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The Gift Zone




Just this past week, my husband and I were talking about spiritual gifts and whether or not all believers are expected to evangelize...

Evangelize according to the Amplified Bible:

Evangelism is teaching (heralding, proclaiming, preaching) the gospel (the message from God that leads us to salvation) with the aim (hope, desire, goal) to persuade (convince, convert).

What picture comes to your mind when you see the word evangelist?  If you are like me, you picture a person going door to door or to a popular event handing out Gospel tracks.  Or you may picture a person, no matter who they are talking to, stranger or friend, will share the Gospel with the hope of converting.  I admire people like that.  My Pastor and several of my long-time friends fit the very picture I painted of an evangelist.

I started to feel convicted when my church was going to be handing out Gospel tracts at our town's big 4th of July parade, a parade that sees over 100,000 people descend upon our quaint little town.  You see, walking up to complete strangers to start a conversation of any sort, is way out of my comfort zone.  Yet I know we are called to leave our comfort zones, trusting in God's strength to buoy us in our weakness.

I posed the question to my husband of whether everyone is called to be an evangelist - "out on the streets".  He responded with the following verse:

And it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, {some} to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for works of ministry,
 to build up the body of Christ,
Ephesians 4:11

I can remember a situation where a person was fulfilling a role in a Christian setting, but wasn't really gifted at all for the position, so much so that it became a delicate situation.  The leaders prayed about a way to lovingly persuade the person to follow an area that was more within their giftedness.  It turned out, the person really didn't enjoy what they were doing in the original role, and it all worked out for the best when they were then utilized in an area of their gifting.

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,  so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.  Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy,
 in proportion to our faith;  if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching;  
the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Romans 12:4-8

It would seem that the verses above would indicate that not all are called to be evangelists in the street-corner preaching or out on the streets sense of the word.

But I do believe we are all called to share our faith and the Gospel as the Lord presents opportunities.  I have spoken about it before here on the blog, what I will call  "urge to push evangelism" where the Holy Spirit prompts me in such a powerful way to share the Gospel, and it might even be to a complete stranger!

There are also other ways that we can evangelize within our own giftedness, and that's okay too.  Whether through serving, teaching Sunday School, in our relationships with family and neighbors, building new relationships or in a ministry close to our hearts.  {For me, it was a ministry the Lord laid upon my own heart to create, the Ephesians 6:15 Sock Ministry, where over 1000 U.S. Marines received a Gospel of  John tract.}

Evangelism looks different for everyone and that is the beauty of the Body of Christ.  Just like there are many ways to share the Gospel, there are many ways the Lord has prepared a person to receive the Gospel.

This doesn't mean I won't ever participate in street evangelism, but I will trust the Lord to nudge me, if and when that time comes.

This also doesn't mean I will never do something outside of my comfort zone...

I will actually be participating in a Women of Faith Conference at our church where we are hoping to minister to homeless women and those with little means.  You might say, "Well Karen, what makes this different than street evangelism?  There will still be strangers there that you will be interacting with."  And yes, I would say you are right!   Indeed, this will be outside of my comfort zone, but the difference is, this is in my wheelhouse of gifting.  The Lord has blessed me with the gift of teaching and mentoring, and I believe both will be utilized at this conference, to God be the Glory.

I think we are more likely to leave our comfort zones when some portion of our gifting is part of the activity; even though we might not realize it...

Again, I want to reiterate that I know that we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us.  And I do believe it is good to stretch our spiritual gifting muscles, but I also believe it is okay to not serve in a particular area if  the activity is outside of our gifting or we have not had that "urge to push".

We are the body of Christ and as such, we all operate in different capacities within our Gift Zone so that the Gospel will go forth in a wide variety of ways to reach the broadest audience in the hopes that many will come to a saving knowledge of  the Lord Jesus.

Let us all be ready to give an answer for the Hope that lies within us ...


THE GOOD NEWS!

 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
Romans 10:9-10


*NOTE* When I sat down at the computer, I was just planning on writing a short post to tell you all that I would be back next week with a full blog post. The reason,  I was called to participate in an exciting project this past week, one that I will share more about in the coming weeks.  Because of the time spent on that project, I didn't have any content for a blog post.  Or so I thought... 

As I was reflecting upon how much the Lord was in everything {I} accomplished for this exciting project, it caused me to think about gifting once again; the apparent lesson of my week!  And so I wrote...  


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Comments

  1. And, so I am GLAD you wrote!! :) I REALLY, really appreciated your thoughts on this. I once ended up in a certain area of ministry that was totally and completely beyond and out of the realm of my personal gifts. The misery that it caused me and my precious, little family was untold. Sometimes we do something by default that is not even God's perfect will for our lives. It is something that MAN is requiring of us, NOT God. And when this happens, oh, the anguish it can cause the person who is doing their utmost to perform something that God Himself does not require nor did He gift them for. I REALLY appreciated your thoughts so much today, sweet friend. Sometimes I wish we could sit face and face and talk about our stories and share our hearts! I love and appreciate you so much! God bless you abundantly.

