Service – “The Gift of Leadership”

The focus of this evening’s discussion is centered around the spiritual gift of leadership. Sometimes it is known as the gift of governments and at other times is described as the gift of organizing. I like the term leadership because it better describes this gift as one that is motivational in nature. As we talked about in the beginning of this series, we intended to stay tuned in to the motivational gifts because we wanted to recognize those gifts that are mostly used in the service to others. So we will look at the gift of leadership in that light. So, on with the discussion.

The gift of leadership is the sixth gift in our list of seven motivational gifts shown below. It may be near the end of the list but that does not take away from the importance of this gift. I think we can all agree that every endeavor that is undertaken by any group needs and even requires a good leader to insure the ultimate success of the assignment. And I think we realize that if someone is blessed with one of the other gifts we have already studied doesn’t necessarily equate to them being a good leader.  Just because a person has the gift of prophecy or teaching does not qualify them as a good leader. Most of the time to the contrary. Most of the real leaders I have known have come from very common backgrounds and don’t seem to possess any of the other gifts we have mentioned. But without them, the groups they served would be in deep trouble. As we look further at the gift of leadership, I think it will become obvious as to why.

The seven motivational gifts are:

  • Prophecy
  • Serving
  • Teaching
  • Exhortation
  • Giving
  • Leadership ***
  • Mercy

The one with the gift of Leadership has the basic motivational drive to lead others to get a project done. They have the ability to solve problems and accomplish tasks through analysis and delegation. They exhibit several other characteristics that attributes to their success. These include:

  • Although they may not be the one to do the job, they see that the job gets done.
  • They have the ability to discern the strengths, weaknesses, and talents of others.
  • They are goal oriented and are masters at long-range planning and goals
  • They always see the big picture and are willing to take whatever time is necessary to see the project to completion with good results.
  • They are cool-headed and don’t get their feathers ruffled easily. They see emotional expressions as a waste of time.
  • They can easily go unnoticed when the need for a leader arises because often times they do not have the personality of an obvious leader.

The strengths of a leader starts with their ability to be efficient, thorough, and loyal. They invest their time wisely and can handle pressure extremely well. They seem to be able to implement the impossible and use the unusable. The leader makes decisions based on what is best for the sake of the project, not what is most convenient for the workers. They also have the God-given ability to discern the true character of a person and readily recognizes laziness. 

The leader’s weaknesses can be seen sometimes in the midst of a project but not usually before the project begins. They can easily frustrate others that do not share their vision and tend to put the project before the people. Because they see expressions of emotion as unnecessary they earn the reputation of being cold-hearted or unconcerned. And they often appear to be uninvolved or uninterested because of their focus on the big picture.

The gift of leadership, like the rest of the motivational gifts, is one that is sorely needed for the church body to be successful in their mission to serve others. And without the gift being exercised properly many of the church’s endeavors would result in chaos and confusion. Even with the weaknesses that a leader may have, we all should recognize the important part they play in the success of any local church. I urge all who have this gift to step up when needed and use your gift that God has given you to the best of your ability and for His glory!

We will turn our focus next week to the last of the motivational gifts, the gift of mercy. I hope that as we do so, we will come to the conclusion that all of these gifts are certainly a blessing to those who have them and God knew exactly what He was doing as He gave them to each recipient. It is our responsibility to use them wisely so they can work together for the advancement of the gospel and service to others.

I pray that each of you have a great day in the Lord tomorrow and a wonderful week to follow. And in all that we do we bring honor to the name of Jesus.

Special Note: Reassurance will be singing tomorrow evening at Hook Street Baptist Church in Tuscumbia. The service starts at 6:00 pm and we would be honored to have you worship with us.

“What if you woke up today with only those things you thanked God for yesterday?”

 

Service – “The Gift of Giving”

The gift of exhortation, as we saw last week, is one of the spiritual gifts that when exercised in sincerity can make a major difference in the lives of those that are discouraged and feeling like they are all alone in their suffering. I have seen this many times and have experienced myself on numerous occasions the encouragement that comes from one who has the gift of exhortation. I am so thankful for the exhorters who consistently use their gift to encourage others which results in the edification of the church. It is such a powerful witness to the world around us and certainly brings glory to God for which He so richly deserves.

