Gifted to Serve – 2 of 2
Last week we learned that spiritual gifts aren’t the same as the results of a personality test. They’re not meant to simply know yourself better. Spiritual gifts are meant to be used for the building of God’s Kingdom. 1 Corinthians 12:7 says: “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” Here at TCC we have meaningful ways you can use your gifts to love and serve your neighbors, communities and the world. Ministry happens at TCC every day of the week, and the majority of it relys on volunteers. But what are four common reasons believers don’t serve?
 “I’m Too Busy.” There are so many demands on our time and attention that it seems impossible at times to make room for something else. But how many things are you involved in that have the potential to make an eternal difference? Ask yourself: Are there any other places you have room to create some margin to get involved in something that can not only make someone’s day or week or year better, but can actually change their eternity? That’s the kind of impact that’s worth creating time for.
 “It doesn’t seem like I’m needed.” The people who are currently volunteering are doing an incredible job, and some volunteers serve multiple times a month, sometimes on more than one team. It’s only because of them that we are able to keep all the plates spinning. But don’t think that you aren’t needed.
 “I’m not sure I’m the right person.” If this is your reason… join the club! Listen to how Paul sees himself: “I am the least of the apostles…but by the grace of God I am what I am.” (1 Corinthians 15:9). We might say “Who am I to lead a small group?” “What could I possibly teach a group of middle schoolers?” The answer is right there in verse 10. With God’s grace working in and through you, you are the right person for the job. The perfect volunteer is FAT: Faithful, Available, and Teachable! We don’t expect you to know everything or do everything perfectly on day 1. We just need you to be willing to grow and learn as you go. It’s what all of us are doing too!
 “I’m not ready to commit.” Some of you aren’t sure that TCC is going to be your long-term church home yet, but the best way to really see who we are and what we value is to serve with us. It’s one of the best ways to build relationships with other TCCers. It adds an extra layer of purpose to your church experience. I’m not saying you need to sign up for every Sunday from now until 2025. But give serving a chance. Even if you’re not newer to TCC but you’re feeling a little disconnected, joining a ministry team is one of the best ways to feel more at home because you’re becoming part of something. And not being sure you are going to stay somewhere long-term isn’t a good reason to withhold your gifts and talents. Aquila and Priscilla in the New Testament model this perfectly: Everywhere they went, they made an impact. They weren’t concerned about being there permanently or not, they saw ways they could serve in the moment where God had them, and they stepped in to serve.
So, why should you serve? First, because it’s the proper response to the many gifts God has given you (1 Peter 4:10). It is a matter of stewardship. We aren’t meant to be silos of God’s grace and blessings in our lives. They weren’t given just for us to keep for ourselves. They were given so that we could be vessels of God’s love and grace to the world (2 Corinthians 4:6-7). You’re the “jar of clay” God wants to use to display his character.
The second reason we should serve is because your church experience is meant to be about more than attending and receiving. TCC’s vision is that each Sunday, folks would attend one worship service and serve at the other. I know that for families with young kids that’s really difficult and that’s OK. As we’ve mentioned there are plenty of ways to serve that aren’t on a Sunday.
There’s an interesting cycle that occurs within volunteering. At first, you’re doing it because there’s a need that you can help meet. But somewhere along that way, that changes. It’s no longer about what you’re giving to others, it’s about what we receive from them. For those of you who are not serving yet, I pray that you’ll take the opportunity to experience a fuller, deeper relationship with TCC by joining one of our ministry teams. There is a place for you and your gifts to make an eternal impact on the world around you.
APPLICATION / CHALLENGE
- If you are not currently serving your church—Get in the Game!
- If you have not yet taken the Spiritual Gifts Assessment —do it!
- If you already are serving, invite a friend or two to join you.
TAKE ONE STEP
Each week, write down one doable concrete step of obedience, small or large, that you will put into practice this week. (James 1:22: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”)