From time to time, I invite a guest writer to share meaningful experiences and information with our church audience. It is my pleasure to have GC Cleveland Pastor, Tamar Gray, as our guest writer this issue. Tamar presented at the Love Avenue workshop in March, and she is uniquely gifted as an educator. Her relational connections in her community are serving her very well in reaching out to new people with the love of Jesus. Tamar has some important words to share about how we use our time and talents to better participate with Jesus in his mission to the world.
–Greg Williams, President
“This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:10-11, The Message)
I was asked to join a prestigious music board and replied “yes” immediately to the honor before knowing the requirements. I was disappointed to learn there was an expectation of a sizeable monetary donation. As I prepared to decline the invitation, the board president explained that it was not the financial contribution they required, but my time and talent.
This epiphany moment poses the question, how often do we allow our preconceived mindsets to limit sharing ourselves because we believe what we have to offer will not be of value? Placing our time and talents into the hands of the Master will be an invaluable resource for work being done here on earth as the compelling love of Jesus overflows in every aspect of our lives.
There are only so many hours in a day, and giving time speaks to what and who we consider important. In scripture, we witness Jesus being generous with time. He would share with those considered the least in society, heal their infirmities, or share the good news that would change their lives.
One example is found in Mark 5: 25-34. Jesus was on his way to heal Jarius’ daughter when he was “interrupted” by the woman with the issue of blood as she reached out to touch his garment. He could have told her he would pray for her as he continued on his way. Instead, Jesus stopped, saw her, and by faith, she was healed. As we move about our busy lives, may the Holy Spirit make us aware of those who are touching our garments.
Taking time for others means something else will not get done at that moment, but it is usually time well spent. As a teacher, I find interruptions occurring every day in the classroom with students and colleagues who need to be seen and heard. Participating as Jesus works in their lives and sharing the time becomes a privilege.
A transformation can take place with a touch, word, or prayer. As the church, we can impact our communities by taking the time to share our personhood and allowing space for others to do the same. It is in our relationships that we encounter Jesus.
We can use our God-given talents to place-share and create relationships that allow us to see Jesus and begin to know each other. Some skills are apparent, while others take some discovery and encouragement. When we share our abilities for God’s glory, they become the conduit for spreading his word and praise.
As I view my life, I can see three talents God has gifted in me:
- Teaching—the ability to share knowledge that people can use in the classroom, community, and church.
- Singing—a ministry that brings people together, gives hope, and can bring others closer to God.
- Administration—the capability to see the big picture, implement details, and gather groups of individuals to put a plan into action.
I am using these skills in the classroom, community, church, and now as a member of the prestigious music board which helped me recognize the value of time and talent.
What about you? Are there any newly developed giftings that you see God growing in you for this specific season? Take time to pray, reflect, and ask God to show you the areas in your life where God may be calling you to share your gifts.
As we continue on this compelling journey of love, may our Lord of generosity continue to bless us, and may we give him the praise so richly deserved.
Pastor, Cleveland, OH, US
Editor’s Note: Pastor Tamar wrote about using our God-given talents to place-share and create relationships. Want to dig deeper into place-sharing? See this GC Buzz.