This month I’m going through a series on Servant Leadership. If you missed last week’s post, you can read it here.
Here are the topics we’ll be covering in the coming weeks:
- Doing What’s Beneath You
- The Big Picture You’re In
- Giving Leadership Away
Today, I want to look at the idea of “Using My Gifts for the Benefit of Others.” One of my favorite things to do as a pastor is to sit back and watch the wide variety of gifts and talents that are often used to expand the kingdom of God. I get to see one person who loves doing administrative work in the office, and yet another that thrives at creating and designing, and still another that is so gifted with building things with their hands. It’s amazing to see the amazing variety of abilities that have been handed out by God to his creation.
And with such variety, I sometimes wonder why I wasn’t given certain gifts/abilities? Have you ever asked that question of God before? Why can’t I play an instrument, or why can’t I sing like that, or why can’t I do this or do that? It’s a pretty common question for people to ask. And the basis for that question is usually, “Why did God make me the way he did?” And whether your 20 years old or 90 years old, this is a question that we really should all ask ourselves at some point. Because God has made you the way he did for a purpose…you’re not an accident, and the abilities you posses (or don’t posses) isn’t an accident either! God has made you a certain way to succeed for a certain purpose…it’s not simply for your benefit and accomplishment, but ultimately to leave your mark on this world. And here’s the main idea I want to share with you briefly: God equips you with gifts that are to be given, not kept.
As a servant leader, we aren’t meant to hoard the gifts/abilities we’ve been given, but rather they are to be used to benefit others. It can be easy to forget this, especially when we’re ambitious and trying to achieve certain goals and benchmarks (build a bigger church, move up the career ladder, etc.). But that’s not the purpose of any gift, abilities or tool that God has placed in your proverbial toolbox. I strongly believe that God has given you certain abilities, and then in turn placed certain people around you that need those abilities. That’s because God equips you with gifts that are to be given, not kept.
Have you ever wondered that maybe, just maybe, God chose to put you in a certain place on the timeline of history because he knows that he gave you the gifts and abilities to make a difference in that place?
The question then isn’t whether or not you have gifts or abilities, because we all do. The question is: are you exercising those gifts to benefit others, or just to advance yourself?
If you don’t know how to use your gifts or where to use them, my challenge to you is to look up, look around and see the needs in your world. This is place that your gifts will work the best…when your ability becomes the solution to someone else’s problem.