Giving our Time and Talents
“It is in giving that we receive.” (St Francis of Assisi)
When we talk about stewardship and ‘giving’ we often assume that it is all about money.
This is absolutely not true. we can give in so many wonderful ways, and more often than not, they don’t have to cost us a penny.
One way we can give is through time and talents. We all have gifts and talents that we have received from God, as St Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans:
“For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness“ (Romans 12:4-8)
Giving conversations always seem to focus on money first. This is because our world idolizes material wealth which can make financial giving a more uncomfortable practice for many than giving of one’s time or talent. Even Jesus talked a lot about money in the gospels, knowing how susceptible we are to becoming attached to it. But giving generously of talent and time are marks of strong leaders, too. With so many things competing for our time and attention in the media-saturated, restless world we live in, sacrificing time to serve others is countercultural and it makes a powerful statement to those you serve, that they are worth your time.
God has given each of us some very specific talents, and only you can use your gifts and talents perfectly. That talent may be singing, flower arranging, writing intercessory prayers, cleaning, having an eye for detail, talent with numbers and accounts, aiding in worship, communicating our faith, practical action, the list really is endless. When God gives His children a special gift, He intends that His child puts it to good use. As Christians, we must take time to discover what gifts God has given us, and how He wants us to use them. Here at St John the Evangelist, we strive for the collective involvement of all the members who make up the body of Christ. What we contribute as individuals is important because it is part of the whole team and reflects Christ, our head, operating in and through us. Get involved. All the rest of us need your gifts.
But you may now be asking yourself….. What talents can I offer? Rather than rushing into a decision or simply putting our names down on all the rotas, we should spend time discerning our gifts. We discover which talents God has given us and how he expects us to use them to serve our family, church and others through prayer and consulting with others. if you would like to discuss exploring and discerning your gifts and talents and how they can contribute to our faith worship and life, please do not hesitate to call Fr Owain on 01652 653989 or Rev Trudy Hobson on 01652 656573 for a friendly chat.
It is clear that we should give to others as God has given to us, and at St John the Evangelist, we strive to do just this. We seek to provide an environment in which each person can grow and flourish in their faith, using their God given gifts, talents and time in God’s service – in and outside of the church – so that we can become the people that God had created us to be. For as the Mission Shaped Church report states: “It’s not the church of God that has a mission in the world, but the God of mission who has a church in the world.” (Mission Shaped Church Report)