Your gifts are things that God enables you to do naturally in service to others in the body of Christ. The person who has a gift is able to give it without needing anything in return. And the people who receive the gift generally recognize that the person has a gift.

Ministry works best, and according to God’s plan, when the people doing the ministry are exercising their spiritual gifts. If we think that God is calling our church to do something, the way we test the call is by publishing the idea to see if some members of the church have the gifts necessary to do the work. If there is no one in the body with the gifts, the time and the willingness to do the work, we can conclude that it is not something God is calling us to do.

Of course, there is some work in the church that no one wants to do. There is no spiritual gift for setting up and taking down tables and chairs, or for cleaning up after church activities. It is the common responsibility of the body. Also, all Christians are responsible for helping the needy, for loving others, including our enemies, and for fulfilling the general obligations of love and obedience. We cannot excuse ourselves from some duty of Christian faith by saying we don’t have a gift for it.

To use our spiritual gifts in the right way, we must develop a true understanding of the nature of the Church. Many people view the Church as a building or as an organization to which they give money or time. They fail to understand that the people are the Church. In the Old Covenant, God lived in the midst of His people in a temple building. In the New Covenant, God lives within His people. The people of God are the New Temple (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:19).

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