the weblog of Alan Knox

Serving when not spiritually gifted

Posted by on Jul 3, 2010 in community, service, spiritual gifts | 2 comments

Serving when not spiritually gifted

(I am interrupting my translation of Ruth for the next few weeks. I’ll return to the translation after I return from Ethiopia.)

A couple of days ago, I wrote a post called “Exclusivity of Spiritual Gifts.” In that post, I suggested that there is a difference between a certain function and the spiritual gift related to that function. Thus, someone who is NOT gifted in a certain way could still function in that same way. Although, those gifted in a certain way would probably function in that way more consistently or regularly.

In response, Mark said the following in a comment:

I believe the Lord is currently using me as a “sent one”, to do a specific task in my community, but I don’t believe that I am an apostle.

I asked if he would explain what he meant, and he left a longer comment. I thought Mark’s comment was too good to leave in the comments:

As an answer to your question let me preface by saying the following. I strongly believe that the Spirit is moving to build a true expression of the Body of Christ on the earth, something that hasn’t had consistent visibility for a long time. There just seems to be such a great “calling out”. Having said that, I believe that the work he has me doing “as an apostle” is along those lines.

My wife and I own two businesses in our town, she a coffee shop/scrapbook store/bridal registry/catering business, etc., and me a family medicine clinic. Her business has been open 3 years, mine 2 years. We strongly feel like these business are the work of the Lord in our community, as the opportunity to touch others’ lives is tremendous. In the last year He has begun knitting us together with some individuals who have begun walking outside of traditional Christianity. In the last year the group has gone from being just a “bible study” among friends, that would meet sometimes and sometimes not, into a fledgling community, where we understand more and more what we are and who we are, and can identify that there is more going on here than just a “bible study”. Now, to answer your question. I feel that I am here plowing ground, hard, crusted ground. I feel that we have been sent here for a specific task, to do the groundwork for the ultimate work that He wants to do. As such, I feel like we are “sent ones”, as I believe He had this specific task in mind for us, and uniquely prepared us for it. Beyond the manner in which we are currently functioning, I don’t see myself as an apostle, as I stated in my post. I believe I will be in this community for many years, and serve within this local body until much later in life, if not until He takes me.

I hope this is an adequate explanation.

And, I hope that you enjoyed Mark’s explanation as much as I did.

(To Mark: Thank you for allowing me to post this comment. I didn’t have a link to your blog or website, but if you send it to me, or leave it in the comments, I’ll be glad to  add it to this post.)


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 7-3-2010

    Really cool to hear this! I believe we are seeing the same thing in our area, including many of the couples in our group that are learning about organic church life. Frank Viola does an excellent job at describing us who feel the same as couples who are in the same line of Aquila and Priscilla who opened their home to the church for community with Christ. Perhaps the gifts of the Spirit are more fluid than we think, perhaps God can gift us differently at different times based on what He is doing according to His Eternal Purpose. Perhaps those of us who have this same burden or inward calling is God birthing places in our homes/workplaces where He desires to see Himself expressed and glorified. Perhaps the titles of leader, pastor, elder, bishop should be thrown out and given to the body of Christ as they were meant to be for the building up of the body of Christ: guide, care, spiritual maturity, watching/discerning God at work. I look forward to seeing what God is about to do as we let Him do His work in the life of the body of Christ when every member is functioning by the Spirit of God with Jesus Christ as head of His church!

  2. 7-3-2010

    By the way Frank Viola’s excellent book that describes this is: Finding Organic Church.


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