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Where every member discovers and uses their God-given gifts, and empowered
by God’s Holy Spirit is willing to serve, witness and take risks for the Kingdom of

We have been looking at the Christ Church values. They date back to 2018 and are carefully worded. I can sign up to all of them without amendment.

Apart maybe for this one.

Let me share a story and then I will explain.

In a church a toddler and parent group had been running for nearly 20 years. It was started by the church and over time had been run by various people moving into the hands of some of the Mum’s themselves and then two childminders who had become regulars.

But they were tired and needed a break. They had other things they wanted to do.

They had approached the regulars but no one wanted to take it on. It was April and summer was approaching. There was one last chance – could the church take it back and run it?

The vicar said “yes” immediately. It seemed a shame for it to close. The church had no team but it was worth a try.

Appeals were made for helpers and leaders.

The first to come forward was Pat.

Pat was quiet, easily overlooked, and struggled with dyslexia and other health problems. Pat wanted to be a helper.

No one else came forward. A week went by. Then two.

Pat stepped up. “I will lead”, she said.

The team developed and launch date was September. Summer over, preparations made, Pat and her team were in place. Risk assessments done, equipment cleaned and mapped out on the floor, storage reorganised, petty cash set up, registration. A regimental operation.

The doors opened. The families came. Within a term the place was fit to bursting and the presenting problem was having to turn people away.

The vicar took the opportunity to both thank and congratulate Pat on what had been achieved. It was a thriving ministry.

“You know the funny thing”, said Pat, “I never liked kids when mine were this age!”

Pat was called then empowered by the Holy Spirit.

And that is the small change I would make to this value. We don’t discover our gifts and use them. We discover our call and ask God to equip us. The gifts he needs us to have we might not even be aware of yet. Just consider the disciples at the time of the ascension (and before Pentecost)….

Acts 1:1-11

Luke wrote his second book for Theophilus and called it the “Acts of the Apostles”. It begins with a description of the closing days of his first book, Luke. The resurrected Jesus teaches the disciples and prepares them for what is to come.  He told them to stay in Jerusalem and that “in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” The sense was of a drenching, an immersion and a continuous flow of this promised Holy Spirit.

They, the disciples , were concerned to know the coming of the kingdom to Israel, but Jesus was not to be  distracted from explaining to them this coming down payment on the fullness of the Kingdom to come. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

He gave them a promise and an instruction.

He left them and went back to heaven. Two angels reassured the disciples that Jesus would return.

But meanwhile….

If you were to ask the disciples at that moment what their gifts were they would not know. What became clear to them was their call to form, and be, the church and to be witnesses and make disciples, teaching these new disciples how to obey all that they had been taught by Jesus himself.

They were the original unusual suspects….

Where every member discovers and uses their God-given gifts, and empowered
by God’s Holy Spirit is willing to serve, witness and take risks for the Kingdom of

The key elements here are:

Every member – that means you!

Seek God’s call on your life – by prayer and discernment with others

Ask God to equip you – by prayer and get others to pray that prayer too

Empowerment – being open to receiving power from God, “Do not be afraid”

Take risks – stepping out in faith, by prayer, discerning with others, empowered by the Holy Spirit

How different will 2022 look if we press into this more than ever before?

Come Holy Spirit.

Is this your value?