There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
This is the final part of my last three devotions about the spiritual gifts (if you haven’t read them, do that as well!) The Motivational and Ministry Gifts are the latent potential of every believer, and once we begin to believe that they are part of our identity in Christ we will be able to be the hands and feet of the movement of the Kingdom of God here on earth. It’s challenging, but exciting to know that God is willing and able to use YOU in a mighty way for His plans.
In Robert Heidler’s book, “Experiencing the Spirit” he explores the “different kinds of working” and calls them “The Leadership Gifts”. Now this last one is different than the first two types of gifts in that they are reserved only for some. Not everyone is called to be a leader. This is hard for us to hear sometimes, as many of us like to think we are the masters of our lives. However, just as we submit to Christ to make Him our head, so he gives us earthly relationships in which to submit as well. This can look like a marriage relationship, the hierarchy in a workplace, and certainly it exists in God’s church. Like King David and Moses as two notable leaders in the Bible, he calls and equips some for the management of God’s people, serving and tending to their needs as God sees them.
Ephesians 4:11-15 shares The Leadership Gifts, explains why he gives these gifts to some, who will be benefitting, and what outcome is supposed to occur when we are in proper alignment with God’s setup here:
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— Ephesians 4:11-15
WE are all saints, set apart the word of the Lord, but we need guidance and help along the way to realize our full potential and that’s where these offices come into play. Each of us can have giftings in these areas, but only a few go through the complete process to hold these offices.
Apostles-Apostles have a heart to set the church in order to see everyone function in their gifts effectively. They will focus on seeking the heart of God and the building of His Kingdom for the vision of the church he or she oversees. Often, an apostle will have a desire to plant and oversee multiple churches.
Prophets-Prophets receive accurate revelation from God and has maturity to handle this revelation wisely. He will give guidance and direction to the church, as well helping to establish the revelatory gifts (prophecy, tongues, interpretation, word of knowledge, word of wisdom) in the body.
Evangelists-Evangelists not only wins many to the Lord, but also encourages and trains others to effectively draw men and women to Jesus. The evangelist also establishes the power gifts (healing, faith and miracles) in the Body.
Pastors-The pastor is a shepherd; he/she gives personal care to the members of the flock. A pastor will have a broad overview of the condition of the sheep and a vision from God of where the church should be going.
Teachers-The teacher gives the church and its members stability and helps them grow to maturity by supplying the strong foundation of the truth of God.
What is important to understand about those placed in leadership positions in our churches is that Biblically their primary responsibility to EQUIP the saints to do ministry, not to do the work of the ministry all by themselves. In reality, every member of a church body should be active and working for the building of the kingdom of God, and the leaders are to train, teach, guide, edify and encourage the body in their work.
Consider your place in the church body today: Are you being mentored by a leader in your church with the intention of growing your gifts and your walk with God? Are you currently serving in your church body ministering to those around you? Are you preparing yourself to be the church outside of the walls of your local church building? If not, ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and instruction in this area.