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Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 13 - USING YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS IN YOUR CHURCH

     All Scripture references
     are to the NIV unless otherwise noted. Suggested answers are
     found within parentheses. These lessons are taught from a
     computer screen, therefore upper case is used throughout for
     visual clarity. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a
     blackboard. 
INTRODUCTION: THIS WEEK WE COME TO THE LAST LESSON OF THIS QUARTER.
NEXT WEEK WE START OUR STUDY OF 1 JOHN. PICK UP NEW QUARTERLIES.
(NEED TEACHER'S) 
     LETS REVIEW FOR JUST A MOMENT. REMEMBER THAT WE FIRST STUDIED
THE INDIVIDUAL SPIRITUAL GIFTS. WE THEN DETERMINED WHICH OF THOSE
SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE YOUR PERSONAL GIFTS. NEXT WE STUDIED HOW YOU
SHOULD GET GOING TO START YOUR "MINISTRY" WITH YOUR GIFTS IN THE
LOCAL CHURCH.  FINALLY, THIS WEEK WE LOOK AT HOW THE CHURCH
OPERATES AS A WHOLE.

I. THE RIGHT FIT?

     A. YOU REMEMBER LAST WEEK WE DECIDED THAT THE WORK OF THE 
     CHURCH WAS:

          1. OUTREACH
          2. SPIRITUAL NURTURE TO MEMBERS
          3. SERVICE IN COMMUNITY
          4. WITH AN ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTION TO KEEP IT ALL WORKING
          SMOOTHLY. 

     B. WE CALL OUR VISION: BUILDING, CARING, SHARING.

     C. HOW IS OUR CHURCH ACTUALLY ORGANIZED? (ELDERS, DEACONS, 
     DEACONESSES, DEPARTMENT LEADERS, ETC.)

     D. IS OUR CHURCH ORGANIZED ALONG THE LINES OF OUR WORK?

          1. OUR LESSON SAYS (SABBATH) THAT THE NOMINATING
          COMMITTEE HAS A "TWO FOLD PURPOSE: 1)TO GIVE CAREFUL
          STUDY TO THE NEEDS OF THE CHURCH AND 2) TO MAKE CAREFUL
          INQUIRY INTO THE FITNESS OF MEMBERS TO SERVE." IT FAULTS
          NOMINATING COMMITTEES FOR FAILING TO ENSURE THAT THOSE
          ASKED TO SERVE HAVE THE RIGHT SPIRITUAL GIFTS FOR THAT
          POST.

          2. A MORE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION IS WHETHER WE HAVE THE 
          RIGHT ORGANIZATION TO FULFILL OUR MISSION? 

               a. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
               b. DOES THE ELDERS/DEACONS/DEPARTMENTS ORGANIZATION
               FIT OUR MISSION?

          3. IF OUR ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE DOES NOT "FIT" OUR 
          WORK, HOW CAN THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE BE EXPECTED TO
          PICK PEOPLE WITH THE RIGHT SPIRITUAL GIFTS?

               a. FOR PURPOSES OF DISCUSSION, LETS LOOK AT MY 
               "OFFICE" AND MY "JOBS" FOR A MINUTE TO TEST THIS
               IDEA. 

                    (1) HOW IMPORTANT IS THE ROLE OF THE ADULT SS
                    TEACHER IN THE CHURCH? (GETS MORE TIME WITH
                    THE CHURCH -- AND MORE "QUALITY TIME" BECAUSE
                    INTERACTIVE TIME --THAN THE PASTOR. TIME
                    FACTOR IS OFFSET BY LOWER ATTENDANCE AT
                    SABBATH SCHOOL.)

                    (2) IN ADDITION TO HAVING THE GIFT OF TEACHING,
                    WOULD YOU THINK THAT THE OBJECTIVE
                    QUALIFICATIONS FOR BEING THE TEACHER SHOULD BE
                    AT LEAST AS STRINGENT AS THAT OF AN ELDER? 

                    (3) IT JUST HAPPENS TO BE THAT I AM AN ELDER,
                    BUT IT IS CERTAINLY NOT REQUIRED. I DON'T
                    THINK I EVEN HAVE TO BE A MEMBER IN GOOD
                    STANDING TO TEACH THE CLASS (MERE MEMBERSHIP
                    WILL DO).

               b. WHAT ABOUT THE JOB OF "LAY PASTOR?" IS THAT 
               SUPPOSED TO BE AN ADMINISTRATOR, PREACHER OR
               TEACHER? 

                    (1) WHAT KIND OF GIFTS ARE NEEDED HERE?

                    (2) IF YOU SAY ALL THREE (ADMIN, PREACH, 
                    TEACH), HOW IS A SINGLE PERSON SUPPOSED TO
                    HAVE ALL OF THOSE GIFTS?
                    
