It may seem like a very small thing, but when I listened to Vaughan Roberts of England, he said a little phrase that stirred me way deep inside.
“Word gifts,” he said.
He spoke in the context of Ephesians 4, the first 16 verses. When he spoke of “word gifts” he referred to “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-13, ESV).
Those folks (particularly evangelists, shepherds and teachers) had word gifts. They translated words to the church. They came up with phraseologies and stories to train workers. They exegeted God’s many words (the Bible). They were and are people who wield words well.
Suddenly I felt validated.
I’m a word girl. A story girl. I’m passionate about writing words that wake up a complacent church. Although I love sharing my faith, it’s translating biblical truth to the average Christian that really energizes me. Perhaps, in my own way, I’m a pastor and teacher. Perhaps I can use this word gift to train nominal Christians to take seriously the claims of Christ, to lay down our wills, to live no longer for the moment, but for the Gospel.
I used to think that since I wrote primarily for Christians that my work with words was second class at best, or it lacked risk. But if those with word gifts exercise their gifts skillfully and compassionately, the church will become the church. They will then do the work of the ministry. They will evangelize, love the poor, disciple the nations. It’s the responsibility of those with word gifts to humbly teach, to live well the message we preach, to equip the church to grow, flourish and reach out.
So perhaps being a word girl is okay. And perhaps the scope of my ministry isn’t just the readers of my books, but you, here, reading this blog. I heard today about Global Media Outreach who is using this great big internet as a place to teach, evangelize and disciple the world on the web. Perhaps this little corner is my way of doing the same.
Q4U: What about you? Are you a word girl or a word man? Is your blog a place of teaching and training? What gifts has God given you that you’ve neglected? How has hearing about these two small words (word gifts) spurred you on?