Tonight we move on to the fifth gift of the seven motivational gifts we have been listing each week. This spiritual gift is the gift of giving. It has always amazed me how God blesses certain people with this gift and then at the same time supplies them with the means to use the gift. Their attitude seems to be that anything they have over and above what they need is provided to them to share and bless others. one of the best examples I have seen of an individual with the gift of giving was a local businessman I knew and attended church with for many years. After his passing, I discovered that he had anonymously provided the financial assistance for many youngsters to attend church camps and youth retreats throughout his lifetime and never expected anything in return.  What a blessing it was to those kids but what an example it was for me!

The seven motivational gifts are:

  • Prophecy
  • Serving
  • Teaching
  • Exhortation
  • Giving ***
  • Leadership
  • Mercy

A giver’s basic motivational drive is to conserve and share resources in order to meet needs. Givers take special delight in discovering needs that others overlook and then meeting those needs. Giver’s exhibit several characteristics that separate them form others. These include:

  • They enjoy preventing waste by exercising wisdom and accountability.
  • They get great joy in finding less costly ways to get things done.
  • They like to stay out of the limelight to avoid recognition for their giving.
  • They have a unique ability to accumulate savings, even in hard times.

Along with these characteristics, one with the gift of giving has a number of strengths they rely on as they exercise their gift. They save money by making wise purchases and they avoid impulse spending. They have an excellent understanding of authority and accountability and expect to be held accountable while also holding others to the same expectations. They are hard workers with conservative values and very seldom incur significant debt. They like to be personally involved in the lives of those they help and love to motivate others to save and give.

Their weaknesses include sometimes becoming “just plain cheap” in their efforts to conserve resources and they can react negatively to pressure to give if the need is well publicized. If they are offended or lose confidence in a person or a ministry they may allow their feelings to interfere with God-given opportunities to give. They are easily tempted to judge someone else or a ministry if one incident occurs that hints of poor stewardship of resources or lack of accountability. And sometimes their perspective turns into “tunnel vision” if they become too focused on issues they see as priorities.

The gift of giving certainly has a role to play in how the church is to function in today’s times. We all realize that God expects us to return to Him a portion of what He so graciously blesses us with. But He has set aside some believers with this gift to assist those who have certain needs and at the same time be a “watchdog” in how the church utilizes its resources that God has provided. Is is becoming more and more obvious how God has put together these wonderful gifts in such a fashion that if used wisely will meet the needs, whatever they may be, of His church.

Next week our study will focus on the gift of leadership. We will see again how God has orchestrated His plan for our benefit and His glory. And the glory belongs to Him! Until then we should be reminded to thank Him for all He has done for us. I pray that we take nothing for granted.

“What if you woke up today with only those things you thanked God for yesterday?”

Service – “The Gift of Exhortation”

Last week, as we looked at the gift of teaching, I believe we all had different people come to mind that we would say they have that gift. I can think of several myself, including my dad, my grandmother, a Sunday School teacher I had as a boy and more recently a previous pastor who stills remains a friend and a mentor. It is a very special gift and when used wisely can result in many folks learning more truth from God’s Word and growing spiritually in their walk with Him. However, as I have done in the past, I remind those who have that gift to be sure it is used for the edification of the church and to the glory of God.

This evening we are going to take a look at the another one of the seven motivational gifts shown in the list that follows this paragraph. That is the gift of exhortation. We are living in a time that the exercising of this gift by those who possess it is of extreme importance. Many churches and believers are in need of encouragement and what better way than one with the gift of exhortation use their gift to do that very thing. We all have seen the dramatic changes that have taken place in our world in the last few decades and when we dwell on how far from God and His Word we have strayed we begin to think there is no hope for  any changes for the better to occur. But a person with the gift of exhortation has a different opinion on the matter. They believe that God can change anything, anytime, for anyone, anywhere if He so chooses and what a great perspective to have.

  • Prophecy
  • Serving
  • Teaching
  • Exhortation ***
  • Giving
  • Leadership
  • Mercy 

Now let’s take a closer look at the individual blessed with the gift of exhortation. The basic motivational drive of the exhorter is to encourage believers to mature in Christ and grow spiritually. They do this by teaching, counseling and discipling others. The following are some of the general characteristics the exhorter exhibits as they use their gift.

  • They regard trials as opportunities for spiritual growth.
  • They see the pain of a hurting believer through the lens of God’s soverignty, not the lens of suffering.
  • Making themselves available is their way of expressing love for others.
  • They prefer to offer spiritual help instead of meeting one’s physical need.
  • They provide wise counsel from the heart because that are skillful in identifying precepts and principles in God’s Word.
  • They give hope by sharing a Bib;lical perspective of a situation and remind those affected of God’s love, power and faithfulness.
  • They provide specific steps of action when responding to a problem.

