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Many churches these days seem to place a great deal of emphasis on creating seeker-friendly environments, implementing membership growth programs, building a phenomenal multimedia ministry, and bringing on board “big-vision” staff members with charismatic personalities. Who is really being glorified in all of this: God or man?
In our efforts to package church into something exciting, we may have overlooked one of God’s key provisions for our growth and maturity: spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts are a necessity in the ministry of every body of believers. All of us, as Christ followers should be working together to strengthen the body, to produce unity, to be lights shining in the darkness, and to bring glory to God. This is done through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, through the gifts that He gives us.
As the preacher A.W. Tozer wrote, “These are not natural talents merely, but gifts imparted by the Holy Spirit to fit the believer for his place in the body of Christ. They are like pipes on a great organ, permitting the musician wide scope and ranged to produce music of the finest quality. But they are, I repeat, more than talents. They are spiritual gifts.”*
Unfortunately, many Christians seem to be unaware of the gifts of the Spirit—what they are, how they are received, or how they are to be used. In the next six weeks of study you will learn the answers to these questions and more. As you discover a fuller vision for how God intends spiritual gifts to work within the church, your study of this subject will prepare you to tap into God’s agenda and play an active role in His ministry, not only to the body of Christ but possibly even to the rest of the world.
We have yet to see what God would do for His Church if we would all throw ourselves down before Him with an open Bible and cry, “Behold Thy servant, Lord! Be it unto me even as Thou wilt!”†
* A.W. Tozer, Keys to the Deeper Life (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984), 44.
† Tozer, Keys to the Deeper Life, 47