Monday, August 16, 2010

Are you investing your talents?

Yesterday I taught my last 3rd/4th grade Kid's Kingdom (Sunday School) class. At least for a little while. Based on the curriculum, I've been teaching this class for four years and I know I was teaching for a while before we changed up our schedule. So I figure I've been at this for roughly five years with intermittent "rotations" before that. I'm ready for a break, though I am sad to give this up for a while.

This is just a season, like many others before, where either I don't feel my needs being met or I don't feel my spiritual gifts are being put to their best use. This time, it's both. Between this class and my travel schedule due to work, I've been sorely missing out on fellowship and worship. I also don't feel like my lessons are being received by the latest crop of kids like they have in the past.

Of course I'm not hanging it up for good, and I'm not going to go hide in a corner on Sundays and not be involved. One of my strongest convictions is based on Ephesians 4:1-16,

"But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it... It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (Eph 4:7,11-13, emphasis added)

I strongly believe that the Body of Christ can only grow as "each part does its work" (v 16). I have the talent to bring lessons from the Bible to life in practical, applicable ways. I exercise this talent through this class, in my small group, and on this blog. I don't say this to boast; I'm just one part of the body and this is what my part does. But as I step away from my kids' class, I need to continue to apply this talent, or at least become more invested in the other ways I'm presently involved. I'm leaning toward the latter as I want to venture into some new territory with my small group and focus more on my writing. I felt as though I was being spread too thin, so my prayer is this move will make me more effective in these other areas.

But this decision, and my looking ahead, brings these questions to mind:

What are the talents God has given you?

How are you applying those talents to build the Body of Christ?

For reference, I think it is worth checking out the lesson Your Divine Design from Living on the Edge. That lesson has really helped me to focus my talents where I believe God has led me.


Alise said...

Yes, I think I'm using my talents. I'm a musician and I do what I can musically. I've gone through seasons where I thought my gifts didn't really matter (they're "showy" so they might not REALLY be from God), and they were pretty dark times for me. God wants us to use what He's given us and when we're not encouraged in that, it's bad, bad, bad.

Michael Perkins said...

I think its awesome you know what your talents are. Mine is this: I can present things in manner that most can relate to and understand. Whether preaching or teaching.

Duane Scott said...

I'm always too worried that I'll become proud if I label my talents. So, I just bumble through life doing the best I can at all things.

Is that a good enough answer?

Fatha Frank said...

@Alise, Praise God you've identified your talents and are putting them to use. You're right, there's an emptiness that comes from not applying them.

@Michael, you and me both. That's why I've been able to fake my way through five years of teaching the Bible to 3rd and 4th graders. Don't know which is harder, reaching them or reaching the adults in my small group. :)

@Duane, I used to be that way, but I'd burn out too easily being spread too thin. It's not prideful to use what God has given you. Nor is it prideful to identify it so you can use it. I know God has given you a unique sense of humor. I think you already knew that and are putting it to good use. :)