Many Christians feel like oddballs in their local churches, confused why serving God holds such little joy or passion. Not fulfilling. Just frustrating. I get it. Let me explain.
I hold as my single claim to fame the day I danced for the judges at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. But I’ll be honest: I never intended to dance. I auditioned as a guitar player, yet when the judges called me back the next day, they asked me to dance as well! Bad idea.
End of audition. I immediately lost the job. Why? They misplaced me.
You know where else I see dancing guitarists? The church.
Problem 1: We’re Misplaced
Serving God feels, at times, like cleaning the garage or eating vegetables. We choke it down because we’re supposed to. It could be, however, that we seek to serve God in an area where He has not gifted us. Guitar players don’t like to dance. (Believe me.)
The Apostle Peter should have been there when I auditioned. His words apply even more so to frustrated Christians:
As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. —1 Peter 4:10
“The manifold grace of God” points to diverse gifts given to different individuals. We’re “each” are gifted differently.
That includes you.
Dealing with Problem 1
How has God gifted you? Look at it this way: what’s your passion?
- Maybe God has given you a special ability to speak with children, or to share Jesus with others, or to teach the Bible, or to encourage people, or to write. Is this you? Then “speak as if God speaks” (1 Peter 4:11).
- Or perhaps God has given you a heart to serve, through caring for someone’s needs, or in duplicating CDs, or by cleaning your church, or by exercising great faith, or by giving. Is this you? Then “do so with the strength God provides” (1 Peter 4:11).
Enjoy the freedom of serving God in this way.
I think the best way to discover your gift(s) is to evaluate your passions and ask others how they see God has gifted you. (These should match, by the way.) If you’re still at a loss, you can jump start your thinking by taking a test to give you an idea of where God has gifted you.
Problem 2: We’re Mis-motivated
Jesus does more than say, “Serve me.” He enables us to do so.
- To those who speak, He gives words.
- To those who serve, He gives strength.
But there could be a deeper issue. Although serving brings great fulfillment, the real motivation lies deeper: “so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11).
So maybe we’re not misplaced after all, but we’re mis-motivated. We serve God for us, not for Him.
Dealing with Problem 2
Sometimes a realignment of attitude and motive is all we need, isn’t it?
- We aren’t serving God for our fulfillment, but for His glory.
- Our fulfillment is a byproduct of the correct motive.
If you feel frustrated at your service, either you serve in an area other than your gift, or your motivation for serving lies somewhere other than God’s glory.
So take off those dancing shoes and tune up your instrument to serve God where He has gifted you.
And all for His glory!
Tell me what you think: Have you ever felt misplaced at church? What difference did it make once you found your “fit”–IF you have? To leave a comment, just click here.