Friday, April 11, 2008

Spiritual Gifts Assessments Beginning at High Pointe

Last night Becki and I went to a dinner party with two young couples and their families, Chris and Christy, and Kevin and Meriann. We had a great time. Our kids played together, we shared some good laughs, and we talked about the church. There used to be a Wednesday night meal at High Pointe, which really helped young families come on Wed. Going on Wed., after a long commute and with young children, is really difficult. Plus, they liked being able to sit down and fellowship with people of different generations and people they would not normally eat with, like elders; however, apparently there was no who could take up this ministry once those who began it were ready to pass it on.

My ears picked up at this for lots of reasons. First, there is a real need for intergenerational ministry at High Pointe. Currently, everything is segmented by age groups (Bible classes, small groups), and somewhere in the church life there needs to be a mixing of ages. Second, High Pointe needs a church-wide evangelistic/follow-up ministry such as Monday Night for the Master (MNFTM). MNFTM has a central meal, and then the church goes out and visits people, writes cards to seekers and those who are hurting, prays for the lost, etc. The meal is essential to this success, and it sounds like there would be support for something like this again. Third, since no one could be found to continue the meal ministry, it was again made clear that there is a great need for Strenngths and Spiritual gifts discovery at High Pointe.

Aftering talking, our new friends indicated that they were excited about the Spiritual gifts ministry. They want to serve, and want and need some help in discovering how they can best serve. All four said that they wanted to go through the Strengths and Spiritual gifts assessment. The people here are hungry for this discovery. At a women's retreat, one of the women from the search team talked about the need for Christians to discover their gifts. I am excited about starting these assessments with members, staff, and ministers. This will help me know how to better know people and put together ministry teams, as well as hopefully help members serve and reach out. I am excited about beginning this, and so apparently are others.

As I go through these assessments, I will have to be looking for other equippers--people who can quickly catch on and begin assessing others. For some research on how Spiritual gifts discovery and use helps people serve, reach out, and discover God, see http://www.storyofredemption.com/page22.html.

Do you think that most people know their strengths and Spiritual gifts or need help in discovering this?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

James- Many people believe what they do during the week matches up with their spiritual gift. I am not saying the 2 are never connected, but it is important for us to approach God's will for us with an open mind and an open heart.

When you visited with my wife and I, you not only talked about how we could serve our brothers and sisters, you asked me how I was using my gifts in the workplace. I wasn't using them at all.

You also helped me start serving asap. You identified a need in the church and encouraged me to think about 1 or 2 areas.

There is power in community. Just as a friend encourages another friend through tough times, to exercise, to give up a bad habit,etc.. so we should encourage our brothers and sisters to use their gifts.

A gift has to be used or "opened" to have any impact. Go on, let it out of the box.

Matt B

Anonymous said...

I do believe that there is a real need for intergenerational interaction...both inside and outside the church. It is missing in our culture in general.

By having the different age groups (stages of life) segregated in class or social situations, we are deprived of oppotunities to get to know each other....and we NEED each other...and complement each other's strengths and weaknesses. The older provide stability, knowledge, life experience, wisdom to the younger and the younger ask questions that need to be asked and provide energy and excitement to conversations/discussions, requiring older Christians to think and rethink things that they only thought they had "settled".

I hope a way can be found to accomplish this 'integration of generations'.

James said...

To our anonymous firned,

Great thoughts here. As you say, intergenerational interaction is missing from our culture in general. There are few "third places" that still exist. Life is segmented and fragmented, without real community. The church is the one of the groups in society where there is the potential for intergenerational gatherings and meaningful interaction.