Embracing God's Gifts: A Call to Serve the Church and Community

Justin Taylor

Today, I want to invite you to embark on a journey of self-discovery and community building. This isn’t just a reflection on a sermon, but a call to action, a challenge to think deeply about your involvement in the community we call church. The question I pose to you is simple yet profound: **What gift has God given you to serve the church?**

Let’s begin by redefining what we mean by "church." The church is not just an institution or a building; it is a living, breathing community of individuals from diverse backgrounds, all united by a common purpose and love. It's a place where we come together, not as perfect beings, but as people who seek to grow, support one another, and make a difference.

You might be thinking, “I don’t have any special gifts.” But I assure you, everyone has a unique gift to offer. God has endowed each of us with talents and abilities that are meant to be used for the greater good of the community. These gifts are not for self-glorification, but to uplift and support each other.

In our journey together, we must recognise the dangers of divisiveness. Throughout history and even today, we see communities split by the need to be “right” or closer to God. These divisions weaken our collective strength. Instead of competing, we should focus on how our unique gifts can complement and enhance the church community.

Consider the spiritual gifts mentioned in the scriptures: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, and more. These aren’t just lofty ideals but are found in everyday acts of love and kindness. Wisdom and knowledge come into play when we share our understanding and help guide others. Faith is demonstrated in our steadfast commitment to love and justice. Healing occurs when we offer a listening ear or a comforting hug. These small, everyday actions have a profound impact on those around us.

Today, as we reflect on Pentecost, we are reminded of the inclusive nature of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit brings people together, breaking down barriers and fostering a sense of unity. This is the essence of our mission as a church—to include, embrace, and uplift each member of our community.

So, I challenge you: **What gift has God given you to serve the church and the community?** Reflect deeply on this question. Your gift might be a skill, a talent, or simply your time and presence. How can you use it to build up our community? How can you help create an environment where everyone feels valued and included?

Let’s move beyond passive attendance and actively engage in the life of the church. Each of us has a role to play, and together, we can create a community that truly reflects God’s love and grace. Embrace your gifts, no matter how small they may seem, and use them to make a difference.

Take this as a personal invitation to discover and utilise your God-given gifts. Join hands with others in our church to serve, uplift, and transform. Let’s build a community where everyone’s contribution is valued, and where the Spirit’s inclusive love is evident in all we do.

Thanks be to God. Amen.