We’re All in GT Now

August 16, 2011 by cloften  
Filed under Bible, Church and Leadership, Teaching

That title is enough to get some of you ready to fight. Many of you believe that we no longer encourage or celebrate excellence and are disgusted by it. You think that “Every kid is a winner” is insulting to winners and not everyone can be excellent, by definition of excellent. In the great words of Dash Paar (The Incredibles) when told by his mom that everyone is special, he responds by saying that’s “another way of saying no one is.”

Your political ranting aside, what if every one is special?  What if everyone is gifted and talented?  (Hurry up, Blog Boy.  We see where this is going.)  In I Corinthians 12, Paul talks about the Church and uses the analogy of a body, that we are all parts of a body and all placed there by the Holy Spirit.  We are each uniquely and specifically gifted by the Holy Spirit. We are who we are (gifting wise) by God’s design in our lives.  No one part of the body can say that it is better or worse than any other.  We are all gifted by God’s Spirit and talented by his design, no one of us better than the other.

Comparing one person to another doesn’t even make sense, as far as what the Bible says, because these were never meant to be gifts and talents used independently.  They were always meant to be used together.  This is why Paul uses the absurd analogy of an ear thinking he was worse than an eye because he’s “just an ear.”  No individual piece makes sense except in conjunction with all the others.

Anywho, do you believe that?  Do you believe that you are uniquely gifted and talented by God?  Do you believe that God wants to use your gifts and talents in the “body” to change the world?  Guess what? It doesn’t matter what you believe.  It’s true nonetheless.

The next obvious question is how to know what my gifts and talents are.  For all you Grovers out there, we will talk about that this Sunday and work through some exercises to help us discover.

Here are some starter questions (we will talk more about this on the ol’ blog as well):

Are you more of a “in front of people” person or “behind the scenes?”

If you see a need do you want to fix it, talk to the people involved, pray about it?  What is your first response?

What kind of people do you think about, care about most?  Kids, teenagers, the poor, homeless, lost people…

What natural talents or skills do you have that you have used for God before and loved it? What are some skills that you haven’t been able to use, but would be great if you could? (Computer hacking skills, nunchuck skills.  I’m pretty good with a bowstaff.)

That’s just a few questions to get the juices flowing.  Put the answers to those questions together and put together and dream job description and then find a place to do that.  The best way to find out the way that God has gifted you is to take advantage of opportunities to serve other people and see what works and what doesn’t, what you’re good at, what you love, etc.  Then continually look for better opportunities that seem like better fits.

Above all else, believe that God has gifted and wants to use you and you will see God move mightily in and through your life.

Next Step:  Bumper stickers–”I’m in God’s GT Class”

Waiting on the World to Change

I know that this is going to be sacrilegious for many of you, but I’m not a huge John Mayer fan. So much so, I had to check to see how his name was spelled. I’m not a hater. I would just say that I’m solidly in the neutral camp. If a song of his comes on, I’ll check other stations to see if there is a better song, but I don’t turn off the radio or switch to NPR or anything. Aren’t most John Mayer fans listening to NPR already? Is that an insult? I’m confusing myself.

There’s one John Mayer song in particular that I’m a little confused by–Waiting on the World to Change. Am I supposed to be inspired by that song? Is that a comforting song? A rallying cry? I don’t want to get labelled a hater for all you Mayer fans drinking lattes reading this. (is that an insult?) However, I find those lyrics uninspiring and a bit of a cop out.

I get the basic idea that “we” are not in charge of the government, so in some areas “we” are helpless. “We” can’t bring the soldiers back from war. Therefore, we wait. For what? Duh, the world to change. How does that happen? Waiting? I would like to suggest not.

I have a friend (really?) whom you should follow on the twitters. His name is Aaron Reddin. His twitter handle? Id? Username? is homelessheretic. Here is a guy when you get to know him thinks the world needs to change. He will tell you so in vivid language. He thinks the “fight ain’t fair.” He thinks the deck is stacked against the homeless and people should care more. He laments the government and the local church for not doing more.

He is not waiting on the world to change. He is changing the world, one person at a time. He is ministering to people, loving people and mobilizing more to help him. He is doing something and making a huge difference. He even has a van. You may be thinking, so what my grandpa has a van? Seriously, check him out. AaronReddin.com and find out about what he’s doing with that van to serve people.

We need so much more of that. I would rather have 100 people skeptical of the govt and organized church that are making a difference in the world, than 1000 nice people sitting in church waiting and wondering when the govt or the church (whoever that is) to do something about what they care about.

Questions: what are you passionate about? What people or need in the world has God put on your heart?
What are you doing about it? Are you waiting for the world to change? Or are you changing the world?

Coincidentally, we will be talking about this at church the next couple of weeks, but you don’t have to wait for that.