Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:10

Do you know what I think is one of the biggest detriments to the local church? The “professionalization” of ministry. (And I say this as a full-time minister.) Why is this such a problem? Because if churches can pay someone to do a task – preach, teach, lead worship, oversee administrative tasks, etc. – then other people don’t have to.

I’ve been in full-time ministry for a decade, which isn’t that long in the grand scheme. But during my time in churches I see a reluctant flock. I see men and women who have been given amazing gifts and talents waste them or hide them away because they’re afraid of failure or ridicule.

To quote Paul, “Men and brethren, this ought not be!”

Jesus told the parable of the money bags. In the story, a wealthy landowner went on a journey and entrusted portions of his wealth to three servants. Two of them invested the money and put it to work. They returned it to him with even more. But the other servant buried his portion in the ground and waited, lazily and anxiously, until the master returned. This servant was chastised for wasting his time and energies, not investing the gift given him.

Paul told Timothy to “fan into flame” the gift inside him as a young minister. Paul also told the church in Ephesus that Christ appointed leaders for the purpose of equipping the people.

It’s an absolute honor to serve the Lord’s kingdom. Yet I can’t help but wonder about all the wasted potential filling our pews. In Genesis 12, God called Abram to be the father of God’s people on earth. God blessed Abram so through him all nations would be blessed. We are blessed in order to bless others!

If you have certain gifts, then use them to build up the church and bring glory to God! If you are uncertain in your abilities, your church leaders should be more than happy to help train you and encourage you along the way.

If the church is going to be the fully functioning Body of Christ, we need all hands (and feet and mouths and ears) on deck. Don’t let the Body of Christ atrophy. If you’ve got a gift, a passion, a talent, bring it! It will only make you and your community better so God may be glorified.