Your Members Have Gifts!

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Elders--leaders in general--should be aware of this one thing: their members are entrusted with gifts. Churches should always try to challenge members to put these gifts to use! 
 
Romans 12:6 tells us that believers have seven types of gifts: the gift of expression, the gift of service, the gift of teaching, the gift of encouragement, the gift of giving, the gift of leadership, and the gift of mercy. A congregation that challenges its members according to their gifts will be blessed. But now note: before Romans 12:6 begins listing these seven gifts it comes with a unique qualifier. It says: “We have different gifts according to the grace given us.”  The word used for “grace” comes directly from the Greek “charis.” All believers have that one gift in common: grace! It is the source of the other seven Christian gifts. 
 
The New Testament trembles, as it were, with the enormity of that word: GRACE! It is not only the source of all gifts, it is the source of salvation! By that same grace we are saved! “For it is by grace that you have been saved… it is a gift of God.”  (Eph. 2:8). 
 
The early Christians used that word 'grace' a lot. Life was hard. Some suffered persecution. They clung to that source-word: grace! Now because 'grace' is so potent, the seven gifts that spring from it are enormous. The early Christians called them 'charismata'. Those gifts, they realized, were different from each other but they all had that one quality of grace about them. Gifts are God-given. They are something like a pipe-organ: the wide range of size and quality of pipes, together, makes a rich harmony of music possible. 
 
Elders go to and fro among God's people. They recognize and size up the members' gifts. They encourage and challenge the members to use those gifts. Every member is equipped to make his/her own unique contribution toward building up the church of  which they are members.
 
Today church-leadership has to watch out for one danger: staff people may in some situations do things better and quicker than the regular members, and so the congregation depends on them too readily to run its programs. But by encouraging the members to serve, the CHARIS of Christ is expressed and the congregation will flourish!
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