A while back, I shared an essay on the Ephesians 4 spiritual gifts – apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd, teacher – and how we welcome them (or not) in our faith communities. Titled “Welcoming the Gifts God Sends Us,” it was a lament about what we lose when we fail to welcome ALL of the spiritual gifts destined for the building up of the church – even those that make us upset or uncomfortable.
Last night, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to revisit the theme of spiritual gifts in a First Monday Lecture for Pendle Hill. Instead of merely bemoaning our lack of receptivity, this time I let myself wonder what it would look like to be a people who delight in each other’s gifts, who wonder where the Spirit is moving in the words that make us squirm. How could we be a place of refuge for each other, an oasis for a world being crushed under the weight of our own false beliefs?
I was super nervous sharing my talk. I had never had to prepare a talk of that length before, and the words that had seemed mild, almost clinical, on the page, felt almost alive as they came out of my mouth. But I am told that my message spoke to many who listened, and I hope that it will speak to you.
I made some slides to accompany the talk, which you can find here. Please give it a look, and let me know what you think. I hope it blesses you.
Here are some additional resources that might help as you explore spiritual gifts. Please add additional resources in the comments!
- Identifying and exploring spiritual gifts
- Primal Fire: Reigniting the Church with the Five Gifts of Jesus by Neil Cole
- The 3 Colors of Ministry: A Trinitarian Approach to Identifying and Developing Your Spiritual Gifts by Christian A. Schwarz
- Jewels of Quakerism 5: Spiritual Gifts and Community by Kristina and Callid Keefe-Perry
- Supporting a culture of spiritual growth
- Tall Poppies: Supporting Gifts of Ministry and Eldering in the Monthly Meeting by Martha Grundy
- Listening Spirituality Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 by Patricia Loring
- A Description of the Qualifications Necessary to a Gospel Minister by Samuel Bownas
- Essays on vocal ministry and its nurture by Steven Davison (posted his incredibly rich blog, Through the Flaming Sword)
- For the Apostolic gifting
- For the Prophetic gifting
- For the Evangelistic gifting
- Spirit-Led Evangelism and How to Talk about God by Adria Gulizia
- Questioning Evangelism: Engaging People’s Hearts the Way Jesus Did by Randy Newman
- For the Shepherding gifting
- Practicing Affirmation: God-Centered Praise of Those Who Are Not God by Sam Crabtree
- Words That Hurt, Words That Heal: How to Choose Words Wisely and Well by Joseph Telushkin
- For the Teaching gifting
- Engaging Scripture: Reading the Bible with Early Friends by Michael Birkel
- Traditional Quaker Christianity by Ohio Yearly Meeting
- The Quaker Reader edited by Jessamyn West