Many people believe that spiritual gifts are just natural gifts given by God. While it’s true that every good and perfect gift comes from God, there is a difference between a spiritual gift and a natural gift.
God has purpose and intentionality in all He does. He has wired you with a unique temperament, unique experiences, AND a spiritual gift(s).
These gifts are not for your pleasure but for the benefit of others, and ultimately to bring glory to God.
Last week we touched on the categories of the spiritual gifts of influence and insight.
Today we are going to dive into the third category.
Category #3: Serving Gifts
- Giving (Romans 12:6, 8)
We’re all called to be ‘givers,’ but a gift of giving is a supernatural desire to sow into and support others, usually financially.
When God gives the gift of giving to a person He has gifted to create wealth, mighty things can be done to advance His kingdom on earth.
We all get uppity about money, but money is part of this world system. And although we are not of this world, we live in it. And in case you haven’t noticed, you need money to do just about everything, including ministry.
- Administration (1 Corinthians 12:28 )
Those with the gift of administration have a spirit-inspired organizational ability. Our God is a God of order and He operates and expects us to operate out of the spirit of excellence—not to be confused with perfectionism.
We need systems and structure otherwise we’re in chaos. I’ve heard many who refer to this gift as stifling. As though somehow it means putting God in a box. This isn’t true. We need order. Spirit-led does not mean disorganized.
Those with the gift of administration are often pragmatic and have a unique talent for maximum efficiency and productivity. A person with this gift may find themselves helping organize meetings or events, help with finances, structure or supervision.
Do you find joy in directing and organizing? You may have the gift of administration.
- Artisan (Exodus 31:1-5)
There are some in the body of Christ who are gifted at a particular craft. This could be music, writing, woodworking, you name it. Artisans are spiritually endowed with a creative gift to bring to life the ideas of others.
Jump on over to Exodus 31:1-5 and you’ll see an example of how God had filled Bezalel and Oholiab and many others with all kinds of skills to make artistic designs in the design of the Tabernacle.
- Helps/Hospitality (1 Cor 12:28, 1 Peter 4:9-10)
A serving gift (the gift of helps or hospitality) is a Spirit-enabled ability to see and meet needs within the body of Christ. Whether the need is a warm bed to sleep in or a meal cooked, a true server has a willingness to fill any need they can for others. We need more people who are willing to see a need and fill it, regardless of its prestige.
I am personally thankful for those with a serving gift that come alongside of me in the ministry. They are able to pick up on needs (often in advance) and make sure that I’m able to focus on what God has called me to do.
Yes, there will be times when we are called to do something we’re not supernaturally gifted to do. When I’m at church after a busy service and I see that the bathroom looks like a bunch of teenage girls just ransacked it, I don’t say to myself, oh I don’t have the gift of cleaning bathrooms, my gift is to teach. No, I straighten up the bathroom because that’s what’s needed in that moment.
But on the flip side, I’ve seen many in leadership who are so concerned with appearances that they try to do everything. set up, preach, teach, talk afterwards, then breakdown, clean the bathrooms, and meet with whoever wants their time. This is a recipe for burn out.
Jethro warned Moses to stop trying to be everything for the people. And in Acts 6: 2-4, the disciples realized that “It is unacceptable for us to neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, brothers, select from among you seven men confirmed to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will appoint this responsibility to them and will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” In other words, they realized that they couldn’t be everything to everybody.
But many in leadership fall victim to that desire to impress others: Oh look, that pastor is willing to get his hands dirty, he’s a good pastor.
We’ve all been given the same amount of time in our day and if we want to move forward in our God-given purpose, we must spend our time focused on what God’s called us to do.
Let the foot be the foot, let the hand be the hand.
Years ago before I got into ministry, I had personal training studios and the trainers who worked for me were all given tasks according to their abilities. But I ran into a problem when they all wanted to eagerly ‘help.’
Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciated the willingness, but five trainers standing around the front desk to attend to a problem that one or two could take care of wasn’t necessary and was a waste of time, talent, and resources.
“Think of it this way,” I’d tell them. “We’re a team. And just like any other team, we all have a position to play. Imagine if we were a baseball team and you were pitcher, you were the first baseman, and so on. And someone hit a fly ball way out into the left-field and we ALL went running for it (to be of ‘help’). This would be of no help at all when no one was there to play the position you should have been playing.”
Play your position, my friend.
Join me next week as we dive into the final category of spiritual gifts: Strengthening gifts.
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