Like all of those with other gifts, one with the gift of exhortation has numerous strengths that helps him use his gift as God intended. They use Scripture to validate experience but at the same time are eager and willing to come along side a brother or sister in Christ to help during difficult situations. They memorize and meditate on Scripture because they want to readily draw wisdom from God’s truth when it is needed. They see every detail as part of God’s loving plan and because they trials in a postive light they constantly remind others of God’s sovereignty and love. They stay balanced, avoid extremes in doctrine and have the ability to give thanks in all seasons and circumstances.

The exhorter can also have certain weaknesses in addition to the strengths we see above. They desire visible evidences of acceptance and affirmation. Sometimes they over simplify solutions which can lead to discouragement instead of the encouragement that is needed. They are excellent coundselors but can be poor listeners because they want a person to view their situation from God’s perspective and they overlook the individual’s perspective. They give wise counsel from the Word of God and as it proves effective they are tempted to promote principles as formulas that they see as cure-alls. They are often naive and easily manipulated and sometimes quote Scripture out of context to try to make it fit a situation. This is because of their strong desire to have Scripture provide the successful steps to solving the problem.

With all things considered the church would be in dire straits if there were no exhorters in their midst. This gift has a special place today as mentioned before and I encourage those of you with this gift to make every effort to use it on a regular basis. I know that I for one am always in need of encouragement from another Christian and when the gift is used it becomes another means by which iron sharpens iron and spiritual growth occurs. And again, to God be the glory!

Next week we will move to the next gift in our list, giving. I hope that our study thus far has made a difference in someone’s life because they have recognized the gift they have and have begun to purposely exercise it when the opportunity arises. I truly believe this is what God intends for us to do. Keep looking for those opportunites, use your gift and sevice to others will be the result. And again, remember to thank God for all He has done and continues to do. He is worthy of all honor and praise!

“What if you woke up today with only those things you thanked God for yesterday?”

Service – “The Gift of Teaching”

I hope everyone had a great week and are looking forward to the Lord’s day tomorrow. What a wonderful privilege it is to be in God’s house with God’s people hearing God’s Word proclaimed and experiencing God at work in our life and seeing it in the lives of others. As we reflect on how we are so blessed, let’s also remember that the spiritual gift(s) that he has bestowed on each one of us are to be used to minister to others so that even more people will come to know Him as Savior and Lord. Last week we saw how the gift of serving plays a tremendous role in achieving that objective and discussed the characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of someone who is blessed with that gift. It too is to be used for service to others but it also must be used wisely and appropriately. And again, for those of you who may have this gift, use it for the edification of the church and to the glory of God.

In this post we are going to take a look at the next gift in our list of the motivational gifts below. The gift of teaching is another wonderful gift and I can assure you that my life has been personally impacted through the years by numerous people who had or now has that gift.  It is also worth noting that Jesus also displayed this gift over and over as he exercised it on a daily basis with his disciples. Even the Jewish elite rulers recognized Jesus was a teacher although they still plotted to kill Him.

  • Prophecy
  • Serving
  • Teaching ***
  • Exhortation
  • Giving
  • Leadership
  • Mercy 

It doesn’t take very long to recognize someone who has the gift of teaching. And on the other hand is also very obvious when one doesn’t have the gift. To tell you the truth, I have been in Sunday School classes where the “teacher’ did not possess the gift of teaching and I’m sad to say that sometimes they themselves did not recognize that they didn’t have the gift. So, what is the real motivation for someone who does have the gift of teaching? The basic motivational drive of someone with this gift is to ‘discover and validate truth’  and are always ready to share what they know. Teachers are very sensitive to doctrinal integrity, they have great research skills, and they are sincere. The following characteristics are usually exhibited by one who has this gift.

  • They constantly search for truth.
  • They study diligently, paying close attention to the wording and the context of scripture.
  • They help keep the Church focused on truth.
  • They stay alert to false doctrine and never honor experience over the authority of Scripture.
  • They question anything that seems inaccurate. This motivates them to search out the answers in scripture needed to establish truth.

