“One of the great privileges of being part of the Lord’s people is rubbing shoulders with so many gifted people. Paul’s image of ‘the body’ (1 Corinthians 12) displays such a beautiful picture of the organic unity that exists amongst God’s people. Here we find the Spirit of God has baptised all of us into the body-life of the congregation, and God has richly gifted his people. This is so that the body-life can function well, with security and stability, thus promoting the movement towards ‘growing up into the head (Christ)’, our ultimate maturity (Ephesians 4).
At least two factors in the last half-century have placed ‘giftedness’ firmly on the agenda, especially when it comes to discussions of ‘leadership’. The first is within ‘Christian culture’, namely, the influence of neo-pentecostalism. This has made it almost axiomatic for Christians to wonder about the gifts the Spirit may have distributed to them. The second (and related) factor comes from general culture, namely, the so-called ‘sixties revolution’, a phenomenon which simmered across the decade, came to a head in 1968, and then continued to bring massive cultural transformation across the seventies and beyond.
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