Every profession seems to have people who specialize. Doctors specialize in areas such as Neurology (nerves), Ophthalmology (eyes), and Oncology (cancer). Internal Medicine has several sub-specialties such as Immunology, Endocrinology, and Cardiology. Car mechanics specialize in body repair, transmissions, engines, electrical, and more. Restaurants specialize. Outback is known for steak, IHOP for pancakes, Pizza Hut for… pizza. The armed forces have Military Occupational Specialties (MOS). Even with all these specialties, doctors must still learn basic anatomy, restaurants must boil water, and the soldiers must complete boot camp. The basics are still very important.
The Basics – For Christians, following Christ is basic. “The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). After salvation (Acts 16:31), the basics are baptism, Bible reading, prayer, going to church, and telling others about Jesus Christ. The command “Go ye into all the world” includes making disciples of all nations (ethnic groups) or “people speaking the same language” (Webster’s Dictionary, 1828). Helping other people become Christians is basic. Note: If you need help learning to lead a person to Christ, SWM can help. Visit SilentWord.org to search for “Deaf Soul Winning” (manual), “You Can Go to Heaven” (flashcards), and “Good News for Deaf People” (DVD/video).
Specialized Body Parts – Every part of your body is important. Several years ago I met a Deaf lady with no fingers. Though her signing was different than “normal,” I was amazed she could sign and communicate with only the palms of her hands. Later I thanked the Lord for my fingers! People can adapt to having missing fingers, hands, feet, eyes, but missing parts are greatly missed. God made every part of the body to serve a special purpose (1 Cor 12:21).
Specialized Ministries* – Thank God for special ministries. Bearing Precious Seed specializes in printing Bibles. BIMI specializes in assisting missionaries. Rock of Ages specializes in prison ministry. Silent Word Ministries specializes in deaf ministry. Each is involved in the basics, but each specialty helps many people.
Christian Specialties – The Body of Christ includes people from different abilities, skills and backgrounds. Each person has a spiritual specialty – a spiritual gift from God (Rom. 12:6-8). Use your gift for God’s glory. Also, God has uniquely prepared you for a particular work or ministry. We realize that not everyone is called to deaf ministry. Not every signer can be an interpreter. But everyone can serve God using his God-given abilities. Non-signers can befriend Deaf people or bring them to church. In the church, God can use people who cook, draw, type, sing, play an instrument, fix cars, fix computers, or have other skills. God accomplishes His work as each person is in the right place, using his special spiritual gifts, abilities and skills.
Guilt For Being Different — God blesses some Christians to lead many people to Christ. He gifts others to teach clearly. He allows some to preach to thousands. Others serve the Lord quietly and without others noticing. Is the person who cleans the restrooms unimportant? Is the person who controls the church sound system less important than the preacher? No. What if there were no nursery workers? What if no one fixed toilets, changed light bulbs, or cleaned the church? Some Christians have guilt because they cannot lead as many to Christ, teach clear lessons, or preach amazing sermons. But when everyone serves together as God has given them abilities and responsibilities, the lights work, the church is clean, babies are safe and well cared for, and the preacher can be clearly heard. Everyone should know and do the basics, but God gives each person special ways he can serve Him (1 Cor. 12:18). As each person does what he can, God’s work is accomplished (2 Cor. 8:12).
Lay aside guilt. Consider how God has uniquely gifted and enabled you. Serve God with your whole heart and specialize without shame.