I like Christmas movies. We have a nice collection.

This week we watched “Santa is Coming to Town.” I had to show the kids the real deal since Justin Bieber hijacked the movie.  Yep there is a Justin claymation doll. Who comes up with this stuff?

Back to the movie.

There was definitely talent in Santa’s workshop. These elves could make just about anything.  These amazing toys could give Mattel and Hasbro a run for their money.

The elves had a nemesis. They were intimidated by this evil guy living on a mountain close by. They were so scared of this dude they threw the toys out on the front yard!  Yep, Santa got some new lawn ornaments.

I guess Sombertown will just have to make do on their own.

The “Winter Warlock” didn’t stop the elves, entirely. They kept right along churning out more toys, I mean lawn ornaments.

I wonder how many churches have some great talent and gifts that are only useless Christian lawn ornaments?  We in ministry can keep churning out all the stuff that looks and sounds good but to what purpose? We can do every Bible Study on the market but is it just creating lawn ornaments for the church? Are they just for creating people that look good and sound good?

A leader in ministry is to get those gifts to the town. It’s not to churn out more spiritually sounding people that look great but hang out at church all the time.  It’s to get those gifts on the playing field. To get some warriors on the battlefields bringing justice and mercy to afflicted places. A leader will have a lot of explaining to do one day about those people hiding out in their Bible Study.

Like those toys, our gifts and talents have a purpose.  We are to influence the world with God’s love.  We are to reach the broken, the afflicted, the blind,  even the mean old guy living up in the mountain with truth and mercy.

We are to get out there past the freshly mowed church lawn and influence the world with God’s love.  The gifts and talents have a purpose for God.  They are not exclusively for the church’s entertainment, nor for the decoration of the church.

Jesus gave the church gifts
Pastors should not be surprised when they start raising up other pastors.  We should not be so cost conscience when the evangelist/missionary needs some resources to reach the lost. We should not hide our prophets because they might say something that will offend the wolf in sheep clothing. We should not be afraid of the risk when an Apostle wants to start something new.

Every Spirit filled believer has gifts to give the world, and because the fruit of the Spirit is being cultivated they will want to operate in those gifts.  Those gifts are tools for the job, if your not on the job why have the tools.

If your called to reach the lost, and we all are called, when you start stepping out to do that you will start seeing more of those gifts in action. You will begin to see faith rise in people, miracles, peopled healed, and families restored. That’s when the rubber meets the road on those Bible Studies we are so fond of.

For some reason, we have thrown the gifts on the front church lawn. It makes the church look good with all those gifted and talented people.

Yet what about the neighborhood around the church? Aren’t those gifts for them?

Let’s take this weekend and prayful ask how can we reach the people in “Sombertown” with the gifts in our church. Find out what exactly are we afraid of and let’s get across that mountain. Talk it up with your friends, come up with a plan and hold each other accountable.  Matthew 10 is a great place to start. My favorite part (Message version) is “you don’t need a big fund raising campaign, start small.”

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Q4U: What’s your favorite Christmas memory?