Forum 7.2 - Identifying and Nurturing Gifts
Identifying and Nurturing Gifts
There are many hidden or unused gifts among the members. Three weeks ago, we were cleaning Mt. Zion for homecoming. Therese Temple sat down and began playing the organ. She was good, and I had no idea she could play at all. I asked her if she would please play in church sometime, and she shyly reneged. But I think she felt affirmed having her talent recognized among that small group of friends, and maybe, after this, we'll be hearing her play more regularly. Certainly, we'll try encouraging her
As was pointed out in our video, even state of the art accessibility is only a small step forward, and people who provide it need not praise their own charity. The life of the church is enriched by diversity. I don't think this means that life is made easier by diversity. Welcoming the person or situation or God that seems Other is often very difficult; it can entail a spiritual struggle that lasts a long time.
One of the lay speaker classes helped develop spiritual gifts. This made me aware of the members of our church and how their gifts were utilized. From the members that are willing to speak, visit shut ins, prepare food, physically help with clean up, food packing, and serving on standing committees. I was really amazed at how many members of our small congregation were sharing their gifts.
I agree with class members that our church is so small, we really know each other and encourage participation even if it is just attendance. We are offering classes to help members develop their gifts. We really do not have a system in place at this time.
I have taken the class on Spiritual Gifts as an on line class. It had lots of good information. Perhaps it's time to pass the assessment out and see what it shows.
I really like the emphasis on discovering and offering gifts in the process of Disciple as well!
Has anyone done Gifts ID with the added twist of the Myers-Briggs? It helps with how comfortable someone is in sharing or offering the gift or for a new expression of a gift. I find the MB an interesting addition to spirituality and prayers and leadership.
There are some great MB resources on spirituality (how to use and offer outward and inward spiritual formation practices to reach others). It is also a great help to introduce something like centering prayer by explaining how your personality may reflect the way you approach the prayer time (an introvert may take to the silence like a duck to water and the extrovert may start fidgeting before the third breath).
I have been a part of church staffs where we all took it so we would better understand how to work together as a team. That works for church council as well!
There is also a great new book called "Introverts in the Church." It is amazing how often we assume pastoral leadership requires a strong level of extroversion and how many of us are actually introverts!
Oooh I have put this book on my reading list now, thank you! Another book on Introversion that I really like is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. Not church-specific but really explains introversion well, and she has a good TED talk on the topic too.
Our congregation isn't nearly as small as yours, but it's relatively small compared to the UMC's in the surrounding towns and city. I used to go to one of the larger UMC's before I moved and it has definitely been a lot easier to get to know more people and know more about them (outside of Disciple classes) with the smaller congregation.