We all have specific, God-given gifts and talents. How can we steward those to bless the Body of believers sowing into the mission field of Ohio released time Bible education?
Gifts are meant to be given! We want to help you with identifying and activating gifts you may not have considered, that could make a difference in the leadership abilities of younger released time leaders, less experienced leaders, or brand new released time leaders!
Examples of Gifts
There are many gifts that released time leaders have that they may not even recognize as gifts. Ever have the feeling that something just comes easily, and assume most can do what you can do? That’s a sign it’s a gift! Most often, not everyone can do what you do! Here are a few examples and how you can utilize them for your program and for others:
- Relationships: Some people are simply well-connected. They love meeting new people and finding common interests. They have connections in many different ways and find it energizing to talk, share, relate and catch up. Linda Kline is a great example of someone who knows not only people in her county’s released time sphere, but in other counties, too. As one who thrives in relationships, Linda worked with Pastor Bud Olczewski to start released time classes in Rittman! Do you have relational gifts or skills? Do you find it easy and energizing to connect with others? How might God want you to utilize this for new released time programs?
- Prayer: Benita Miller has been praying for released time in Ohio for years. She is a true prayer warrior who goes to battle in the spiritual realm to ask for God’s favor as released time efforts move forward. Released time is a powerful ministry that seeks to share life-changing truth with children in order to change their eternal trajectories. Is prayer something you naturally do? Do you find yourself interceding for others, for your group or your students? Perhaps this is a gift that God wants to use for released time efforts in your area and beyond. We encourage all released time groups to have a prayer team, and to also be interceding for new programs to begin, with God’s favor.
- Teaching: If teaching comes naturally for you, this skill can easily go beyond the classroom to benefit released time efforts. Cindy Rainsberger is an experienced, gifted teacher who is bringing those invaluable insights to bear in the task of educating nearby community members about how to come together to begin a new program. We need talented teachers to share about released time in more areas of the state to see more programs get off the ground. Is this you? Would you be willing to present on released time to a neighboring community? We’d love to support you with templates and materials. You don’t need to start from scratch, that’s what we’re here for! [Link to Video — first 8 min. Of video on SMI page]
- Fundraising: Do you have a passion for helping causes and people you care about attain the necessary resources to not just survive, but thrive? Is handling money or organizing fundraisers something that comes naturally to you? Released time program leaders will all tell you exactly what they would do with an increase in funds. WeCARE for Students is seeking to raise more funds in order to reach more folks to start more programs so more children would hear. We pray our local programs would be intentional about planning fundraising events to increase the opportunities your program can provide. If you’re skilled at fundraising, or maybe even find enjoyment in it, ask God how He wants to use you for not just your program, but for WeCARE on the state level and for programs just starting out. Share best practices, connect people who want to see more children come to know Christ, offer to help… God may use you to make an impact!
Unsure about your Gifts?
Pray and ask God for Him to reveal the specific gifts He’s given you or your team member. Take time to listen by journaling or “whiteboarding” what you hear in prayer. Next, talk with one another and also get the insight from those close to you or your team member in your personal, professional and worshipful areas of life. Do others confirm what you believe God has said?
People often don’t think of their skills outside of released time that are transferable, that could be a huge blessing to their program and others. It’s time to ask, seek and knock, and once He’s spoken, share your gifts — you could be the specific person God wants to use to help take a released time program to the next level!