Resurrection Changes Everything-- Including You!

Easter is only 10 days away-- April 20! Our theme at Custer Road UMC this year is, "The Resurrection Changes Everything." I am very excited to celebrate Easter for the first time at Custer Road: 6:30, 8:30, 9:45, 11:00. I know Miles (9) will be excited for Easter-- he voluntarily gave up chocolate during Lent. Maybe you gave up something for Lent too, and are anxious to indulge again. I am not one for giving up things during Lent-- I am more interested in how Lent and Easter change people in their faith journey going forward.

So let me invite you to explore a new path after Easter.

We're offering a new study on Sunday nights beginning April 27, 5:00-7:00 p.m. (six weeks). It's a spiritual gifts study, but takes you much deeper than simply finding out your gifts. The study we'll use has been one of my favorites for many years: Equipped for Every Good Work, by Dan and Barbara Miller. Here's some background on spiritual gifts:

  1. When we are baptized we receive gifts from the Holy Spirit. These gifts are specifically to be used within, and for, the church. Spiritual Gifts are not necessarily the same as vocation gifts.
  2. There are twenty gifts listed in the New Testament: everything from Faith to Service to Apostleship to Leadership. The study goes into great detail profiling each gift so you fully understand who you are.
  3. Many studies bring in talents or interests-- this one does not. This is strictly New Testament stuff.
  4. The best cure for burnout in the church is Spiritual Gifts. Folk who serve in areas where they are gifted never burn out, because they experience joy in their service. One of my gifted areas is teaching, so when I am doing a Bible study or preaching I am at my best. Behind the scenes stuff, like setting up tables (Service) always rates on the lower side for me. So while I am happy to help out now and then this service is not fulfilling to me.
  5. Your gifts will change over time based on your circumstances. This is why it is important to test your gifts regularly. So don't check out on this new course if you've taken an inventory recently.
This last point really hit home recently. I led a staff training event on Spiritual Gifts recently, sort of a warm up to the new class, but also so the staff could better appreciate our purpose in offering the course. So I took the Spiritual Gifts Assessment. And I was surprised at the results. For years my gifts were: 
  • Leadership
  • Teaching
  • Discernment
  • Administration
  • Faith
This time Leadership disappeared-- what used to be my strongest area is now sort of middle of the pack. The reason: my change of role. After a dozen or so years as a Lead Pastor I'm in a different role, and Leadership is not as needed. So my secondary gifts of Discernment and Teaching have become stronger, as well as newer gifts like Wisdom and Knowledge. So here is Frank 2.0:
  • Discernment
  • Teaching
  • Faith
  • Knowledge
  • Wisdom
The point of Spiritual Gifts learning is to point folk to their best opportunity to serve. Based on my gifts I can list several areas of service which will be beneficial to me and the church-- and several I should avoid. Our goal here is to eliminate the word "Volunteer." This is going to sound strange to lots of church folk but there is a good reason. When we ask for volunteers to serve "We need 100 volunteers for whatever," it's a very passive thing-- we hope you will show up and give your time. When folk know their gifts, they will serve in specific ministries that are fulfilling to them, making stronger disciples. So by taking this study you, and the church, will become more aware of who God is shaping you to be-- and we'll be able to point you toward the places where you will be most fulfilled. Now when a new opportunity is offered the staff/leaders can be very thoughtful about which Spiritual Gifts will best help accomplish the mission-- and specific people can be targeted to serve. You know folk who are asked to serve will say yes at a 90% or better rate, as opposed to getting info at your booth. Everyone will experience joy and blessing in their service when they are plugged in to the right opportunity.

Gene Oldham will lead the class. You can register here. I strongly encourage you to be a part of this new, exciting avenue for ministry at Custer Road. In addition to learning your Spiritual Gifts, you'll learn about your Leadership/Interaction style, your Spirituality Type, and your Task Type Preferences. Hey, this was a required church staff training course and they really enjoyed it-- how much more will it benefit you when you choose to bring your interest and passion to the study? And instead of an abbreviated workshop you get the full benefit of six weeks. You will learn a tremendous amount about yourself, learn to serve in areas that best meet who God is shaping you to be, and make a significant impact on the ministry of a dynamic church.


Are you ready to see how the Resurrection Changes Everything in your life?