Monday, February 21, 2005

Room for Giftedness

One of the questions that can't be ignored in our discussion about less hierarchical "level playing fields" of the Body is: how exactly DO we see people functioning in their giftedness?

In our attempts to see the structure of leadership levelled so that, to quote John Wimber, "everyone gets to play", what are some of the assumptions and uncomfortable questions?

  1. That everyone in the group actually wants to discover, and share with the group, their spiritual gifts.
  2. That the group is in a healthy enough space (depending on where in the "detox" they find themselves) to be a "safe place to take risks" in discovering spiritual giftedness and to begin to express those gifts.
  3. That the group is not so turned off to excesses they've seen under the banner of "spiritual gifts" (particularly those who feel they are "post-charismatic"), that they recoil from the journey of discovering and growing in their own giftedness.
(Potentially) Uncomfortable Questions
  1. Is there a common theological grid to understand how the gifts function and can be developed/exercised within the group?
  2. What if some of the gifts (I.e. prophecy, teaching) mean that some members of the group seem to get more time & attention than those with differing gifts -- do we expect these people to squelch their giftedness in order to preserve the status quo of the level playing field?
  3. To restate the previous question in a less volatile manner, how do we make room for gifts that function more publicly, without creating another hierarchical structure?
  4. How do we balance between (A) pursuing spiritual giftedness and (B) NOT becoming another insulated/isolated subset of Christendom?
Perhaps one of the most difficult things, as people work through their time of detox, is re-learning (or re-inventing) ways of building positively a healthy DNA for a community of faith. And one of the beginning steps of rebuilding needs to be an honest, careful evaluation of how spiritual giftedness is understood, encouraged, and allowed to function.

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