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The weekly Sunday church meeting and spiritual gifts

Posted by on Sep 19, 2012 in blog links | 5 comments

The weekly Sunday church meeting and spiritual gifts

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?


5 Comments

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  1. 9-19-2012

    I agree 100%. We have made the “gifts” all a tradition and if you do not have it you are not a good christian or there is sin in you! I counter back that we all are sinners. But by the precious blood of Jesus are redeemed. Jesus gives freely and if you follow Him truly, you will truly receive His power. It is not about you, it is about you in Christ!

  2. 9-19-2012

    I concur. I was working at the Pentecostal Headquarters
    of Canada as a shipper/receiver after I was converted in
    1973. I had no history with church to compare it to but
    the books & literature we shipped to every PAOC church
    in Can were pushing ecumenism, which is the US version
    of ME centered praxis.Many of the biggest churches
    Pastors kids worked there in the summer, and I got to meet
    a number of high profile ministers. Completely different
    than their public image. Ambitious & competitive stuck
    out as well as worldly. How could the guardians of Glossalalia
    not be narcissistic & how could their congregations not be
    indoctrinated with the same view of Jesus as Simon
    the Sorcerer?

  3. 9-20-2012

    Angel,

    Yes, it is about “you in Christ.” And with “us in Christ,” he works through the gifts his given us (and in other ways) always for the benefit of others, not for us to focus on ourselves.

    Greg,

    I think that one of the biggest problems among the church today is that we’ve designed it such that people can have public/private images, and we still think we know one another.

    -Alan

  4. 9-20-2012

    I think we’re supposed to eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially prophecy. The “eagerly” part is based on our love for one another driving us to want more blessing for one another. We should want the gifts that the Holy Spirit shows us are most needed by the people He places in our lives.

  5. 9-21-2012

    Tim,

    Yes, that’s true. We are to eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially those gifts that edify others. Like you said, it’s based on our love for one another, not our desire to want a blessing for ourselves.

    -Alan