Understanding Your Place in the Body of Christ
We’ve been talking about spiritual gifts and what it means to be “Body Parts” in the body of Christ. One of our goals as a church is to help people understand how God has uniquely created them and the spiritual gifts that they have been given for the common good of the body of Christ.
Are you wondering about serving and where you fit in the church? Here are some common questions people often have in this area:
Is there a place to serve (volunteer) that matches my gifts, passions, abilities, personality and experiences?
I’d like to serve, but I don’t know where the needs are?
I’d like to serve but I’m not sure what my “spiritual gifts” are? Actually…I’m not entirely sure what spiritual gifts are?
Do I even have anything to offer? (many people often feel inadequate)
Where to start?
1. Start Serving
One of the best ways to begin this journey is to just start serving! Find a ministry area that interests you, or has a need, and dive in. Serving will give you a way to discover and test what fulfills you, what you are good at, and also what drains you or what you are not as good at. As you are serving, others will begin to see and affirm things in you that will help you in this journey.
2. Personal Study and Reflection
God has made you intricately and wonderfully (Psalm 139) and no one knows you more than the one who has created you. Take time to study the spiritual gifts passages mentioned above and reflect on the implications and expressions of these gifts in your life. Pray and reflect on how God has wired you, what gives you passion, strengths and weaknesses, what energizes you and what drains you? Other than God, no one knows you better than yourself – so begin with you and God.
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.
(The Message, Gal 6:4-5)
3. Use Additional Resources
Below are four resources that can help you get more specific in how God has created you…
A. SHAPE – Use this resource to help you to identify five personal factors that combine specific traits you possess and how your SHAPE fits into the body of Christ.
S – spiritual gifts
H – heart
A – attributes
P – personality
E – experiences
B. Standout is a simple, but powerful tool that helps you to assess your strengths and contribution to a team.
C. Myers-Briggs is one of the best known, commonly used personality type inventories. You can access this resource online from many different sites.
D. Other… there are many other resources that you can access and use that may help you discover different aspects of how God has created you.
4. Include others in this discernment
Once you have begun serving, taken time for personal study and reflection and used some specific resources, bring some additional people more intentionally into the discernment. This could include your small group and also leaders from the ministries where you are currently serving. Set up a specific time to meet with your SG, and/or some leaders of your ministry areas to talk, pray and discern together with all that you have discovered so far.
So What? Why does this matter?
Understanding your place in the body of Christ matters because of the mission God has given us as the church. We are called to be a covenant community of believers, that loves God with the whole of our lives, intentionally discipling one another, and together, reaching out with the gospel to those who live right here in Saskatoon, to those who live at the very ends of the earth. You have an important role to play!
We realize that there may be many other questions you have about Spiritual Gifts. We have done our best to answer some of these questions here. If you have other questions as you discern how to use your gifts and talents to serve God, please contact one of our staff and we would love to take some time to talk this through with you.