Serve in Ministry: My Abilities

“I (God)…have given him skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of crafts…” Exodus 31:3

shapeOne of the most common excuses people give for not getting involved in ministry is “I just don’t have any abilities to offer.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. God has SHAPEd us with talents — those natural God-given abilities (i.e. talent for drawing) — and created us with the ability to develop skills — those abilities we learn through knowledge and practice.  ALL of us have TALENTS and SKILLS … also known as abilities!

The key is identifying your abilities and matching them with the right ministry.

Here’s an example, my wife, Laurie, likes to take simple things and arrange them in ways that look nice.  She uses that ability to decorate at our church functions.  Additionally, she’s much more organized than I.  That ability comes in handy when she responds to our guests and connects them with appropriate people as a part of our Welcome Team.  She has a knack for “arranging” and “organizing” so she uses it to serve the church in those ways.

What are your abilities?  How do use them to serve the church?

Identify your abilities and use them to serve in ministry.  Here are some opportunities to use your abilities:

  • Children Ministry Team (Teachers)
  • Worship Hosts Team (Hosts)
  • Hospitality Team (SetUp/TearDown Coffee Time)
  • Tech Team (Sound Tech)
  • Beamer Team (Video Tech)
  • Counting Team (Leader/Counters)
  • Drama Team (Leader and Actors)
  • Promotion Team (Writers/Photographers)
  • Events Team (Organizers)
  • Small Group Leaders (Hosts/Leaders)
  • Disciple Life Academy (Instructors)

To find out more, attend this Saturday’s “Serve in Ministry” workshop.  To connect with one of our ministry teams, contact our church office admin(at)ibcberlin(dot)org.


Missions Report: Günter in Congo

I received this missions report from Günter Springer who is serving a short-term missions project in Congo.  Read this and continue to pray for him during his time away from our IBCB family.

141103 041 Bunia

Dear Scott,

Just a brief message to IBC from myself and from my English phonetics class – all of them want to become English teachers and are doing their final year (of three) at the Institute Supérieure Pédagogique here in Bunia. This school is attached to the Communauté Evangélique au Centre de l’Afrique (CECA) – so it’s a facility of the church. And everybody here is really thankful for our (me and two girls from Scotland) willingness to teach them.

The people here are very friendly to us and so we have already been invited to two wedding ceremonies in less than a month! We usually attend a French speaking service on Sunday mornings, however, the church, which is a part of the CECA convention, also offers an English speaking service in the afternoon, which the locals consider “soir” since it gets dark shorty after 6pm.

I’m feeling much better again – I caught a terrible diarrhea at the beginning of the week – and lovely enough the students also prayed for my recovery. But this also shows the need for prayer in order to be under the Lord’s shield.

All in all, we have had a blessed time in Bunia so far and I’m really thankful for having been given the opportunity of being here. And my second newsletter is about to be released.

Thanks for all your prayer support, have a wonderful international day and may God bless you richly,


Serve in Ministry: My Heart Beat


“Your hands formed and shaped me…” Job 10:8a (GN)

 “He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”  Eph. 2:10

From the very beginning God has had a plan for you, a plan that involves YOU being involved in his Kingdom work!  The good things God planned for you to DO is determined by the person God has made you to BE.  Your God-given SHAPE determines your God-given ministry.

The “H” in SHAPE is your HEART BEAT.

“For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose…”  Revelation 17:7

The Bible uses the term “heart” to represent the center of your passions and desires.  God has a purpose in giving you your inborn passions — to serve him!  A word of caution:  your heart was designed by God, but you make the choice to use it for good or evil, for selfish purpose or for service.

You may have ”selfish ambition in your hearts…” (James 3:14) or you may ”serve the Lord with all your heart.”  (1 Samuel 12:20) and “do the will of God from your heart.”  (Ephesians 6:6).

Surrender yourself to God and yield your desires to him, and ask yourself…

  • What do I love to do and did well?
  • What are my accomplishments at school, home, work, etc.?
  • About what issues do I care deeply?
  • Do I have a special interest in a specific age group?

Once you’ve answered these questions, look for common threads that run through your list and find a way to express that “heart beat” in the life of the church.  Doing so will please the Lord, benefit others, and give you joy.

Serve in Ministry: Your God-Given SHAPE

shape“Your hands formed and shaped me…” Job 10:8a (GN)

 “He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”  Eph. 2:10

From the very beginning God has had a plan for you, a plan that involves YOU being involved in his Kingdom work!  The good things God planned for you to DO is determined by the person God has made you to BE.  Your God-given SHAPE determines your God-given ministry.

The “S” in SHAPE is your SPIRITUAL GIFT. 

