In our own lives, and in the life of our church, we must all sooner or later face the question: Where should I best focus my time, energy, and giftings? At any one time there are a myriad of options out there. Indeed, there are hundreds of good options out there. Ultimately, however, we must choose where to best invest our limited time, resources, and energy. We come to realize that we cannot do all things, even though many of them are attractive and worthwhile. This is true of us as individuals, and it is true for a church. Every additional endeavor that we embrace dilutes our finite resources- let’s choose wisely.
The Apostle Paul seems to remind us that we each have individual gifts and abilities, and that we should focus on these. In 1Corinthians 12:27-30 he reminds us: “Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it. And God has placed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, next miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, managing, various kinds of languages. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all do miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in other languages? Do all interpret?” In Ephesians 4:11-13 he drives home his point further: “And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness.” We find further evidence of this at work in Acts 6, where the apostles instructed that men be appointed to handle the financial matters of the church so that they could focus on preaching. Acts 6:2-4 records this: “Then the Twelve summoned the whole company of the disciples and said, “It would not be right for us to give up preaching about God to handle financial matters. Therefore, brothers, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and wisdom, whom we can appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the preaching ministry.”
Scriptures appear to be clear that we should consider our areas of gifting and ability when deciding where to spend our time, effort, and resources. An added benefit is that those areas are the ones where our passion will surface as well. When we combine our areas of giftings, our abilities, and our passion, that is when great things happen, both within us, and also within a church. Passion, I believe, is a force multiplier in and endeavor we undertake. Please let me share a few of my favorite quotes about passion:
Passion costs me too much to bestow it on every trifle- Thomas Adams
There is neither encouragement nor room in Bible religion for feeble desires, listless sfforts, lazy attitudes; all must be strenuous, urgent, ardent. Flamed desires, impassioned, unwearied insistence delight heaven. God would have His children incorrigibly in earnest and persistently bold in their efforts. Heaven is too busy to listen to half-hearted prayers or to respond to pop-calls. Our whole being must be in our praying- E.M Bounds
Passion drives perfection- Rick Warren
May I suggest that each one of us invest the time and effort to understand our area(s) of gifting, our abilities, and pursue them with passion. God’s kingdom deserves nothing less.