Using Our Gifts to Serve

Woman bringing a pan of food to a neighbor

The boy had only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. It wasn’t much for a crowd of more than 5,000, but he approached the disciples anyway. The disciples, who didn’t know how they were going to feed a crowd that size with only 1 boy’s small lunch, turned to Jesus, who commanded them to instruct the crowd to sit down and eat.

Jesus took what this boy had, his small gift of food, and multiplied it before the eyes of everyone that day so there would be more than enough to eat. Jesus used the gift He had been given where there was a need to use it, and God blessed it.

In the same way, God calls us to use our bread and fish—the ways we are uniquely gifted—to serve Him. We are all called to serve Him with the gifts He has given us.

How do we go about using our gifts? Where do we even start? Consider these ideas:

  • Talk to your church leaders and pastors. They will know where you can serve both inside and outside the church. Share with them what you think your gifts are; your leaders can affirm them and connect you with different opportunities.
  • Reach out to your local Baptist association and state convention. They can offer great opportunities to serve both locally and statewide.
  • Talk to your church WMU director about how WMU is serving your church and missionaries across the world. There could be opportunities for you to pray for or bless missionaries who need that encouragement.
  • Start a conversation with your friends, and see what you all can do together to serve. Your friends can also help you figure out your gifts. Ask your friends who know you best to tell you what they think you do well.

When you find a way to use your gifts to serve, give all that you have when you do and God will use your gifts to bless others, just as He blessed the 5 loaves and 2 fish of 1 boy. Be ready to serve where there are needs, not just the place that is most popular or where everyone else serves. Be open to doing things that are comfortable for you and things that stretch you. God can teach you things you might not otherwise learn when you serve.

Emily Todd* is a former cross-cultural worker who served among university students in South Asia. Currently she lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

*Name changed.

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