Serving Outside of Your Calling/Gifting

It has been pretty quiet on the blog recently. I have only posted one thing in the past two weeks. I wish I could say it’s because we’re on vacation or I am having so much fun with my kiddos that I don’t have time for blogging. Although I am enjoying the kids being home and we will go on vacation a week from today (HOORAY!), the reason the blog has been quiet is because we are without an administrative assistant at our church right now. That means my focus has been making sure things are covered at church.

Last week, I had that old, familiar feeling of stress crop up into my heart. It was so strong that I needed to physically leave the church building. My son and I enjoyed the break as he got froyo and I got a passion tea/lemonade from Starbucks (AKA “summer in a cup”). smile* As I had time to process what I was feeling, I realized that my stress was caused by serving outside of my calling and gifting.

When my husband and I first arrived at the church where we currently serve, it was hurting and many people had left, except for a few faithful families who knew this is where God had called them. My husband and I jumped in with both feet, loving people and getting things in order at the church. For the first three or four years, we were the only staff. We each had to do things that we were not gifted to do. When I look back on those days, I marvel at God’s grace for that looooong season. However, as the years went by and the church grew, we were able to hire additional staff to help lighten the load. Currently, we are in a season of change and, therefore, things that were off my plate have been placed back on it. For me, it’s not so much the tasks that are stressful, but carrying the load of making sure the day to day operation of the church is running smoothly that causes me stress.

The half hour break I took allowed me to get some perspective. I was stressed out because I was serving in a place outside both my calling and my gifting. We all have seasons in ministry where we serve outside of what God has gifted and called us to do. What do you do in those seasons? Consider these helpful suggestions:

  1. Acknowledge – it is healthy to realize areas where you are serving only because you need to for a season. Even as leaders, it is not God’s plan for us to do all and be all that is needed. Taking time to figure out what God has both gifted and called you to do brings clarity. Removing the things He has not called you to do brings peace and longevity in ministry.
  2. Ask for grace – anyone who has served in ministry understands that there are seasons where you do what needs to be done because you are a servant and that’s what a servant does. God’s grace is sufficient for those times. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) Lately, I have heard God’s Spirit whisper these words to my soul over and over again. Even though I don’t enjoy seasons of serving outside my gifts and abilities, they are a reminder that I need to stay humbly reliant upon God. His grace lasts for as long as the season lasts. However, I know seasons don’t last forever, so my job is to . . .
  3. Train someone else – we are praying for God to provide the people He has gifted and called to come alongside us. As He provides, it is our job to train them to fill the role He has called them to. This is the part I love! To see people grow into all God has called them to be, is part of what God has both called and gifted me to do. It comes naturally and is a joy to my heart.

In the meantime, His grace covers me and He gives me what I need to get through this season of serving outside of my gifting/calling with humility and patience. If you are in a season like this too, acknowledge it, ask God for His grace to saturate you, and then wait for Him to bring someone you can train and release. He is good and faithful and will answer your prayer!

Your Friend in Ministry,

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