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Six Habits of a Healthy Church 1.02

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Six Habits of a Healthy Church  1.02  “Be Yourself”

Romans 12:3-10

            In an episode of M*A*S*H Radar is taking a writing class by mail and he is using flowerily language to write the daily reports.  Col. Potter tells him to stop trying to write like that and just be himself.  Radar picks up his booklet looks through it and says” “Must come later.”

            It is a rare soul that doesn’t try to be like someone they admire.  It’s a rare soul who is satisfied with who they are.  Not all of us are equally gifted to do the same work.  If you have watched American Idol, you know that not all of us are gifted to sing.

            Here in Romans 12 and again in 1 Corinthians 12, Paul writes that God has gifted, or graced each of us with different and complementary gifts.  Notice he list some gifts here in Romans 12 (inspired speech, administration, counseling, teaching, giving) and in 1 Corinthians 12 he has another list (miracles, healing, tongues, prophecy), but notice in both books the gifts are given to us by God (different gifts allotted to each of us by God’s grace Romans 12:6; ‘…all these gifts are the activity of the one and same Spirit, distributing them to each individual…’)

            The second habit of healthy churches is that each of us knows what God has gifted us to do and to be happy with the gift God has given us.  If we were to know what God has gifted us with, if we can be happy with that gift, we can be effective in our work for God’s kingdom.  In his writing, Radar had to learn to be himself; to write about what he knew; and not to try and be like those bums: Hemingway, Steinbeck and company.

            In the Kingdom, God has called you to a ministry and task.  God has placed in us all ability, a desire to serve his church and kingdom and we all do it in our own unique way.  Some serve in a more visible manner, others in a behind the scene way, but both are necessary to do the work we have been called to. Scotty Hawkins in the Marines, an airplane crew chief, doesn’t feel he has done his part, but if he doesn’t do his job, the pilots can’t do theirs.  His job is just as critical as the job of the pilots—maybe more so.

            Failure on our part to do the ministry that God has given us leads to a couple of things.  First, the job doesn’t get done or is not done well when someone else has to do it.  Secondly, it leads to frustration and burn out.  When we are not satisfied with our gifts and feel like our gifts are second place, then we face the real problem of burn out and apathy.

            Remember God has gifted each of us.  We also need to remember that the gifts are given for a purpose.  The gifts are given to the body of Christ for the body of Christ (Romans 12:5; 1Corinthians 12:4-31; Ephesians 4:9-16).  The gifts are not used as a club to beat each other with; they are not used to build personal kingdoms in the church.  They are solely to build the church and enable the church to fulfill its mission and ministry in the world.

            The second habit of a healthy church is for us to know our gifts, to be happy with the gift God has given to us and to use that gift for the good of the body of Christ and the kingdom of God.

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