Last night, I had the opportunity to meet Dr Benny Prasad, the only musician to have travelled to and played in every country in the world – 257 to be precise – within a span of only six years! What’s even more surprising is that he never grew up with music but only picked up the guitar at the age of 19.
As he shared, one thing came across very clearly. In his own words, he said that although he would be invited to play and perform, he would always find a way to share the gospel and his relationship with Jesus. To many of his hosts, he was a professional musician. But to him, he was first and foremost a servant of God, sent to proclaim a message. Although he was invited for his abilities, he was clear about his assignment.
There is a very good object lesson here.
More often than not, in trying to determine where a person should serve, we will look at their abilities, or talents and gifts. If you have a great smile, you could be an usher. If you sing well, you could join the choir or be a worship leader. If you play an instrument, then it’s the worship team. Whilst this sounds right, this is not totally accurate. We could do something well, very well even, and still not know our assignment.
Having been gifted musically, it was very easy to find my place in the choir or band. And for a while, that was where I served. When I responded to the full-time call, many thought that I would end up as a worship pastor. After all, that’s where my talents pointed. Along the way, I discovered another gifting: teaching. And so I thought, I am now called to teach. Once again, that sounds right. But is it, really? Without a clear understanding of my assignment, I could very well be teaching aimlessly.
My abilities should not dictate the determining of my assignment. Instead, my abilities should facilitate the fulfilling of my assignment.
Today, I am thankful that I am very clear of my next assignment, that of Archippus Awakening. To this end, I will use the gift of teaching, along with others as required – even music if needed – to awaken the saints that they might know and fulfil their assignments. Every gift and capability must be carefully aligned to our God-given assignments; and not the other way around.
Dear friends, excel in all that the Lord has gifted you. Submit and yield every ability back to Him that He may enable and empower the same by the Holy Spirit! But seek Him diligently for your kingdom assignment, be clear about it and totally focused on it. Then, use your gifts, your talents, your abilities to accomplish the assignment faithfully and to the glory of His name!
So what is Benny’s next assignment? The Lord has told him that his travels would end soon. Benny is now building CHAI 3:16, a cafe ministry that would reach out to children and college students of Bangalore, the Suicide Capital of India. Will he still use his music talents? Of course! And as before, his abilities will be used productively and effectively towards the fulfilment of his new God-given kingdom assignment.