Are you operating in a ministry you were called to, or was it just because you were available?
Last week I was in a meeting regarding an upcoming youth summit we are planning for the city of East Palo Alto. I’ve worked on the planning committee before and I must say it was rough. The simplest way to put it is there were way too many hands stirring the pot. And might I add some weren’t chefs. We had quite a few people from different non-profit organizations and faith based organizations that were participating in putting the event together. But, because we invited people that basically could just attend the meetings, we didn’t form a solid committee with people having attributes to build the event to its full potential. Instead we had people that were just “available” to help. Not really having the experience or passion to contribute to this event. So it makes me think, are we really passionate about the things we do, or is it just because we have the available time to do it?
I work for a local food bank. When I started here I let it be known clearly this is a social issue I am an advocate for and something I care about deeply. At my job we have a number of volunteers who help out sorting food or working administratively. I really do appreciate the work the volunteers do and the passion they do it with. Giving your time freely to a cause is a major reflection on a person's character (in a definite positive way). We totally would not be able to do what we do in the community without our cherished volunteers. Especially the ones who work in the office with me! But with some of them I wonder if they really care about the people they're helping? I even question that of some of my coworkers, but I won’t go into too much depth about my coworkers. And it’s easy to see if a person has passion, it shows in the quality of their work and the attitude they do it in. But quite a few of the volunteers are retired and just want something to do during their free time, but once their shift is up, they don’t give the 10% of hungry people between San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties a second thought.
Too many people are doing this in ministry as well. Recently my church has been going over a book called “Discovering your Spiritual Gifts” by Peter Wagner. The purpose of the book is made clear by the title. My pastor wanted to go into detail about the different spiritual gifts in the bible and gave tips of finding out what each of our spiritual gifts are so that we can nurture and develop them to help the church. But reading the book and doing the exercises just made me think about the people that are currently “fillers”. They are filling in positions at the church and community because they are available but it isn’t really their calling. Whether it be the person isn’t operating or accepting that gift or the person isn’t given the opportunity to exercise that gift, it’s causing others to have to fill in and step up to the plate when it’s not their own calling. That makes everyone in the body of the church suffer. The person filling in is neglecting their own spiritual gift or gifts and it’s hurting the people they are suppose to be ministering to. People are given Spiritual Gifts to build the church, to edify the body of Christ and every believer has at least one. Just think if each member operated in THEIR OWN spiritual gift. Think about the difference it would make for the body. It would be a much more effective ministry over all.