For the week of August 15, 2005

Gift and Grow: The Second Step in Discipling
By: Tom Bandy
Serious spiritual growth is the pivot on which everything turns. Once lives have been changed (see previous leadership tip), the next step is to discover and to receive spiritual gifts. Failure to do this makes your church a revolving door for newcomers and dropouts.

We all know (or at least Christians know) that every human being is gifted. Discerning those gifts may be difficult. Most people enter careers or volunteer for charities based on obligation, whim, or the lure of personal stability … and are depressed. Discerning spiritual gifts helps people choose vocations and activities that bring personal fulfillment and joy.

What many do not know (and Christians should know) is that God gives new gifts that people never had before. If people are “wired” a certain way, God can “re-wire” you a different way. God’s gift of gifts is usually unsettling and scary. They require practice to get them right. And they invite people to do risky things. In other words, it is the acquisition of new gifts … not just the discovery of old gifts … that is the source of accelerated spiritual growth.