Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gifts and Talents, A Bible Study Outline For the Nominating Committee of CLCValpo

Nominating Committee,

As we think about those who will be the leaders into the future for Christ Lutheran Church of Valparaiso, it is imperative that the Nominating Committee understand the qualities required. In the church we call those gifts and talents. These are not necessarily the same, though they may be. Paul in his first letter to his protégée Timothy spends times describing the qualities of a deacon:
 “Deacons likewise must be serious, not double-tongued, not indulging in much wine, not greedy for money; they must hold fast to the m mystery of faith with a clear conscience. And let them first be tested; then, if they prove themselves blameless; let them serve as deacons. … Let deacons be married only once, and let them manage their children and their households well; for those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and great boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.” (1Timothy 3:8-10, 12-13)

In an understanding of the above passage, we as a church have applied this as a rule of thumb for the leadership of a congregation. Granted when Paul was writing he was referencing male leadership as that was the model for his day. However, I believe these qualities to be universal regardless of the gender of the leader. Also, we have massaged out some of this in the realization that in today’s culture not everything Paul was using as a measuring stick is useful.

When we talk about gifts and talents these are a bit more specific. Most of the information I am going to share here is from, Discovering God’s Vision For Your Life: You and Your Spiritual Gifts, developedby Kenneth C. Hauck, Tebunah Ministries, ©1998.

Dr. Hauck defines spiritual gift as:
Spiritual gifts are unique endowments from the Holy Spirit, generously shared with Christians in community for building up the body of Christ in practical ways.”
He believes and so do I that every person is given at least one spiritual gift to use for the building up of the community of faith. Many people are endowed with several spiritual gifts as well. The one thing we as a Body of Christ can be assured of is that Jesus did not leave us bereft of all the gifts necessary to be His living presence in this community. We, the Congregation of Christ Lutheran Church, Valparaiso, Indiana, have been given all the spiritual gifts required to be about Christ’s business in God’s creation. So what are the spiritual gifts Dr. Hauck identifies? He has a group of twenty that are referenced in scripture. I will list them and the scripture references he provides as support.

2.      ServanthoodRomans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:5.

3.      Teaching the Faith – Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11.

4.      Encouragement Romans 12:8.

5.      Generosity Romans 12:8.

6.      Nurturing Leadership – Romans 12:8.

7.      Mercy ­Romans 12:8.

8.      Wisdom 1 Corinthians 12:8.

9.      Knowing - 1 Corinthians 12:8.

10.   Faith ­1 Corinthians 12:9.

11.   Healings1 Corinthians 12:9; 1Corinthians 12:28.

13.   Discernment – 1 Corinthians 12:10.

15.   Interpretation of Tongues 1 Corinthians12:10; 1 Corinthians 12:30.

16.   Apostleship1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11.

17.   Helping 1 Corinthians 12:28.

18.  Visionary and Managing Leadership – 1Corinthians 12:28.

19.   EvangelismEphesians 4:11

20.   ShepherdingEphesians 4:11

For each of these gifts as Dr. Hauck identifies them he has written up how he understands their definition. I have his whole system of gifts discernment in my library and will be more than happy to share these definitions with the Nominating Committee. I hope this is helpful and insightful as you accomplish the task of discerning the leadership for Christ Lutheran Church.

Pastor John

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