As a ministry leader, you understand the need for workers. By now, you’ve recognized the fact that you cannot accomplish everything related to ministry to men on your own. You need help. It’s important to enlist the assistance of other men within your ministry. How do you do that? Use the following excerpt from Jim Grassi’s book, “Crunch Time in the Red Zone” at your next men’s meeting or men’s breakfast to encourage guys to step up and offer their gifts and talents in service. We hope this will be helpful as you deliver the message of getting involved to the men of your group.
Everyone Has a Role
I’ve asked this question already: Are you a spectator or a participant? Football stadiums are filled with millions of folks who sit comfortably munching favorite snacks while watching others use their gifts and talents in pursuit of a goal. It’s amazing to watch players work so hard through the challenges.
Each player toils at his job, hoping to win his individual battles. There are times when it seems the energy and tension on the field is almost palpable. Each player brings a dynamic to the game: for some it’s about intimidation; for others it’s a quiet but powerful exercise of God-given abilities; with a few players the battle is won through analysis and applied wisdom.
The spectators also provide entertainment. Some filled with exuberance, and maybe a few too many beers, voice their approval or disapproval with deafening yells or shouts of joy. Others sit calmly waving their team’s banner. And we can’t overlook those spectators that get so involved in the game they actually dress up in costume, making sure to spread an ample supply of war paint on any exposed flesh. This prepares them for their role in winning the game.
The totals on the scoreboard can at times be overshadowed by the personal battles on the field. Along the sidelines, you are up close and personal, while feeling the intensity and understanding the personal suffering players experience.
The Christian experience is a great deal like the game of football. While the battle between good and evil is waging within families, in the workplace, and in the hearts of those who don’t yet know the love, peace, and comfort God can provide, many Christians sit by calmly, watching events unfold. Until you become personally engaged in the struggles life brings, or make yourself available to help others who are hurting, you can’t really appreciate pain.
Unfortunately, too many Christians find themselves merely spectators of life. They assume that full-time pastors and missionaries are the only ones charged with the responsibilities of ministering to others. The tragedy of September 11, 2001, in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, woke people up to the fact that as a nation, or as a community, or as a family, we need to get involved in helping others.
Throughout the New Testament we read of God’s desire that each person fully utilize his gifts and talents to serve others. When we bury our treasured abilities, we make a grave mistake. Such was the case with an old violin collector named Luigi Tarisio, who took great pride in searching out and purchasing rare and unusual instruments. No one really knew about his obsession until he passed away. When his home was inspected and the attic opened to appraise his estate, 246 valuable violins were found.
One of the most expensive violins was hidden in an old dresser drawer. It was a rare Stradivarius that probably had not been played in 147 years. The grand instrument was literally rotting away. Tarisio had selfishly robbed the world of beautiful music and wonderful treasures.
God has given each of us unique spiritual gifts, aptitudes, abilities, and talents (read 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12). No two people are the same. What you might think is a common talent may in fact be a uniquely shaped personal trait that can be of real encouragement to others. We can rob ourselves as well as others of a wonder-filled life by hiding our gifts in a “humble” personality. God expects us to refine and perfect our gifts through practice and participation rather than simply being a spectator. He wants us to share our talents.
Just as a football game can stimulate a crowd of fans to a happy experience, so can you bring joy and encouragement to others as you use your God-given treasures. What is your spiritual gift (e.g., hospitality, giving, teaching, mercy, exhortation, discernment, wisdom)? In 2 Timothy 1:6, we are encouraged to fan the flame of passion as we develop our abilities. Let’s not become so earthly minded that we fail to use the gifts designed with eternal value. Become a participant!
1. How has God uniquely gifted you to serve Him as well as others?
2. What are you doing to refine the talents that God has given you?
Neglect not the gift that is in thee. — 1 Timothy 4:14 KJV