In my recent post, I shared that the deacons must serve those who are in need, the sick, the friendless and any who may be in distress. It continues, “It is their duty also to develop the grace of liberality in the members of the church, to devise effective methods of collecting the gifts of the people, and to distribute these gifts among the objects to which they are contributed.”
This seems so obvious, for scripture is clear on giving. Moses writes in Leviticus 27:30, “Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the LORD’S; it is holy to the LORD.” Luke tells us in Acts 4: 32, “Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.” In God’s way, we Christians are only stewards of our financial possessions. We own nothing in any absolute sense as it all belongs to God. So obviously, Christians provide for the church through these offerings.
What is not as obvious is the need for Christians to also tithe their skills, talents, and time to the church. These also belong to God. 1 Corinthians 6:20 says, “You were bought with a price;” and The Heidelberg Catechism: “I am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. . .”
So, just as deacons facilitate the financial offerings of God’s people, they must collect data on the talents of God’s people—that is, they should develop a talent bank and a system to use these resources. Member information should be at their fingertips, like who is available to bring Mrs. M for dialysis Wednesdays mornings or who can fix a senior’s toilet, or who can do minor repairs for a member with special needs. An inventory should list all the various vocations— lawyers, accountants, those in the building trade, beauticians, etc...; those who have a truck and those who will make themselves available. I also suggest a database of blood types so that in case of critical need, people can give the gift of life.
1 Peter 4:10 states, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” How do you respond to the need to inventory these gifts?
What would your church (and community) look like if such a database was adopted and used effectively?