in the kindest manners.

Doing the distasteful Things. Organization, evaluation of need, and asking (inviting) someone to do something are all represented under gifts of leadership, but they will be approached in a way so as to respect the individual's undersatnding of his own gifts and call. Do I fear that the distasteful things will go undone? Is not the Holy Spirit able to equip and direct His church?

The spiritual gifts model of church life does indeed require these also:

Communication. If I want to do something, I will tell. If I need a change, before resentment builds up, I will tell. If I can't follow through on a commitment, I will tell. If, in my perception, someone else is not doing a job correctly, I will tell. I will learn effective and upbuilding communication skills and channels, recognizing, the current contribution and potential of that person before and after I point out areas of needed development. Another part of communication I seek to develop is the ability to hear in a non-penalizing, non-judgmental way all the things mentioned above.

Acceptance. Acceptance means that, because the experimenting, both for discovery and development of our gifts, involves trial and error, I will learn how to manifest acceptance for the person despite perhaps unacceptable behavior. I will learn to distinguish between the person and the behavior, for my love, Acceptance means, that, because gifts differ drastically from person to person, I will be careful to distinguish also between the person and what he or she can do. If all one can do is "merely, attend, or pray, or simply just be, that person is still of hightest value. Acceptance means that there will also be a certain amount of voluntary covering for one another while we grow; it is my job to talk about it if and before such covering for another starts building resentments, in me.

Teachableness. If I will maintain a teachable spirit, no matter how well or long I have done a job, or how gifted I believe myself to be, it will be much easier for fellow church members to work with me an give me affirmation than if we regularly find myself in defensive mode.

Have you ever seen a building with stones in perpetual motion? Or a mason working with lively bricks? It truly requires the Holy Spirit to maneuver such a task. Let us pray together for His presence in our lives and in our church.