Sometimes in serving we compare ourselves to others and feel either insignificant as though our gift doesn’t matter or proud as though what we do is more important than others.
1 Peter 4:10 teaches that spiritual gifts are expressions of God’s grace. We also find in Scripture that God gives spiritual gifts on the basis of grace. Consequently, we have significance in ministry because of God’s grace, not the spiritual gift.
Significant Enough for God to Command Us to Use Our Spiritual Gifts
Using our gift, whatever it might be, isn’t an option. The NIV doesn’t do justice to the original language in wording it as “you should use whatever gift.” God isn’t saying it’s something we ought to do but rather that we should definitely do it. What God commands must be important. And, He will hold us accountable for using our gift to serve others as seen in in the qualification that we use our gift “as faithful stewards” — the topic of the next post.
Significance Because You are Needed
There’s a practical side to God commanding us to use our gift which makes each one of our contributions significant. As previously noted, each person, doing their part using their spiritual gift(s), adds in to a more complete understanding of God’s grace. We need each other, no matter what our gift may be. We find this concept in God’s analogy of the Church to the human body. He says, “As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!'” (1 Cor. 12:20-21)
Significance Based on God’s Grace Means No Comparing or Competing
Because of God’s grace we don’t have to compare or compete with others in ministry. They have been given spiritual gifts to serve based on God’s grace and so have you. Whether a leader or a secretary, whether a teacher or a teacher’s helper, whether a youth pastor or a nursery worker, whether paid staff or a lay person, everyone’s contribution matters.
You might find the following articles helpful if you struggle with significance in ministry: