I heard a story one time about a church that was looking for a new pastor. When asked what they were looking for, the chairman of the search committee said that they only had two main criteria. One, they did not want a pastor who had studied Greek, and two, they did not want a pastor who had ever been to the Holy Land.
It occurs to me that they had heard way too many explanations about the Greek in the New Testament and way too many stories about the Holy Land. I suppose they were tired of it. But seriously, those two criteria would not be the best way for a church to choose a pastor.
I suppose it is easy for any pastor (or any Sunday-school teacher, for that matter) to use too many stories or illustrations from any area that they enjoy. I could talk about different sports for hours, and sometimes I probably do. I could talk about my family longer than most people would want to listen.
The fact is that we all have things that interest us more than they do others. The differences we have can cause divisions. Perhaps you are not interested in hearing another story from me about something that deeply matters to me. And it may be that you think less of me because of what I deem important.
But I want you to think about this: Do you suppose that God made us different, with different talents and interests, for a purpose? Do you think that might be what Paul had in mind when he spoke of the variety of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians? I do.
One of the things I believe about the church is that God brings different people with different gifts together so that working together they might accomplish more. We need people from every walk of life to cooperate and encourage one another in using those gifts and talents that God has given us. What would happen if we became each other’s biggest cheerleaders instead of being jealous or overly protective of our own turf? Do you think we could make a greater impact in our church and communities? I think so, too.
I don’t know what your gifts are, but I am confident that if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, there is something you can do to strengthen your church, help others and honor God.
Discover your gift (or gifts). Use what God has given you to bless others and worship him. You will never regret it.