David Fitch at “Reclaiming the Mission” has written a thought-provoking post called “Stop Organizing the Gifts Around the Sunday Morning Gathering (and Church Programming).”
He claims that sometime in the 70’s and then more in the 80’s, church organizations began using “spiritual gift profiles” in order to “connect” their people to different roles and functions within the organization and the events and meetings associated with the church organization.
Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, I remember this. But, like most of our traditions, I thought this was a common practice long before I came along.
According to David, several “bad habits” were formed because of this practice, including this one:
a.) people started to see gifts as a personal orientation. Subtly the gifts became all about “me,” who I am, me being fulfilled, and finding out what my role is. This, I contend, undermines the functioning of the gifts and Christ’s authority in the gifts. I continue to think the first practice of the gifts is for each individual to learn to recognize and submit to the authority of Christ in the giftings as they function in a Body. Out of submitting one finds one’s own gifting and authority. Seeking one’s own self interest always undermines Christ’s work in us.
Like I said… quite thought-provoking… and definitely something that I’ve noticed among the church today. When a “spiritual gift” becomes all about “me” and not about others, then I think we’re missing the point.
What do you think?