Have you ever asked yourself the question, “What is God’s calling for my life?” While this may seem like a question asked in the midst of an existential crisis, I can assume that it is not. Instead, this question is linked closely with the topic of spiritual gifts.
I once worked at a church with a booming population of “little people.” Each week, the children’s ministry was filled to the max, but there never seemed like enough workers to help. The Kid’s Ministry leader once confessed, “I told my husband that I need him to help out with the kids, but he told me he doesn’t ‘feel called’ and ‘isn’t good with kids.’ It’s not that hard–we just need a body in the room!”
Unfortunately this is the way that many people view serving at the church. It is as if they perceive that God enjoys calling them to tasks that in no ways correspond with their gifting. However, when we examine what the Bible tells us, we can see that that is not the case.
God does not call us to tasks for which He has not prepared us and for which He has not given us the gifts to tackle. If you have been given a spiritual gift but do not use it, you are just like the servant in the parable of the talents (Matt. 14-30) that was given a talent, only to bury it in the ground. This was clearly not the idea his master had when he gave the talent, just as God does not wish us to underutilize the spiritual gifts when He has given us.
Instead, we should seek to grow our spiritual gifts, just as the “good and faithful servants” in the parable invested and grew the talents that they had been given by their master. Determining our spiritual gifts and utilizing them are important steps toward determining our life’s calling.
If you are feeling called to a certain ministry or feel that you have a certain gift, it is important to determine if you have the ability to actually accomplish what you set out to do. I once heard Ron Whitehead, Director of the Center for Youth Evangelism, use this illustration: Ron loves the piano. While his life’s aspiration is to be an accomplished pianist, playing before thousands at Carnegie Hall, his skills do not match up with that dream. He simply does not have that gifting.
Another important aspect of determining your gifts is by getting feedback from others, specifically from trusted, Godly mentors. Ron states:
Find your passion, but take counsel from people who possess wisdom, from those whose opinion you value to make sure that your passion is something you can accomplish. You have to be sure your passion matches your gifts. If you can find your passion and other validate that you have the calling and spiritual gifts to accomplish that passion . . . when those two line up with your personal connection with God, the sky is the limit.
Are there specific tasks to which you feel you have been called? If so, do they match up with your spiritual gifts? Some food for thought . . .