One of the biggest transformations in my ministry leadership in the past year has been how I view spiritual gifts. I’ve taken about 1,000 spiritual gift inventory, tests, surveys, etc. over my lifetime. Most of the time I come away with the same high scores in 2 – 3 gifts and I also walk away with very low scores in a few others.
Because of our comfort level with Spiritual Gifts, we don’t often take into account this powerful tool when designing structures for our ministries.
I feel like the Spiritual Gifts that have been laid out in 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, 1 Peter 4 and other places give us a breadth of gifts that the Spirit of God gives to people. But too often, when organizing our ministries we don’t think that these differences in people were given to us to “use [them] to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:” (1 Peter 4:10) Instead it’s sort of like a fun 3 truths and a lie fact rather than a necessary piece of successful ministry stewardship.
Usually, Leaders tend to organize their ministries based on the gifts that they personally have or they don’t take this powerful organizational, team building ministry tool into account at all.
I’ve become much more aware of the other gifts that I don’t possess in hopes that I can adequately assess, equip, and challenge those that are blessed with those talents. So here are a few ways to use the spiritual gifts to help equip others to do ministry better.
1. Have a way to discover Spiritual Gifts
If they are an important enough resource for the Spirit to distribute how he sees fit (1 Corinthians 12:11; Hebrews 2:4) then we must figure out what God has given to the people that are in our ministry. So make it a part of your application or talk about it in your interview with volunteers but find a way to discover their God given gifts.
Don’t assume that everyone on your team knows their Spiritual Gift either. God took the time to gift us specifically with these gifts, we should take enough time to figure out what it is and use it.
2. Have a job for every Spiritual Gift
In our ministries, do we have a position or a job that every Spiritual Gift could do and use their gift in that job. The cop out on this particular item is that you can use your gift in whatever circumstance. That might be true. But I’m probably going to have better success if I can line up with what God is doing (supplying the gift for ministry) versus getting people to line up with what I’m doing (square peg in round hole).
So how do people with gifts of mercy fit in to your ministry? Leadership? Encouragement? Administration? Service or helps?
Not only is important for involving people in your ministry that have every type of Spiritual Gift but it also shows your students that is a place for everyone not just one particular set of gifts.
3. Study the gifts that you don’t have
It’s much tougher for me to figure out what makes people with the gift of administration tick. What is a win for them? What is the one thing that someone with the gift of service or helps wants to contribute?
Can you define the win for those in your ministry with gifts that look differently than yours?
So how do you use spiritual gifts in your ministry?