While at worship team practice last week, I was talking about the challenge we have been given to chase after God while using the gifts we have been entrusted with. I shared about how we get this awesome privilege to do so much because there were people years ago who dared to do things differently. Through their example, and because of their sacrifices, we now have the blessing of sharing the hope of Christ and directing the focus back to Him through our gifts.
Each of us, musicians and vocalists, sound engineers and video and media tech team, all of us, using the gifts we have been given. All of us – utilizing what we’ve been given to share.
When I was growing up, we went to church and sat in beautiful but stiff wooden pews, and we sang from cream-colored hymnals. I think the title, “Hymns of Praise” was embossed onto the cover in a light gold foil. I saw ordinary people use their extraordinary gifts. I saw people teach Sunday School, greet guests, print bulletins, tend the grassy areas around the church, and even others bake cookies for events. I didn’t know that those were all gifts back then. Still, I remember seeing people deliver messages from pulpits and piano benches, while others shared their testimony in the parking lot outside. I saw while others volunteered to help love the littlest guests in the church nursery. I was blessed to behold worship leaders in big events as well as worship leaders in kids church leading children to Jesus with guitars, flipboard lyrics, and yes – flannelgraph. I even witnessed generous adults who signed up to stay up all night for youth lock-ins(bless them Lord – they were saints!).
I think as a kid I just thought that that’s what everyone did – pitching in their time and helping everyone in the process. My little eyes caught glimpses of “what could be” long before I knew “what needed to be” in community. And as a kid who grew up underneath those wooden benches mentioned before, I now see that I was witnessing the communal act of using the gifts that God had placed in people’s hearts. After all these years, I now see that everyone was “just doing their thing” all around me; using their gifts and moving into action every day.
Last week I challenged us to discover what our “thing” was and just do it.
Did you think about what your “thing” might be?
Did God impress on your heart where you might be able to use those beautiful and powerful gifts?
As I was sharing with my teammates, I kept reminding us that we have an audience. Others are watching us (whether on a platform or in the public library or even at the grocery store), to see how we use those gifts in the everyday moments of our lives.
In the silence & in the suffering.
In the happiest of times & in the heartache.
In the victorious moments & in the valleys low.
In every season under the sun, we have been entrusted with gifts and we have and the privilege of still giving praise to God. Even when we don’t think we have much to offer, and even when we barely muster the strength to let out a sound of praise from our quivering lips.
There are on-lookers around us and the eyes of a generation coming up behind us that are looking for hope and for a glimpse of how “things could be” and, you know what? We get to share that hope when we each do our “thing”.
They are our why.
They are why we should do our “thing”.
Not for selfish gain, and not for human applause, but so those around us can come in contact with the same Savior we know.
God has chosen us (you and me), to do what we can do with what we’ve been given. As we do, He will continue to do His “thing”. Actually, He will continue to do all kinds of amazing things in and through us.
We. You & me, with our different gifts, we get to be part of God’s story, friends.
I’m so grateful for those who modeled this for me when I was growing up. Each gift shared has impacted my own life & faith journey. Do you remember who impacted yours?
This week, I want us to think of who our “why” is. This world needs the gifts God has entrusted to you, friends. And there are so many around us who can see those brilliant gifts shining through. No matter your season, no matter your gift, there is a reason and others are counting on your willingness to share it. May we be brave as we continue to discover our “thing”, and as we pray and ask God to show us who we should share our gifts with. As we do, may our gifts point others to our source of hope and strength – Jesus, Emmanuel – God With Us.
peace – Liz
Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, You desire that everyone we come in contact with, would come in contact with Your presence. You Lord, have given us gifts and talents and skills to use on this earth, so that we can play a part in this glorious and mysterious story we call life. Lord, we don’t want to just sit on these gifts, we don’t want to just hold onto these things, we want to put them to good use for the greater good. Today God, would you begin to show us who we can begin to share our gifts with, show us who we can impact even today as we read through this. Inside and outside the church, I know You have a great plan and purpose for them. Thank You for showing us today that these gifts matter, and that when we choose to share what we’ve been given, we can see others begin to bravely do their thing and share their own gifts too. Thank you Lord for Your reminders that our stories matter and that we still have something valuable to share with this world and those around us. Amen.
Go The Extra Mile: Friends, I wanted us to listen to something that both encourges us and puts some fire underneath us to use those gifts. I love the lyrics to this song! We don’t want to just be filled up, we want to pour out all these powerful gifts we’ve been given. So check out this video, turn the volume way up, and be encouraged to pour out what you have for the glory of God.