Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I hope that we will be able to do a short giftings course here in the autumn. In a church full of busy people it seems important to make sure we are all doing the things for which we are most equipped.

I've used a couple of specific courses in the recent past, one from Willow Creek and one based on the Gallup Strengthfinder material (Buckingham and Clifton). Any comments from people who've used these or other courses gratefully received.

In a meeting I was at yesterday it was let slip that at a certain church the people who operate the sound desk have various hearing difficulties. Having removed my handkerchief from my mouth I mentally revisited the whole 'theology of inappropriate giftings' material discussed by Trudge in A Youthworkers Tale.

Oh come on. You'll let me plug my own book once every three years won't you? Anyway I couldn't remember how many of these had already been published but I reckon the church would be made a considerably more amusing, if slightly less functional place, if the following giftings were utilised:

Sound engineers with hearing difficulties

Bible readers with a stutter

Welcomers with tourettes

Holy Communion administrants with Parkinson's

Mute preachers

Holy Communion president with no sense of direction

Offertory collected by a fraudster (actually I know a couple of churches where this has been attempted)

Tone deaf musicians

Counsellors with a temper

Visually impaired projectionists

Baptisms by the aquaphobic

...and for external work please welcome steeplejacks with vertigo.

My mind. It wanders see.

I continue my search for a person who is wrong about everything. How useful a gift would that be. You could run all your ideas past them and then do the opposite of what they advised.


Matthew P said...

Could a person ever identify themselves as having the gift of being wrong about everything?

Wouldn't that immediately make them right about something?

Have I just put myself forward as a candidate?

Anonymous said...

Mute preachers . . . I'm sure we have all sat through some sermons where that particular affliction would have been gladly welcomed (not yours, of course, st)

Mike Peatman said...

How about welcomers with a chip on their shoulder? Lavatory attendants on catering?

Getting on dodgy ground, now.

Anonymous said...

With that list of people, it sounds like you've been visiting my church...

Mike Peatman said...

bank robber as stewardship secretary?

Rich Burley said...

Your question about 'gifts' teaching materials - whilst this might sound unduly negative the only one I've used is the Willow Creek one and I thought that was pretty poor.

It may have been because our house group was supremely awful at the time we worked through it, but I found it a bit too 'purpose driven' for my taste.

If we're being holistic about 'gifts' and not just recognised 'offices' in the church, we need to help people offer their whole selves to God and not just bits which may or may not be useful to the church. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is a good thing but I don't think treating gifts like medals to collect, as if God doles them out at birth from a scripurally ordained collection of 22, is particularly helpful.

St said...

Have just heard that my book is to be remaindered. Curses.