“Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.” I Corinthians 12:14
As women’s ministry coordinator of my church, I have stepped into many roles. Some are highly visible; teaching, speaking, coordinating events. Others happen behind the scenes. I have come to value these. For they take the spotlight off me and anything I might be trying to do of my own ability. They allow me to do one of my favorite things - equip women to do their own work in God’s kingdom.
One thing I do is make introductions. People in other ministries ask me for idea on who to include in their projects. I see God repeatedly use the various gifts He’s given His people and put them to use. Sometimes they fit into the Spiritual gifts lists we find in the Bible. Other times, they just use their God-given natural inclinations. And they go to work.
Each summer, our church runs a local camp with the national organization Royal Family Kids Camp. Basically, it gives kids who find themselves in our foster care system a chance to go to camp, all-expenses paid.
It takes our whole church to operate this camp well. We fundraise year-round. Men and women serve as camp counselors and volunteer staff. Closer to camp, we purchase supplies and gift cards to equip camp.
Camp gives our church a chance to work together. From what I know of our camp director, Shannon Goodwin, she could put any talent you have to work for camp! Juggling, water polo, shopping, teaching, baking. And sewing.
Which is where my mother-in-law, Barb, and her friends come in to the picture. Each camper receives a fleece blanket and a pillow upon arrival at camp. The first year the ladies put these blankets together, we bought the material last minute. Not on sale. They turned out beautifully! But they broke the budget.
This year, we wanted to be better prepared. My mother-in-law is a woman of many talents, but up there near the top of her list is an ability to hunt down a bargain. She often jokes her favorite brand is clearance.
My mother-in-law with her friend, Carol. Another fellow bargain hunter.
All year long, she resolved to watch for sales on fleece when we were out and about anyway. And in October, Barb hit the jackpot. We had joined our guys on a fishing trip in Pentwater. The last evening, they met up with friends for dinner. And her friend just happened to mention JoAnn Fabrics was having a sale that weekend on their fleece material.
Barb stopped by the store on her way home. Spent five hours there. While her saint of a husband sat in the car. Barb got the fleece material for $285, more than half of what we paid the year before. After they hauled all the material for 30+ blankets home, she spent another several hours sorting it into matching fronts and backs.
I see this happen all the time when God gets involved. Seemingly non-essential gifts do huge Kingdom work.
We have a young man in our church. Christopher. Who sits somewhere on the autism spectrum. He loves Jesus with such abandon!
I don’t know what American Idol would think of him, but we love Christopher. He is a member of our praise and worship band. Actually, he just sang last Sunday. Had a couple solos and spent much of the time jumping up and down. It is pretty easy to get your own worship on with Christopher leading the way.
Offer all of your talents, gifts, abilities up to God. Never, ever say you have nothing unique to offer the Kingdom. Especially if I am in hearing range. Because it’s just not true. A lie straight from our enemy.
God used a bargain hunter to free up budget dollars for use in other ministries. He uses Christopher to remind us to worship God freely. I know if you’ll let Him, God has plans to put you to work as well.