Based on the gift they have received, everyone should use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, [his speech should be] like the oracles of God; if anyone serves, [his service should be] from the strength God provides, so that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
-1 Peter 4:10-11
As I was recruiting this past winter and helping our staff assemble a basketball team for this upcoming season, I was struck by the thought of how a basketball team has distinct similarities to our churches and communities. In order to be successful, our basketball team must be made up of athletes with diverse talents. If we put a team of all post players or point guards on the court, we would have a tough time winning.
And in addition to having a variety of talents, it is also important for the team to be made up of athletes who understand their roles on the floor. It will not do our 5-10 point guard much good to play the post, nor will it serve our team well if our 6-7 post player decides to handle the ball and shoot three-pointers.
As coaches, we need our players to accept their roles, but we also need them to perform with the desire to compete at their best. And that goes for coaches, too. If I prepare a team for a game with less than my best effort, the chances of winning or successfully competing will not be very good.
Like a sports team, for our churches to successfully serve Christ in our communities, we must have people with diverse talents serving in roles in which they can be successful. As much as I love to sing, I cannot carry a tune. It would better serve Christ if I were to be a teacher, serve on a custodial staff or serve on the staff that prepares meals for our workers on Wednesdays. In the New Testament, Peter tells us that we have each been given gifts from the Lord’s great variety of spiritual gifts. We should use these gifts to serve others. Just as team members accept their roles so their teams can be successful, we need to be willing to accept our roles and places of service in order to serve Christ successfully.
Wherever or however we serve, wherever our niche might be, we must serve with all the strength and energy we would expect from our teams. If we do this with an attitude of glorifying God in all that we do, we will surely have a better chance of serving successfully.
- Are you utilizing your talent properly?
- Are you being faithful with your talent?
- Have you been called to serve? How did you respond?
- Are you involved in a ministry?
1 Corinthians 7:7