Last week we looked at some of the basic super powers God has given every believer. This is the default setting for all believers, yet to each church God gives special gifts to accomplish His task and purpose (Eph 4:12). Sort of like the Avengers team, these gifts must all be used in the proper order. Hulk is good at smashing, Captain America is good at leading and to reverse these roles or trade gifts would be disastrous.
This team principle is exactly what happened in Acts 6:1-6. The Apostles were truly gifted at studying, preaching, and praying, but there were some serious physical needs in the church. So God brought up some men with “super powers” specific to the need of the church.
When our A-Team runs into problems is when we start working in areas that we have no super powers (Hulk starts thinking). We continually look at people through the lens of our own super power. “If they were spiritual they would teach a Sunday school class like me…. If they cared about church they would have people over more often….” And we forget that some have the gift of teaching while others the gift of hospitality.
That which upsets us most in our relationships is probably someone else’s gift shining through.
Another aspect that often happens in churches is the gift of God is never exercised (I Tim 1:6). If your gift is not used, it is impossible to stay attentive at church, and you will get restless and eventually frustrate others. Think about it, if God sent you to a church according to Ephesians 4:11-16 you are there to serve the A-Team. Anything else but service, is selfishness and the whole team suffers.
The team will suffer in many ways. First they will not have your specific talent, so either the important task will go undone or someone who is not qualified or gifted will have to fill your place, both are disastrous.
Secondly, you will start getting restless. The Spirit that indwells you and gifts you will let you know that you are squandering His gifts. There will be no peace for a believer that refuses to submit and serve (Eph 5:18, Phil 4:7).
As restlessness steps in, the very next step will be a spirit of criticism and disunity. Instead of seeing the benefit of playing together, we will expect everyone to “pass us the ball.” We become individuals instead of a team as we seek confirmation for our own abilities and perspective.
Finally, if the gift is not exercised, we will feel lost and out of place. Instead of putting on our work boots and seeing the skills and talents we all posses, we will live in isolation. Soon we will feel like nobody understands us, and find a need to justify our lack of service.
The worst side effect of isolation is that we cut ourselves off from the gifts of the body designed by God to help us grow, and doom ourselves to immaturity.
God has given us all gifts and talents and expects them to be used for Him and His glory.
So to make it personal, what tasks could you do at your specific local church? What special talents do you have? How could they meet the needs of your A-Team?