Sweet Tea is my weakness. I could easily lose 10 pounds in a month if I just quit drinking the sugar filled stuff. So when I’m dining out, I usually have to warn the server that I’ll be consuming huge amounts.
But I have noticed something in most restaurants that drives me crazy. In restaurants where the servers don’t share tips, it is almost impossible to get a refill. While my glass is empty and I’m thirsty, I watch as server after server walks by with a full pitcher and tries to act like I don’t exist. Finally, 30 minutes later, my server will appear and tell me that they’ll be right back. Which means I have to wait even longer.
Has this ever happened to you? The real problem is that they have been trained not to help each other, but only to fulfill their own responsibilities. Unfortunately, I see this same attitude in churches as well.
While Spiritual Gift tests and assessments are a good thing to help you discover what God has designed you to do, they should not keep you from helping others when there is a need. Let me explain. When I’ve asked people to help in emergency situations, I have heard them reply that they can’t help because their gifting is in another area. If churches aren’t careful we create a system where members willingly walk by people in need because it’s not their job. We end up with a group full of specialists who are unwilling to get their hands dirty.
The truth is that many aspects of ministry are messy, and most people will never feel “called or gifted” to serve in those areas. I’ve never seen a check box on a spiritual gifts test for cleaning toilets, but if there is a problem, someone has to clean it up. I fully believe that people are most satisfied and joyful when using their gifts, but we can’t overlook immediate needs around us. From time to time, we will need to have the heart of Christ, and put a towel around our waist, and simply serve others. In John 13, we see that no job or task was below Christ, so why should we be any different? Don’t let your gifting cause you to miss your calling.