While waiting for a friend of ours to finish her errand, a man started approaching us trying to sell us his wares. We were in the city center and had been warned to be on the lookout for strangers – especially those who looked like they might belong to a gang. This guy fit the bill!

He opened up by saying, “ladies, show a brother some love”. I began to shrink away, but my friend Nancy stepped forward and said, “brother, Iet me show you some love; a love like you’ve never known before”.

I don’t know who was more taken aback, him or me…

I recently had the privilege of leading a team on a Business Missions Trip to Chicago. There were 25 of us from different age groups, varied backgrounds and lengths of time as a believer. Each person had a unique role to play with in the larger team as well as their smaller ones, and it was fascinating to observe everybody getting ‘into their groove’.

Just like my friend Nancy.

You see, she has an ‘Icebreaker’ gift. She loves to go up to strangers and engage in conversation. I, on the other hand, really shy away from doing this.

In our small group we recognized that Nancy loves to be the initiator and, once the other person has opened up to the conversation, we felt comfortable to join in. Then the other giftings in the group were free to operate

After Nancy started talking, the guy who approached us for ‘some love’ let us pray for him. It turns out that he is simply an artist who is trying to get his music heard, and the way he is finding success is by handing out his CD’s on the busy streets of town.

We stood around him and added our encouragement to his desires. Those with a Mama’s heart prayed for his wellbeing and that his music brought life. Those with entrepreneurial bent, prayed for his business success and new ways to market his wares. Those who love music prayed that he’d get new songs from God that would revolutionize the industry.

As we all stepped into the invitation that Nancy accepted and added our giftings to the mix, the young man’s eyes welled up as he felt the love of God pouring over him. By the time we were done, he’d called two of his friends over and we’d thoroughly encouraged them with God’s love too.

This is the way it’s supposed to be, right?

In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.
Rom 12:4-6 (Msg)

As you look around you at the people God has placed in your life, ask Him to show you what their unique giftings are. Ask how your giftings and theirs get to contribute to each other to bring Kingdom wherever you go.

Imagine what our families, our workplace’s and our social circles could look like if we celebrated each other’s uniqueness. Wow, how beautifully the world would get to know Jesus as we live our lives this way.

How will you step into your gifting (and encourage someone else’s gifting) this week?

Lisa van den Berg comes from South Africa and has 15+ years experience in helping people to practically develop their dreams.

She has worked in both business and church sectors and specializes in building systems that support building people. Her ability to see to the heart of a matter and put both pastoral and technical structures in place to aid growth, enables healthy life success.

Lisa is the Director of Heaven in Business Online, the online Marketplace ministry arm of Bethel Church, Redding, California.