You’ve Got Talent!!
For the last five years, the Pastor had watched his congregation slowly drop from just over 200 to nearly 150. This deeply concerned him. For months he had been praying that things would change, and membership would again begin to grow. But it seemed with every opportunity to grow, somehow bickering and mumbling would sprout their ugly heads and three or four would leave offsetting the small gain that had been made.
One worship service the Pastor put his carefully prepared notes down along the edge of the pulpit and gazed intently at the congregation.
Finally, he began to speak. “Will you please open your Bibles up to the Book of Matthew the Tax Collector. Matthew 25 verse 14. Let’s begin there.
‘For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one.’”
Quickly he looked up from reading, paused just a second, then started speaking again. “It seems pretty clear that this man gave to each of his servants at least one talent and to most he gave more than one.”
He continued speaking, “There is little need to finish reading this entire passage we all know the story well. So I want us to do something quite different this morning. I’m going to count to three and when I say three I want you all to shout back at me, ‘I’ve Got Talents.’”
The congregation sat in stunned silence, not sure what to do or think. They had never seen their pastor make such a strange request.
The pastor seeing the puzzled looks upon their faces said it again. “I’m going to count to three. When I say three, I want you all to shout out ‘I’ve Got Talents!’ Are you ready? One, Two, Three . . . .”
A few, a mighty few at that, said out loud what the Pastor was wanting to hear. “I’ve got talents.”
It sounded pretty weak and so the Pastor once again said to his congregation, “We can do better than that. I saw more enthusiasm from some of you when you were talking about the latest loss of our local sports team. I know we can do better than that! I want you to take ownership of this and really shout it out! Now One, Two, Three . . . .”
The voices that rose in unison were much stronger this time, but it was clear to see that not all were getting into this.
Looking intently at his congregation, he paused long enough that the congregation began to fear what might be coming next. Finally, the pastor started talking. He started by mentioning a few people or families by name, stating the talents that these people had. “Bob, you are a wonderful teacher, and Sally, I am so proud of all the scripture you are able to memorize. Wish I had that talents myself. And then there is the Bailey family, their voices fill this sanctuary each worship service with their beautiful music. Sharon, you’re wonderful working with children of all ages, and Ralph, what a talent when it comes to helping out around the church.”
By the time he was done he had mentioned every person or every family within the church listing that person or families talent.
“Now, since you all know that you have talent, and some have more than I even mentioned. I want you to really shout it out, really put your heart and soul into it. Take ownership of your statement and really believe that you are the owner of these God given talents. When I get to three I want you to stand up, pump your fist in the air and shout as loud as you can, ‘I’ve got talent.’ One, Two, three . . . .”
In unison they all stood up. Even old Mrs. Kimpel who sat in the back row, feebly stood up and pumped her boney fist in the air and shouted with all the rest, “I’VE GOT TALENT!!”
“Good said the pastor, now that you all have taken ownership of the fact you all have talents, I want you to begin to use those talents for there intended purpose. Their intended purpose is to be used in winning souls to Christ.
The man that gave out the talents in Matthew 25:14 is none other than Christ. He gave them out so that they could be used in His service to minister to the spiritually and physically sick that are all around us. People are dying out there, literally dying lack of knowledge about the Saviour that gives out all these wonderful talents. A Saviour that loved the world so much that He died for their sins and our sins.
But, let me remind you of what happened to the one that refused to use his talent. Let’s pick it up in verse 29. ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have even what he has will be taken away. Cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
The pastor paused for a long moment. “My friends, its time to put those talents, those God given talents, those talents that just a moment ago you took ownership of and put them to work.”
And without saying another word, he turned and walked off the platform.
My friends, he is right, it is time to put those God given talents to work.