Doug Creamer column: Excelling in your gifts

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 30, 2022

By Doug Creamer

I woke up last Saturday and knew I had two things I needed to get done. One of our ceiling fans was making a grinding noise and I knew it had to be replaced. Fans shouldn’t make those noises, and it was an old fan. The other thing on my agenda was planning some lessons for the upcoming week. I needed to discover new ways to approach topics so I could challenge and push my students.

I studied the fan and saw that there were four screws and then the wiring. After breakfast I opened the new fan box and read the directions. The new fan came with two hooks that held the fan up to the ceiling while you wire it, and then you swing the fan up on these hooks and screw in the canopy. It looked like a one man job, but I was wishing my brother was around to help.

The old fan came down pretty easily. The new fan required wiring for electricity and assembling the fan. The wiring part was amazingly easy. The assembly of the fan went pretty well. The light kit required a little finesse. But with minimal sweat I got it up and working. The fan company deserves credit for the assembly design and for putting the parts in uniquely labeled bags that corresponded to the directions.

One task done; it was time to move on to planning lessons. I was much more confident in that job. I looked at the objectives I wanted to cover and began looking through some resources. I spent a couple of hours reading and choosing the best instructional materials to match the objectives. Discovering activities that will instruct, challenge and allow students to be successful requires time and energy.

After teaching for 37 years, I have developed those skills and abilities. I enjoy the work, especially when I get in the classroom and the activities are effective. If I had to choose between hanging a ceiling fan or planning lessons, I would always choose planning lessons. The reason is simple, I have worked hard to develop this skill. It fits in my comfort zone.

When I reflect on my skills and abilities, singing or playing an instrument is not on my list. If my church asked me to sing or play an instrument, we would immediately lose members. I think the only one who appreciates my singing is God, and I imagine even He prefers someone else. I am very conscious of my lack of ability in this area. I have great appreciation for the singers and musicians at my church who can lead me right into the presence of God.

I think many people do not realize all the things that need to happen at a church and how their skills and abilities might help. I imagine in many large churches people are paid to do behind-the-scenes jobs that smaller churches can’t afford. Suppose a toilet starts to leak at a church; most of us have fixed our own toilets at home. Couldn’t we help fix the toilet in God’s house and be a blessing to our church?

I imagine that every reader has some beautiful flowers blooming at your home. Could you use your skills in gardening around your church and be a blessing to all the people who attend your church? Most of us have picked up a paint brush in our homes, what about God’s house? Could you use that skill to help make your church look better? Every one of us washes dishes at home, could that skill be helpful after a church potluck?

Many people think that the only help that is needed around our churches includes singing in the choir, preaching, Sunday school teachers and ushers. There are so many other ways that you could help around your church. Sometimes you might need to step outside your comfort zone to help, like in the children’s department, helping with the youth group or even going on a mission trip, but God needs us to get the job done.

My pastor has a saying, “God is not looking for those who can, but for those who will.” I want to encourage you to be willing to help out, especially if you have the skills that are required to get the job done. If what is needed is slightly out of your comfort zone, then pray and ask God to help you. He will honor that prayer. I believe you will be a stronger person, blessed by God for using your gifts in His house.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com.

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