Unwrapping and Sharing Our Gifts

The Bible tells us that God lavishes His gifts on all people with the expectation that they will respond with love and good works. In fact, God plans out which gifts we will receive according to His divine purpose for our life. He knows our particular personality, experiences and influences, and chooses the gifts that can glorify Him. When people discover their gifts, they are empowered to fulfil God’s purpose in their life.

At this point, you may be asking yourself, “Am I gifted?” Yes, everyone is specially gifted by the Holy Spirit. The gifts of hospitality, helping, leadership, giving, faith, craftsmanship, healing, administration and encouragement are all Spirit-given gifts to be used in service to God. There is no magic formula to deciding when/where to share your Spirit-given gifts; however, you may wish to consider the following questions:

Are you open to serving God in a variety of ways? Have you prayed and considered the whole picture? What are your particular gifts? If you aren’t sure, consider the various volunteer opportunities as they appear in the weekly bulletin and the Messenger. Does the task sound exciting/challenging/rewarding/fun? When you read or heard about the opportunity, did you think to yourself, “I can do that!”?

Does this job fit your gifts, skills, talents and personality? Think about the compliments and affirming comments that you receive most often, both verbally and in your work appraisals. These are all sources that may be helpful. Have you received a compliment on your warm smile and hospitable manner? Perhaps you would like to serve as usher or serve coffee. Are you a hands-on person who is blessed with a strong back? There are a lot of ministries and events for which some table set-up assistance would be appreciated. Do people compare you to Martha Stewart? Perhaps you might consider cooking a delicious meal for our Mission and Outreach international dinner or knitting mittens for the annual Yuletide Bazaar in November.

Are you good with money? You might like to count the offering, sell tickets for a church event or be responsible for the contribution basket at the entrance to the event. Do you run a tidy, organized house? There’s always a need for clean-up staff in the kitchen after Parkdale’s many food-related events. Does your boss tell you that you are detail-oriented or a great visionary/strategic thinker? These are important gifts that may be useful in committee work. Doesn’t sound like you? You may be interested in some behind-the-scenes kitchen or planning work.

Think outside the gift box. In other words, don’t be afraid to push yourself beyond your comfort zone every once in a while. After all, you are among friends and Parkdale is one of the most supportive environments that you will find. Try a new task that will help to develop or strengthen your skills. Meet some new people and help out with a special event.  Be realistic as you take on tasks. If you can handle most aspects of the task, simply ask for help with the remaining aspects. Accept that there will be a number of challenges and varying opinions on ways to proceed. This is normal in any large family, especially one the size of Parkdale.

To ‘wrap up’, you may wish to consider this thought: Growing in your relationship with God goes hand in hand with service to Him. Happy stewarding of your gifts!

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Hennessy

Former Chair, Stewardship Committee