Find Your Place EMIM Discovery edition
Session 3: Spiritual Gifts, Part 2
1. Ministry Motivators
Comments were made last week regarding the phenomenon that some gifts seems to lie dormant for many years and then become more prominent at certain seasons of life. If the believer is given his/her spiritual gifts at salvation, but is not given every gift, how can this occur?
In APK's understanding, each Christian is not given every spiritual gift, for the Spirit "gives them to each one, just as He determines" (1 Cor 12:11). APK believes that there are different levels of giftedness within the spiritual gifts each person is given. Understanding the various "levels of giftedness" will help the Christian narrow down the possibilities for ministry in such a way as to more specifically know their place in the local Body. These levels can be broken into 4 major categories:
1. Primary Ministry Motivators
These are the dominant spiritual gift(s) that the particular Christian will function best in, and will find the most satisfaction from. The Christian's primary ministry should revolve around these gifts, as they are the primary function for this Christian in the Body.
2. Directional Ministry Motivators
These could also be termed "secondary spiritual gifts." These are gifts that the Christian often finds influencing the way in which they use their primary gift(s). Certain gifts in this bracket may increase or decrease in prominence based on life experiences or needs within the local body. Functioning primarily in these areas of ministry will reap some satisfaction for the believer, but will drain energy and possibly lead to frustration and burn-out.
3. Functional only - NOT Ministry Motivators
These are the spiritual gifts that the particular Christian may or may not be gifted with, but can function in the given area if needed. In the case of non-giftedness, the function is merely a talent or skill. These functions should not be considered marks for ministry, but should be used merely as "hole-fillers" when a person that is gifted in this area has refused to serve or is currently unavailable. Those who are gifted with "equipping" gifts may function in these areas long enough to train those who are gifted in the area of ministry. Functioning too much or too long in these areas leads to ministry burn-out.
4. Non-functional - NOT Ministry Motivators
These are the spiritual gifts that the particular Christian is not gifted with, and has a difficult time functioning in. Functioning in these areas of ministry without constant supervision by someone gifted in this area will undoubtably lead to burn-out. Even with supervision, dissatisfaction and a sense of futility may result. In the case of spiritual disciplines, perseverence, education, and gifted supervision are the key. These ministry areas should not be considered for the Christian's primary ministry focus.
2. Sign Gifts
Comments were made regarding the fact that these gifts have not ceased. Those who hold a cessationist view hold a poor interpretation on 1 Corinthians 13:8. A cessationist view suggests that the gifts ceased at the end of the apostolic era, or at the closing of the canon of Scripture. However, evidence shows that these gifts were an active part of Christian worship--at least into the middle of the third century.
Other issues discussed include the inexperience with these gifts, as they are not at the forefront of our church. Overall, APK's understanding is that many churches use these gifts in excess, thus other churches avoid the problems. As with many theological issues, the truth is generally somewhere in the middle. APK wishes these gifts were made known a little more (with great care), so that those who may unknowingly have these gifts might be exposed to their proper use.
Interpretation of Tonques
3. Practical Gifts
ALL of these gifts are also spiritual disciplines. As previously pointed out, those who are gifted in these areas have a mark for ministry and should be active in training others in the particular spiritual discipline. Christians not gifted in a spiritual discipline should be actively learning from those who are gifted in the area, in order to mature in their spiritual walk.
Copyright ©2001 Andrew P Kulp