                    (3) I DOUBT THAT I GOT IT FOR ADMINISTRATIVE 
                    REASONS BECAUSE I HAVE NO INTEREST IN
                    ADMINISTRATION, AND AS FAR AS I CAN SEE,
                    LITTLE TALENT.

               c. WHAT ABOUT THE JOB OF LOCAL ELDER? DO YOU HOLD
               THAT BECAUSE YOU ARE SPIRITUALLY MINDED? BECAUSE
               YOU VISIT? BECAUSE YOU SPEAK WELL FROM THE
               PLATFORM? OR BECAUSE YOU ARE POPULAR? OR MAYBE HOLD
               A GOOD JOB?

                    (1) ANYONE WHO HAS RECENTLY BEEN ON THE 
                    NOMINATING COMMITTEE HAVE SOME INSIGHT HERE?

               d. HOW IS THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE TO DECIDE 
               "FITNESS TO SERVE" UNLESS THE CHURCH IS ORGANIZED
               ALONG LINES OF SERVICE THAT CORRESPOND TO CLEARLY
               DEFINED SPIRITUAL GIFTS? 

               e. THE BIBLE SPEAKS OF THE CHURCH AS BEING LIKE A
               BODY (1 COR 12), DOES THE CHURCH MANUAL LAY OUT
               JOBS LIKE WE WERE RUNNING A TRAIN OR WERE OPERATING
               LIKE A BODY? (SEE CHURCH MANUAL, CHPT.6)

II. THE RIGHT ORGANIZATION?

     A. MONDAY'S LESSON SUGGESTS THAT THERE ARE FOUR SETS OF 
     "ESSENTIAL" GIFTS AND TUESDAY'S LESSON SUGGESTS FOUR SETS OF
     "GENERAL FRAMEWORKS FOR MINISTRY." UNFORTUNATELY, THEY ARE NOT
     THE SAME. TUESDAY'S LOOKS LIKE WHAT WE HAVE DECIDED FOR OUR
     CHURCH:

          1. SHARING (EVANGELISM)
          2. BUILDING (TEACHING THE CONGREGATION)
          3. CARING (NEEDS OF THE CONGREGATION AND THE COMMUNITY)
          4. WITH ADMINISTRATION FOR THESE THREE.

     B. IF YOU WERE TO START WITH A BLANK SHEET OF PAPER TO 
     ORGANIZE FOR THESE NEEDS, WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST? (THREE
     "DEPARTMENTS" THAT WERE UNDER ONE ADMINISTRATIVE GROUP. EACH
     DEPARTMENT HEADED BY AN ELDER OR A DEACON(ESSE).

          1. EVANGELISM

          2. WORSHIP/TEACHING

          3. RELIEF

     C. WHERE DOES THE SOCIAL COMMITTEE COME UNDER THIS?
     
     D. WHERE THE CHILDREN'S DEPARTMENTS?

     E. INGATHERING?

     F. SMALL GROUPS?

III. MAINTAINING THE ORGANIZATION

     A. YOU KNOW MY CONCERN ABOUT THIS QUARTER'S LESSONS IS THAT
     "GOOD IDEAS" GET SUBSTITUTED FOR (OR NOT SUFFICIENTLY
     DISTINGUISHED FROM) BIBLICAL GUIDANCE. LETS LOOK AT 1
     CORINTHIANS 12 ONE LAST TIME.

     B. READ 1 COR 12:18. ARE WE MAKING THIS TOO DIFFICULT? IF GOD
     HAS ARRANGED THE PARTS, DO WE HAVE TO TRY TO FIGURE OUT OUR
     SPIRITUAL GIFTS OR "ORGANIZE" THE BODY? (GOD DID THE
     ARRANGING, BUT VERSES 16-21 INDICATE THAT WE NEED TO BE PAYING
     ATTENTION TO WHAT GOD HAS ARRANGED.)

     C. READ 1 COR 12:14-17, 21-24. THIS OPENS UP ANOTHER ISSUE 
     ABOUT ORGANIZATION. WE NOT ONLY HAVE AN ORGANIZATION, BUT WE
     APPROACH THE ORGANIZATION IN A SPECIAL WAY. 

          1. WHAT IS THE ORGANIZATIONAL PROBLEM IN vv. 15-17? 
          (COVETOUSNESS AND SOBER EVALUATION OF OUR ROLE. IF I AM
          NOT GOING TO BE AN EYE, I'M NOT GOING TO HELP.)

          2. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT vv. 22-24 ARE PART OF THE SOLUTION
          TO THE vv.15-17 PROBLEM. WHAT IS THAT SOLUTION? (THAT WE
          PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE ISSUE OF "SPECIAL TREATMENT"
          AND INSURE THAT THOSE WHO ARE DOING LESS "EXCITING" JOBS
          KNOW THAT THEY ARE APPRECIATED AND ESSENTIAL TO THE
          CHURCH!)

IV. NEXT WEEK: NEW QUARTER! AND (HOORAY) WE GET TO STUDY A BOOK OF
THE BIBLE!