Let’s take a look at the spiritual gifts found in Romans 12: 4-8. These gifts have variously been called Grace Gifts, Motivational Gifts or Foundation Gifts.
For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. NKJV
God has given each believer one or more of these gifts. Many believers exhibit more than one gift, but almost always one is dominant. Each gift affects the way that a person views all ministries. Because we all view ministry through our gifting, we find that some gifted saints can offend differently gifted folks if they do not take time to understand each other giftings.
Therefore, I am not going to teach these gifts in the order given but will compare those gifts that tend to offend specific others. Some of the teaching is from Know Your Ministry by Marilyn Hickey.
Gift of Prophecy: Prophecy means speaking forth the Word of God.
Characteristic of the Prophecy Motivated People:
- They are very frank and direct verbally. They are not afraid to point out weakness in others and are very eager to have their own weakness exposed as well.
- They have the ability to discern others’ true motives.
- They want to see outward evidence of change in those who say they repented. They do not simply accept the word of the “changer” but want to see fruit in action as well.
Guidelines for Prophecy Motivated People:
1.Be certain to speak the truth in love. Watch the tone of your voice.
2.Guard against rigidity. God may have more than one way to accomplish his goals.
- Do not become legalistic.
Gift of Mercy: is the outward manifestation of pity
Characteristics of the Mercy Motivated People:
1 They are eager to show mercy.
2 They rebuke others only when it is absolutely necessary.
- They have the ability to discern others’ true motives.
- They prefer to minister to emotional needs rather than physical needs.
5 They are sensitive to others’ reactions to spiritual events.
Guidelines for Mercy Motivated people:
- Allow God to deal with others’ offenses. Do not assume others ‘offenses . 2. Make decisions based on the Word of God, not on emotions.
- Exercise caution when ministering to members of the opposite sex. You may become too involved and cause further injury or problems or your deep concern may be misunderstood.
- Make an effort to fellowship with a variety of people. Mercy motivated people are inclined only to fellowship with others who are also mercy-motivated.
Those with prophecy and mercy motivated gifts tend to offended each other because to their very different approaches to ministry. Prophecy people tend to be very vocal and blunt in dealing with people, whereas the mercy motivated want to coax people into repentance and tend to be much more mild mannered when ministering to people. A mercy motivated person can be offended by the harsh way the prophecy motivated person speaks to a person: the prophecy motivated can be offended because they think the Mercy motivated person is coddling the person. Both have the ability to discern others’ true motives, but their approach in dealing with the person differs. The kingdom needs both approaches. Sometimes some need a “kick in the pants” and sometimes they just need a hug.
Gift of Ministry (Serving): is the gift which motivates the gifted to meet the practical needs in the church.
Characteristics of the Serving Motivated People:
- They are willing to work physically almost to the point of exhaustion.
- They will accept any challenge and stick with it to completion even if it means forfeiting hours of their personal time.
- They prefer to work on projects that yield immediate results.
Guidelines for Serving Motivated People
- Guard against taking on too many projects – you may be taking away someone else’s opportunity for ministry. Make certain God has called you to do the task that you are performing.
- Do your work for the Lord and not for man’s approval.
- Keep your priorities straight. Sometimes severs become so task-oriented that they neglect their personal relationship with God.
- Be careful not to interfere with God’s dealings with others. Sometimes a server will leap in to help someone whom God is trying to teach a lesson.
Gift of Leadership (Administration) is the ability to lead and direct others. Through their God-given leadership ability, the leadership motivates and facilitates tasks for the rest of the body of Christ.
Characteristics of the Leadership Motivated People:
- They can visualize long range goals.
- They love challenge and know what steps are needed to meet the challenge.
- They love to implement steps needed to meet goals.
- They gain satisfaction from achieving goals and involving other to help meet them.
- They are aware of the available resources to complete a task.
- They are not overly sensitive to criticism; they are concerned with achieving goals, not pleasing people.
Guidelines for Leadership Motivated people:
- Watch your people skills. Remember people are more important than projects.
- Remember to be sensitive to others. Leaders like to complete tasks swiftly and may at times appear to be insensitive to others’ schedules and priorities.
- Explain why certain tasks are necessary. Not everyone can see the long term goals
- Use your giftings. Leaders will often wait until asked to get involved in projects.
- In the beginning supervise your projects closely. Leaders tend to delegate their responsibilities too quickly
Leadership and serving gifts tend to offend each other. The server sometime thinks the leader is lazy because he’s not doing the physical labor. If possible, the leader should get involved in some of the physical work to set an example. Because servers do not visualize the long term goals, they may get discouraged. Therefore it is good for the leader to set short term goals and celebrate each as it is reached to encourage the servers.
My next Tips and Tools will complete the teaching on gifts and will include the gifts of Teaching, Exhortation and Giving.
Bishop Bob Coulter
Recommended book: Know Your Ministry by Marilyn Hickey