Sometimes I’ve gotten the impression that my gift or talent doesn’t count much in church. I’ve even thought that maybe I didn’t have any to offer because mine was so different from the majority. That isn’t true, of course. Believing such a lie can lead to discouragement and depression. I have discovered that sharing our talents and gifts brings joy to us and to God. I know that others have struggled with similar thoughts.
One question I have heard is, is there room for art in church? What is art? Art can be performing music; drawing, painting, sculpting; dancing; writing literature, plays, poetry, devotionals, etc.; and creating pottery or jewelry. Art can be a craft or a trade. Art can be baking or speaking.
In many churches there are people who are excellent cooks and decorators, people who sew banners, crochet and knit for babies and elderly, and of course, the musically talented who play instruments and sing. There are those who direct the choir and musicals. There are those who paint murals.
Romans 12:6 talks about such gifts as prophesying in proportion to one’s faith, serving, teaching, encouraging, contributing to the needs of others generously, leading and governing diligently, and showing mercy cheerfully.
There are the spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12) such as wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, and prophecy. Spiritual gifts include performing miracles, distinguishing between spirits, speaking in different kinds of languages (tongues), and interpreting tongues.
Often when people talk of gifts, those are the verses that come to their mind. Yet in Exodus 31:2-4, God told Moses that he had chosen Bezalel, Oholiab, and other craftsmen to make everything that God commanded. God said, “I have filled him with the Spirit of God with skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of crafts—to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver, and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship.”
They created furnishings, accessories, altars, utensils, basins, woven garments, anointing oil and fragrant incense, just to name some. In Joshua 18:4, Joshua sends out men to survey the land and write descriptions. Counselors, scribes, singers, musicians, architects, secretaries, and skillful writers are all mentioned in the Bible. Scribes can be defined as journalists, secretaries, and copyists so some of these may seem redundant, but I didn’t want to leave anyone out.
So, the answer is yes, all our gifts can be used in church and to worship God because He is the One who blessed us with them in the first place.
We want to excel in gifts that build up the church (1 Corinthians 14:12.) Love is the greatest gift, of course. I think we all have the capacity to love much, especially if Christ is in us. God and Christ are one, and God is love!
Each of us has a gift, a talent—maybe even several since God is generous—so please, don’t ever feel that you somehow missed getting one. Yes, some gifts come naturally and some must be developed. God wants us to use our gifts and talents. If we don’t use them, we can lose them (i.e.: get rusty if neglected).
How do you know what your gift or talent is? What is something that you do that gives you great joy and satisfaction? That may be a good indication. God is a loving Father who wants us to enjoy our lives through our work and activities. Your gifts and talents are meant to be shared because sharing them makes others happy too.
My gifts are writing and encouragement. What are yours?
If you’re still figuring it out, don’t worry. You’ll discover yours when you discover what you’re passionate about. You may see a pattern over time.
Go out and share your gift—the more you give away, the more you’ll grow and receive. God is pleased to bless us this way. Isn’t that wonderful?
Artwork by Sharmila Rowan.