In a discussion last year, Matt Carter pointed me to something I hadn’t considered, a different way of looking at gifts in the church. The idea is that the charisma discussed in the New Testament don’t refer to special abilities but to tasks that the Lord has entrusted to different members of the body.
In my college years, as some of us sought to find how best to serve in the Kingdom, some friends and I spent time studying spiritual gifts. We especially looked at Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4. The Corinthian passage always stood apart from the others as it focused on miraculous gifts more than the other three passages did. If you read the other passages with the idea of the “gifts” actually being “ministries,” they make a lot of sense. And the Corinthian passage does as well, if you examine it closely.
So for now I’m asking for first-blush reactions to this thought. Look over these passages and see if reading “gifts” as ministries doesn’t make sense:
1 Peter 4:10-11
The Corinthian passage needs a little bit of explaining, so I’ll leave it separate for now.
You’ve got your homework. Let me know what you see.