You’ve got one – or, more – but there’s a good chance you don’t know what it (your super power) is, or what to do with it. Are you one of the majority of Christians who are at risk of missing the opportunities that God may be holding in check until you get this sorted out?

The year was 1978; I was the Gen2 overseer of the family business started by Cheri’s dad 31 years earlier. My Kingdom outlet – beyond the business – was in CBMC (Christian Businessmen’s Committee, an international fellowship of Christian leaders active in peer evangelism). Through my role as a regional leader in CBMC, I had friendship with really great and engaged peers across the country.

Ted Sprague was a marketplace leader in Arizona with a high-visibility career role, but found time to be an elder at Scottsdale Bible Church as well as teaching a weekly Bible study for business leaders in the greater Phoenix area. He was in SoCal for some meetings; we scheduled dinner while he was in town. Over dinner, Ted posed a question that rocked my world.

Bob, what are you doing to develop your teaching gift?” That came at me out of the blue. My answer came easily: “Nothing! Ted, you have a teaching gift; I don’t.” His comeback shut me down: “If teaching isn’t your gift, what is?”

My home church didn’t talk about spiritual gifts; we had no intentional process to help the people there find theirs. We assumed that the pastors and missionaries had been visited by mystical emissaries who had handed them an envelope with their super powers outlined; the rest of us were destined for volunteer assignments that were the Kingdom’s version of entry-level, minimum wage positions. The officers were on the platform; the enlisted foot-soldiers were in the pews…

Apparently, Paul saw things differently: For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” (Romans 12:3-8).

In a few of his letters, Paul touched on this timeless issue. It wasn’t a stop-gap approach that God put in motion until the faith movement could mature and build great cathedrals with ornate architecture and decked-out clergymen who were to be entrusted with the really important stuff, while the rest of us in the “cheap seats” put on a choir robe or grabbed a broom and dustpan.

Listen again to Paul’s inspired wisdom: “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought.” That means that none of these unique capabilities elevate the recipient in relation to the rest. “Each member belongs to all the others.” The temptation to withhold gifts from serving the rest of the body is unreasonable. “We have different gifts.” Some get more attention, but all have value and each is essential for the body – the church – to perform as intended by God’s creative genius design.

A long story in a paragraph: Ted was right. I had a teaching gift, and God began to open doors for me to use it. Over the course of the next few years, the addictive experience of using that gift and seeing God bless it became my focus for my professional future. What if Ted hadn’t challenged me?

We’re going to explore this in the next few Mondays. I wonder: if we were together for dinner this evening, and I asked you: “What are you doing to develop your gift?”

What would you say?

Bob Shank 

2 thoughts on “What are you doing with your Super Power?”

  1. Somewhere along the way, I developed my personal mantra for my life. Trusting God for my life. When I am locating, identifying, and integrating meaningful relationships, I am in my calling for God’s purpose.

    All meaningful relationships lead to an introduction to Jesus.

    The lure of real estate has been replaced by the creation of visual art. The desert has magical properties. It has produced a sense of thirst for me, unlike my upbringing in Newport Beach and my adventures on the North Shore.

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