Where's Your Team?

I am back to mowing my lawn all on my own! My team has left town for the beautiful high desert of Albuquerque, New Mexico! I was so gratified this spring to enlist my thirteen-year-old grandson, Danny, (and his very capable lawn specialist mother, too!) to help with the weekly chore of mowing .55 acres of Keppler real estate. Danny’s departure this week has left me with a little uncertainty about whether I am still up to the job. I’m happy to report that I was able to edge, mow, weed wack, and blow all the debris away as always!

A "One-Man Show" This Week! 😀

But, I do miss my “Number One!” Especially because his partnership allowed me to catch up on other chores, like keeping on top of the stick detailing, flower bed weeding, and shrub trimming touch-up. It was fun to see Danny at work. Even his mother was amazed at the skill he showed in leaving straight mow lines as if he were grooming a professional baseball outfield!

He took to the task (and the humble remuneration!) like the proverbial “duck to water”. This old saying reminds us that if you try to something new, and discover that you are naturally good at this task, you will find it enjoyable, and easy to do as well. Showing himself to be both teachable and a quick study, Danny’s commitment to excellence made me proud to have him on my team.

After worship this past Sunday morning, I was approached by a church friend who leads a weekly small group study with about twenty participants. She wanted to get my opinion about how I would go about teaching what the Scriptures say about spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12. The specific question my friend asked was “Should I teach the passage first, or should I give the class a gift-inventory?”

My immediate response was “Give the inventory!” Assess each of the class members at the beginning of this discussion to identify their unique spiritual gifts. I gathered that my friend was leaning in this direction and had a testing instrument in mind. There are several free online examples of self-scoring spiritual gift assessments available for ready reference and use.

I am passionate about this subject and believe that as individual believers become aware of how God has equipped them with a mix of unique and Holy Spirit-endowed capabilities for ministry, they will understand their role in the body of Christ. This is how we discover the ways God wants to use us to bless others and build up His church.

There is nothing more enjoyable and fulfilling than working from our strengths. And there isn’t any greater “eureka” moment than when you come to know your purpose in this life and how you fit into the plan that God has for the world. One of my favorites and a go-to passage is in the opening two verses of the twelfth chapter of  Romans. (There are additional teachings about spiritual gifts in Romans 12, Ephesians 4 and 1 Peter 4).

I especially appreciate the challenge made in Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase that says in the opening verse, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. (Ro. 12:1, The Message). And I might add, this is the best thing you can do for yourself and the advancement of God’s Team, His Kingdom!

If you need helpful instruction about how to discover your purpose, read the widely popular book by Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life. Warren’s work is formatted as a daily reading guide. This will help you to get going on the blessed journey of “embracing” what God has in store for you!

Check out this link: Mentoring/Spiritual Gifts

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com 

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