By Allen White
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, Ephesians 3:10 (NIV)
One of the more embarrassing moments of my life occurred on the morning of my interview for ministerial credentials about 25 years ago. I was awakened by a phone call. It was our church secretary wondering where I was. My interview was scheduled for two hours earlier. Panic.
Going to bed the night before, I was nervous about the interview and had a very sleepless night. I finally did get to sleep, but I didn’t hear the alarm in the morning.
When I finally arrived at the interview with hat in hand, I profusely apologized for my mistake. All the while I imagined years of theological training evaporating away. They were gracious. We had a good laugh.
Weeks later when official word came, the committee had turned me down. They didn’t feel that I had had enough ministry experience (read “preaching”) at that point, so they put me off. Obviously, I did the hard work to gain the qualifications and was ordained a couple of years later.
For most of you reading this, you will never have to sit through a stressful interview of your qualifications for ministry. You can thank God for that. But, on the other hand, it’s not always easy to recognize your gifts or discern your ministry calling by yourself. Self-examination is a challenge. You have trouble seeing yourself objectively because it’s too personal. It’s too close. This is where the church comes in.
Your fellow believers help you recognize what God has gifted and called you to do. Things that come very naturally to you may in fact be the result of your unique giftedness.
As the Body of Christ, we owe it to each other to point out where we excel and notice the fruit that God is producing in each other’s lives. We’re not all good at everything. But, we’re all good at something. As Bil Cornelius says, “Give your attention to the areas in your life that bear the most fruit.” If you’re not sure what those areas are, why not ask a member of your small group or take the Developing Yourself to Serve class?
Often it takes other believers to help us hear clearly from God. While we should always depend on the Bible as the first source of clarification, God uses mature believers as additional confirmation.
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