Teachers have several strengths that serve them well in their passion for the pursuit and guarding of the truth. They do a lot research to gain information and insights into scripture. They are very passionate about correcting error. They place strong emphasis on the original language and it’s meaning. They have excellent study habits and faithfully study the Word of God. They solve problems by studying more and are diligent, steadfast and sincere.

Believers with the gift of teaching also can have a number of weaknesses they need to be on guard about. They are sometimes tempted to equate or confuse knowledge with wisdom and sometimes they may concentrate more on facts than people. They are not pleased when other instructors use illustrations to get attention. They easily reject illustrations that are not biblical and condemn them as irrelevant and distracting. Sometimes they are tempted to be prideful and have a condescending attitude towards those that don’t have the gift. They can be impractical, analytical and unemotional and are usually not interested in social events which makes them appear to be snobbish. They can have a tendency to give more information than is requested and therefore be boring to the listener.

We can again see with the gift of teaching it also has its place in the edification of the body. We also see that it is very important for someone with this gift to focus on the strengths and to be very aware and alert of the weaknesses. With the proper balance the exercising of the gift of teaching certainly can build up the body of Christ by using it to minster and serve others. And I as I said last week, I thank God for those to whom He has given this gift and if you are one of them I thank you for your willingness to use it in the service of others. To God be the glory!

Next week the focus will be on the gift of exhortation. I pray that God does something in your life this week that you will never forget. Look for ways to serve others and I know He will be glorified. And again, remember to thank Him for all He has done and continues to do. That is my prayer for you and myself.

“What if you woke up today with only those things you thanked God for yesterday?”

 

Service – “The Gift of Serving”

In our post last week we started this part of the series with a discussion on the gift of prophecy. We described some of the traits a person might have if they have been given this gift. We pointed out some of the strengths they may have and yes, even some of the weaknesses they would need to be aware of. Although it wasn’t an exhaustive study of the gift I believe it was enough to help us realize that this gift is certainly one to be used for service to others but it also must be used wisely and appropriately. For those of you who may have this gift, use if for the edification of the church and to the glory of God.

This week we will take a look at the next gift in our list of the motivational gifts below. The gift of serving is a wonderful gift and reminds us so much of how Jesus displayed this gift over and over during His short ministry on this earth. He truly came to serve, not to be served!

  • Prophecy
  • Serving ***
  • Teaching
  • Exhortation
  • Giving
  • Leadership
  • Mercy 

Serving, also known as ministering, is usually exhibited by most believers in varying degrees because it comes from an overflow of love and gratitude. However, it seems to be very prominent in certain ones and there is no doubt they have the full share of the gift from God. The basic motivational drive a person has if they have the gift of serving is a strong desire to ‘demonstrate love by meeting practical needs’. They are diligent and willing to sacrifice their time and energy to complete a task. The following describes some of the characteristics the person with this gift most likely exhibits.

  • They serve by doing and express themselves the best by the tangible work they do.
  • They prefer short-term tasks because they are fulfilled by the completion of the task.
  • They readily volunteer to serve and you can count on them to be around at the end of the project. They desire to see it through to completion.
  • They prefer to carry out the responsibilities of the task rather than having them assigned to someone else.

The strengths of someone with the gift of serving are numerous but here are a few. They tend to be one man armies. They seem to have a special grace to exercise humility in menial chores. They are always available and never say no when asked to help someone else. They appear to have a God-given strength to do physical tasks so you had better stay out-of-the-way. It has been my experience that these people seem to have a never-ending supply of energy and one can almost get tired from just watching them work.

Along with their strengths there also come a number of weaknesses for someone with this gift and it serves them well to keep them in mind. They must deal with the temptation to become over-committed which leads to stress and frustration. They can easily become frustrated with time limitations. They can become bitter and resentful if they feel like they are not appreciated. They are poor delegators. They tend to be demanding of others who are supposed to help but are not. They tend to be perfectionists, even down to the unimportant details. I think most of us have one or two of these weaknesses, including myself.

The gift of serving certainly has its place in the edification of the body. To many it may seem minor but if there was no one with this gift, a lot of things would go undone. I thank God for those to whom He has given this gift and if you are one of them I thank you for your willingness to use it in the service of others. To God be the glory!

Next week the focus will be on the gift of teaching. May God richly bless each of you this day and may you sense His presence in all that you do. Remember to thank Him for all He has done and continues to do. That is my prayer for you and myself.

“What if you woke up today with only those things you thanked God for yesterday?”