My Church Doesn't Let me Use 
My Spiritual Gift

 by Chuck Snyder
 co-chaplain for the Seattle Mariners


Dear Chuck
I believe the Spirit of God is upon me to teach the Word of God with love, accuracy, patience and discernment to a lost and hurting world and to all who hunger for the truth. Several years of schooling and formal study took place in order to prepare and to show myself approved. Now, in my home church, I am given every job and project under the sun to be responsible for, except "teaching the Word of God." My heart and my passion is teaching. Of course, I don't mind "serving" in other areas, but, I know where my actual "calling" is.

How do I move from "general project" manager into my area of calling? I certainly don't want to come across as self-willed, self-promoting or a feminist. Help! 

Chuck's Response
Thanks for the note about not being able to use your gifts in your home church. This might not be practical or even feel good to your heart, but I have found myself in this sort of situation in the past, and have simply moved on to another fellowship that encouraged my gifts. I would recommend you do the same. God doesn't want you to be stilted. He gave you your spiritual gifts and training to present Jesus Christ to the hurting world you mentioned.

I will say that I don't believe a woman can have the position of pastor in a church because 1 Timothy 3 says that a pastor is to be the husband of one woman, and Christ (a man) is the head of the heavenly church. But I do believe that a woman can have the gift of pastor/teacher/shepherd. My wife, Barb, has this gift and she teaches three or four Bible studies a week and changes lives just like you will. Is there any reason why you can't just pick up stakes and look for a church that needs your wonderful gifts? I know that's easy for me to say ... but it's just a thought for your consideration. I get excited thinking about your passion to present Christ to the world. We need more people like you in the church. Let me know if you want to talk further.

Chuck Snyder


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Updated 05/24/2005