Monday, November 28, 2011

Spiritually Gifted to Give: The Equipping Gifts

Thanks for allowing me a Thanksgiving break and detour last week. I so enjoyed writing my Thanksgiving blog post...just relishing in the goodness of God. If you missed it, you can read it here... The Familiar.

Wrapped Christmas Presents Pictures, Images and Photos
Now back to Spiritual Gifts...
I don't want you to miss anything, so if you are just joining us in this series on spiritual gifts, you probably want to read the previous posts.
God Believes in You

Spiritual Gifts: Not a Secret

Spiritual Gifts: They Are Just That!

Spiritual Gifts: What They Are NOT (Includes an assessment)

Although spiritual gifts assessments are not the all-in-all, they can be very directional in helping us discover our gifts. Another way to discover your gifts is to recognize where and how God uses you. Do you often find yourself ministering to the needy and helpless? You most likely have the spiritual gift of mercy/compassion. Do you volunteer or get asked to teach often in the church? Then teaching is probably one of your spiritual gifts. Do friends frequently call or text or email you asking for advice? Perhaps you have the gift of wisdom or encouragement/exhortation. See how that works? Start observing where and how God is using you and that is probably a sure sign of your spiritual giftedness.

Another way of recognizing your spiritual gifts is to gain a good knowledge of specific spiritual gifts. Today, let's discuss the gifts that equip others.

Apostle/Missionary:  The person with this gift has a heart for a particular geographical area and seeks to find ways to reach that area for Christ. Apostles have a burden for unreached people groups and are able to easily overcome cultural barriers. Cautions: Because missionaries often work on their own, they need some type of accountability. They also need to be aware of pride and neglect of personal spiritual health.

Evangelist: Though we all have been commissioned to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, people with the gift of evangelism "ooze out the gospel." (My words.) Seriously, these people can be at a store and before the clerk has rung up their last item, they are talking about Jesus. Though many preachers are evangelists, not all evangelists are preachers. In fact, many people with the gift of evangelism never have a public platform. Their passion is to see people come to faith in Christ and they develop a simple and practical way of sharing Jesus with others. Cautions: Evangelists need to realize that bringing people to Christ is just the beginning and that people need discipleship beyond that. Also, they need to remember that this gift is not superior to any other.

Pastor/Shepherding:  People with this gift spiritually feed, nurture, and protect a group of believers. Remember that you may have this gift and never pastor a church! Pastoring is often seen in small groups. It is the ability to love on people and help them grow in their relationship to Jesus. Cautions:  Do not neglect your own personal or family needs because you are bearing so many others' burdens. Be aware of pride because sometimes those you shepherd can put you on a pedestal.

Prophet: Yes, this gift is still used today!  How? People with the gift of prophecy are able to assess a situation and speak the truth of God's Word into that situation. They are serious listeners to the voice of God and are not timid about sharing what they hear. Prophets defend God's Word and are deeply moved by sin or apathy in the body of Christ. Cautions: People with the gift of prophecy MUST be in God's Word to know the truth of God's Word! They must not lean on their own understanding. They must guard against pride and condemnation of others.

Teacher:  Teachers are able to effectively communicate truth and knowledge of God's Word to others. As a result, students are able to make life application with that knowledge. Teachers love researching God's Word and often enjoy word studies, historical searches, and cross-referencing. They are able to bring simplicity to a difficult subject. Cautions: Teachers must rely on the spiritual anointing of God instead of their natural ability to teach. Teachers need to be responsible and accountable for what they teach.

Do you have any of these equipping gifts? Are you already using those gifts to glorify God and build the body of Christ? Or maybe you need help identifying these gifts in yourself? I would love to hear from all of you! Please comment to let me know that this series is helpful. Thanks!

P.S. If you do not follow me on Twitter or Facebook, I would love to connect with you there...

Unwrapping the equipping gifts,



Jennifer K. Hale said...

I have known almost my entire life that I am a teacher. No doubt God has equipped me with this in order to equip others. I love it, I'm passionate about it, and I'm convicted when I'm not doing it.

Kelli Williams Wommack said...

yes, Jennifer, I too have felt that gifting as a teacher most of my life (since about 5th grade). God continues to affirm that gifting as I continue to exercise and develop it. We must get together... We have so much in common. :)