A is a special ability, given by the Holy Spirit to every believer at their conversion, to be used to minister to others and therefore build up the Body of Christ.  At least three things happen when you serve using your spiritual gift:

  1.  You help others: God works through your gift to bless others.
  2.  You grow spiritually: Serving others helps you become more like Jesus.
  3. You get joy: The Spirit fills you for service and it brings you joy.

IBCB Family House Rules: “Each family member…one ministry!

I don’t know how it is around your house, but every member of the family shares in the responsibilities of the household.  Each family member has a role and a task assigned to them that contributes to our life together as a family.  The same is true in our IBCB family.  Each and every family member — if you are no longer a “guest” … you make IBCB your church home … then YOU’RE a family member — has an obligation to share in the responsibilities of our household.

What is YOUR Sunday responsibility?  How are YOU using your spiritual gift?

Look through the following list of ministry opportunities and prayerfully consider which one you will try out between now and Christmas.  Let me know and I’ll be happy to connect you with the team leader and get you the training to do your part in the IBCB family.

Current Ministry Opportunities

  • Children Ministry Team (Teachers)
  • Worship Hosts Team (Hosts)
  • Fellowship Team (SetUp/TearDown)
  • Tech Team (Sound Tech)
  • Beamer Team (Video Tech)
  • Drama Team (Leader and Actors)
  • Promotion Team (Writers/Photographers)
  • Events Team (Organizers)
  • Small Group Hosts (Hosts)
  • Disciple Life Academy (Instructors)


Dig Deeper: What about those who have never heard?

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.  (John 14:6)

As an evangelical follower of Jesus, I believe and teach that Jesus is the one and only way to salvation.  It was Jesus — God incarnate — who showed us God’s love and grace through his life, death, and resurrection.  It was Jesus who provided the way of salvation for each and every individual who will yield to him in faith.

Some people struggle with this truth because it sounds exclusive … even arrogant if not communicated with love and grace.  They wonder how salvation works if Jesus is the only way especially if there are those who’ve never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Let me suggest a few ways to think about it…

The Scripture reminds us that human beings created in the image of God are drawn toward God (Romans 1:19-20).  God’s invisible qualities and divine nature are clearly seen in the world within us and around us; that draws people toward him in faith.  We are created for worship.  There exists a God-shaped vacuum in our souls that can only be filled by God.  Those who have never heard of Jesus — and those that have heard — are designed for faith.  So people are supernaturally driven toward God and drawn toward him by his design.

The Scripture gives examples of God taking extraordinary means to reach those who desire to know him (Acts 10:1ff).  When individuals respond to the work of God’s Holy Spirit and become “seekers,” the Bible tells us that God makes sure they become “finders.”

In the case of Cornelius, God sent Peter with the gospel message of Jesus Christ.  In the case of a pastor acquaintaince of mine, it happened in a rather unique way.  As a follower of Islam he became increasingly disallusioned with his experience and disatisfied with his life.  At a particularly “low” time, he cried out to God asking for a sign.  By the end of that day, he had his sign.  It came in the form of a partial fragment of Scripture — a small portion of a page from a gospel tract — stuck to his shoe!  On the piece of the tract, was half of a Scripture and part of the name of a local church.  He read the Scripture, located the church, and spoke with the pastor.  The result was he came to faith in Jesus Christ.

God is indeed a rewarder of those who seek after him (Hebrews 11:6).

I can hear you asking:  “Okay…but what about those who have never heard?  What about the person in the deepest, darkest rain forest who never has an opportunity to hear about Jesus?”  For me, they, too, can come to God in simple and yet life-transforming faith even if they never have the opportunity to hear the name “Jesus” or the facts of the gospel.  In the same way that Abraham’s faith was credited to him in anticipation of the promise of Jesus — he never knew the name or the facts — anyone can come to God through Jesus independent of the facts.  God receives all who yield themselves to him in faith and gives people the gift of salvation because of Jesus — who he is and what he has done.  Faith not facts saves us!

Of course, taking that step of faith is nurtured by a clear presentation of the gospel facts (see Romans 10: 14-15).  It’s much clearer and much more direct when people hear the truths about Jesus Christ.  That’s why Paul admonishes us to be willing to “go on mission” and share our faith.

Here’s where it gets personal for me:  Who are the “seekers” around me?  Am I willing to be a “Peter” to go and share the good news about Jesus?  Who are the “Cornelius-people” that need to hear about Jesus?  Are we as a church willing to participate and partner with others who make the truths of Jesus known?

If so, then we will get to the point where we’ll never have to ask the original question again.  Everyone will have had the opportunity to hear about Jesus — the way, the truth, and the life!