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    1. Cheryl, Your first sentence made me smile so big! :-D

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience in the area of God's gifting. Your insights added so much to the post. I always appreciate your words so much, and today was no different! :-)

      Awe, I do too Cheryl. For me, I feel like if I spent time with you, my walk with Christ would be that much closer, as I feel you are such a beautiful example of a life lived wholly for Jesus; and I know my heart would rejoice to be able to meet one day face to face my sweet friend face to face. If the Lord doesn't arrange it here on Earth, we will meet in Glory one day!

      With much love,

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  2. Karen - I believe that Jesus was a model for all 5 of the ministry functions and He showed us exactly how we can operate in them, within our circle of influence. I am not called to be an Evangelist, believe me, I am no Billy Graham...it is so not my gifting - I even said something like that to the Lord once and His response was Oh really? haha - Over the next few months I came to understand that while I am not an evangelist - I still have a responsibility to share the good news and my testimony of what Jesus has done for me, with others. Blessings, I found you at #WhatJoyIsMineMondaysMusings

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    1. Hi Debbie, thank you so much for taking the time to comment and sharing your own experience.

      Blessings,

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  3. This is excellent! Thank you for writing this! Such excellent, Bible backed, points explained in a gentle loving way. Many will sigh with relief. So true!

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    1. Mrs. White,

      Thank you! You are very welcome!

      Your words have encouraged me so much.

      Your visit has blessed me. :-)

      Delete
  4. Isn't it great when your writing takes off without you?! You wrote about areas I struggle with sometimes. I will say that when I have stepped out of my comfort zone and entered areas that were NOT using what I consider to be my gifts, I have seen God work in more miraculous ways than I could have imagined. Street evangelism (in a foreign culture) was one of those things - SO hard for me to do. But God gave me words when I thought I had none and it was a moving and life changing experience. Having said that, (giggle) I try not to continue doing it because it's so uncomfortable for me. Is that following God's will? I'm not sure...it's something I'm still trying to figure out! Thanks for your post today!

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    1. Carol, It is! And it has happened to me more times then I can count! Praise God for His help!

      Thank you for sharing your own experience, and with a sense of humor. :-)

      You are welcome!

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  5. Karen enjoyed this. I am no evangelist either on the streets, but I truly believe you and I are "digital evangelists" right here on our blogs. I love sharing Jesus with others and this is a way I can do it comfortably.

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    1. Deborah, I'm so glad you enjoyed this post.

      I love that! "Digital Evangelists" I hadn't heard that term before and in the last two days I've now heard it twice. Apparently, there is going to be a blogger conference in Texas for Digital Evangelists!

      I certainly agree with you.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment.

      Blessings.

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  6. I agree with you. All of God's people are commanded to "go and make disciples of all nations, preaching the Gospel..." so no one has an "opt out" clause in sharing the truth, but HOW we do that is widely varied and should be in concert with our individual gifts bestowed upon us by the Spirit.

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    Replies
    1. Karen, Thank you so much for sharing in the conversation. I appreciated your thoughts so much.

      Blessings,

      Delete
  7. Karen, what a wonderful post! So true! Oh that we would just rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, and allow the Holy Spirit to flow through us unquenched...allowing the authority of His Spirit to overflow our flesh and our emotions, so that no matter who we're with, love, peace, patience, joy, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control just come gushing forth! Many blessings to you!

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    1. Beth, Thank you!

      I LOVE what you added here to the conversation, and so beautifully written.

      You have blessed me by your visit.

      Blessings.

      Delete
  8. Karen, you explained this area of giftedness very well. There are things we are all called to do, like evangelism and giving, but it will look different in all of our lives.

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    1. Donna, Thank you. Praising God for His leading as I write.

      Thank you for stopping by. :-)

      Delete
  9. I'm in agreement with you, Karen. Sharing our faith will look different for everyone, and that's okay! I appreciate your thoroughness and your biblical approach to this topic. Thank you for sharing it with us at Grace & Truth!

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    1. Jennifer, Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement.

      You are very welcome!

      Blessings.

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  10. I completely agree, Karen. We are all called to witness and some are called to be evangelists. Shining His light and pointing to His love! Blessings and thank you so much for faithfully joining the Faith 'n Friends Blog Hop!

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    1. Deb, Thank you so much for taking the time to comment.

      You are welcome! I enjoy the fellowship at Faith 'n Friends Blog Hop. :-)

      Delete

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