I had a conversation with a ministry colleague that made me laugh! My friend is a youth ministry coordinator. He is very technically savvy and knows how to work on computers, printers, and other technology. He was telling me that the church that he is in bought a new printer not too long ago. It was supposed to be a network printer that would be used by everyone. However, no one was using it.
Why? Because it was never connected to the network! Why was it not connected to the network? Because no one knew how to connect it!
Except, my youth ministry friend.
For the longest time, he was choosing not to fix the printer and get it connected to the network. However, the frustration of it not being used got the better of him and he finally fixed it.
I asked him why he was choosing not to fix the printer. He said that he did not want to end up being the go-to guy for anything technology in the church. He knew that if people in the church knew he was good with these things, he would be asked to help fix everyone’s computer problems. He didn’t want to do that. He didn’t want to stop working on a ministry that he was passionate and excited about to fix a computer.
He was hiding his gifts! And so have I.
The truth is that we have all hidden our gifts from people from time to time. I think hiding certain gifts can be a good thing on occasion. Why?
- So we can focus on what we love to do. Just because we are good at something doesn’t mean that we love doing it. I’ve always been good at math. Is it a helpful gift? Yes. Do I have a passion for doing math? No. I want to stay focused on what I am good at AND what fires me up.
- So we don’t get asked to do things that we are not passionate about. If you have been involved in church for any length of time, you know how easy it is for a church community to suck us in to tasks and certain projects. Do I know how to create a budget? Yes. Am I going to set up a budget for anyone that asks? No! We don’t have the time to do everything other people ask us to do, especially when our primary ministry begins to suffer.
It does sound strange to say that you and I should hide our gifts. But I believe there are legitimate times when it is appropriate to hide.
Question: When have you hidden your gifts and strengths from others?