I Cor 12:1 4-7 "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant...There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all."
There are three chapters in the New Testament that I think are huge when it comes to the life of the church. Rom 12, I Cor 12 and Eph 4. All of them deal in some way with the church, the unity of the body, the importance of each member toward each other and the gifting of each believer. I Cor 12 hits this subject with the most depth.
I love how Paul starts this chapter: "I don't want you to be ignorant about this thing called spiritual gifts." The word for ignorant means: not know, not understand, be wrong. In other words, taking it in the opposite Paul was saying: "I want you to know, understand and be right about spiritual gifts in the church." This was important to him. This was important to the church. It was important for people to get a handle on this so that there was no division, so that everyone exercised their gift for the profit of all in the body.
Unfortunately, sometimes I think that we either avoid this subject because we are unsure of it, or we don't want to emphasize it because of the misuse of "spiritual gift inventories"…tests that you take to discover your gift. I think that this is wrong on both counts. We can't ignore this subject. We can't avoid this subject. We can't just hope that people will understand this subject by osmosis. Paul knew that people were not going to get it without solid teaching, and he said: "I want you to understand this and practice it properly."
In the church there are different gifts, ministries and activities. All you have to do is look at our church calendar and you will see that there are all kinds of things going on. I remember when our church first started. There were basically 2 ministries. The Sunday morning service and nursery. That was it. Now I can count more than 35 ministries. I am grateful for how God has worked and how people have plugged in. There is truly a diversity of ministries and activities…but they all have to be fueled by gifted people. People who have been given supernatural abilities by the Spirit of God. The key? It is the same Spirit, the same Lord and the same God who does the work in all of us and we should all work in harmony for the profit of all. We all have to understand that it is Spirit of God who does this work. This is not something that comes naturally. It is not something that we simply say: "Oh, I have been naturally given this talent so I am going to use it." That is important and should be used, but God has done something else in each believer: He has given each one of us gifts that we need to realize, understand and use in the body of Christ. We need each other…and we need to teach it.