We'll take their money with little restriction, but put limits on how they can use their talents. Why?

We'll take their money, and if they are especially gifted by God with lots of money and want to give that money to us, we'll take as much of it as they want to give.

However, the same isn't true for talent.  If they are especially gifted by God with lots of talent and they want to give us that talent, we worry about whether or not others will be offended by their talent and limit what they can give.

How can this be considered OK?

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This means you either work in IT or in the restaurant business.

I love this thought.  

 

The trouble is, how can a church execute on this?  What kind of church management model would be conducive to this kind of service?

Still working out the details of that one.  For a small church it's easier.  I've got about 10 people that come to my home once a week for "church".  It started out just as a worship group but as the group matured, people left, others came, the group's needs changed.

 

Most of the members are teenagers so the role distinctions are easy to figure out as my wife and I are the oldest.  So I generally see my role as traffic control, identifying gifts in others and helping them to use them.  One person has picked up the guitar so their on worship.  One person has been preparing a talk on ephesians 6, so share it with the group and we'll give feedback.  

 

A typical evening we'll meet for dinner, then move into "the meeting" which will vary week to week.  Sometimes we'll worship for 2 hours straight, other times we'll read scripture and discuss.  Most times we pray for each other and sometimes we'll watch a movie.  Depends on what God's up to, and everyone knows they're responsible for asking the Lord what he wants to do at the group tonight.  Generally I'll throw the "so what's God up to, and by extension what are we up to?" question to them instead of answering that myself.  

 

The advantage of this model is that it's flexible and personal and at the end you get people who are more accustomed to using their gifts.  The disadvantages are that it takes strong leadership, which some days I have and some days I don't, and that we usually don't know what we're doing in advance which can be stressful.  My prep for this in the past has just been to take more alone time to pray and read scripture but i don't have time right now for that.  So we've started doing other things to mitigate the problem of nobody knowing what to do tonight.

 

One thing is to just have a default.  We're doing Bible study if nobody has taken the time to ask the Lord what we're up to.  Well the trouble with having a default is that it's easy to fall into a rut and just not ask the Lord what He wants to do.  Maybe he wanted to focus on 1 corinthians but we're defaulting to reading Luke.  

 

These past few weeks we've started trying to rotate responsibility.  So at the end of a meeting we select a leader for next week and they get to prepare whatever they want.  Bible reading, Prayer activity, worship set, game to play, whatever.  We trust each other enough to know it'll be something God related.

 

And now I have to run to class.

 

So Nathan, I'll have to check your profile to see where you live cuz I thought you may have visited my church.

haha.  Which description?  Putting on the show or raising up disciples?

 

I live in Montreal.  Land of french fries with gravy, maple syrup 8 million church buildings and 3 or 4 Christians.

Yep, the gravy is cool. I don't know why it's not caught on here in the US.
Yeah ... it's a special culture

"Maudite" looks like the past tense of "maudire" (mal + dire, or bad-speaking).  I had to use a French Wikipedia thing, but it defined maudire as "de prononcer un malediction...", in other words, to curse a thing.  In the Anglo world, Maudire is an ale of some sort (must be a reference to its effect on you).

Funny, in some parts of the world, poutine is moonshine.

I can honestly say that unless the 'talent' we're talking about is somehow counterproductive to the overall ministry of the church (or the Christian faith) it would go unfettered on my watch...

Does that mean someone might be offended? Someone is always offended... which is why teaching disciples all about 'why' they're so easily offended is one of my favorite sermons.

I've got a rather unique talent that I always admire in a believer... being able to pray out loud with the same passion and reverence they'd have if they were locked in the prayer closet alone with God. Imagine the stupidity of stifling that talent...

The older I get, the less I care about offending people.  It's probably only a good thing within reason. Obviously making a brother stumble is a bad thing, but when it comes to non-sin-related topics, I am in danger of becoming a little too cavalier about it.  If you don't like it, send me an email.  Or at least that's what I'd like to say.  Of course it doesn't come out anything like that.
As Christians, we have to recognize that we aren't supposed to offend people for our own gain.  However, you cannot be a Christian and teach God without offending people.

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