Find Your Place NorthStar Edition
Session 2: Spiritual Gifts - Part 1
1. Biblical Basis for Spiritual Gifts - 1 Corinthians 12 and 14.
12:1 - Do not be ignorant
12:4-11 - "different kinds," "each one," "to one," "to another"
Every Christian does not have every gift
12:11a - Empowerment by the Holy Spirit (12:11a)
12:11b - God-determined (not man or self-determined)
12:13 - Received at Salvation
14:26 - Strengthening of the church
2. Ministry Focus vs. Spiritual Disciplines
Working Definitions: (review)
Spiritual gifts are the particular ability given to individual Christians to accomplish a specific role or task within the ministry of the body.
Spiritual disciplines are those activities that every Christian should be involved with in order to be in a place to mature in faith and bear spiritual fruit.
Many spiritual gifts are also spiritual disciplines
Examples: evangelism, giving, intercession, hospitality, showing mercy, service, etc.
Lack of giftedness in a discipline is not an excuse!
Spiritual disciplines are for every Christian. Lack of giftedness in a discipline is not an excuse to ignore the discipline. Look for those who are gifted in the discipline to help you become more effective.
Giftedness in a discipline is a mark for ministry.
Those with a spiritual gift that is also a spiritual discipline should be active in using their spiritual gift in such a way that it helps other Christians more effectively practice the discipline.
3. Levels of Giftedness: Ministry Motivators
Comments have been made in other FYP classes 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.
4. Classifications - for ease in communication and teaching
5. Communication Gifts
Exhortation - Focusses on practical application of the message given. Characterized by the sentence, "Here is what you can do with the message."
Prophecy - Focusses on delivering the message itself, often with little regard for the listener's understanding or application. Characterized in extreme form by the sentence, "Here is the Word of the Lord, take it or leave it."
Teaching - Focusses on making sure the message is fully understood by the listener--often detail conscious. Characterized by the sentence, "Now, I want you to make sure you understand this message and all it entails."
6. Leadership Gifts
Administration - The person who catches the vision of the leader and works out the details and delegates tasks to get the goals accomplished.
Apostle - In Scripture, the same as the missionary gift, but is separated for clarification. This gift focusses on the expansion of the local church.
Leadership - This person is the one who is the visionary and sets the direction for the group. People naturally seem to follow his/her leading. Leaders are generally not worried about details.
Missionary - In Scripture, the same as the apostle gift, but is separated for clarification. This gift focusses on the expansion of the church in a cross-cultural setting.
Shepherd - Often called "pastor," but is actually a weakness in the office of pastor, as it limits the size of a church. A shepherd invests in a small group of people over a long period of time and feels responsible for every aspect of the individual group-members' lives. Greatly needed in care-group leaders within Sunday School departments.
Other Discussion items:
We began to discuss each person's spiritual gifts and their implications to their ministries. This will be done at much greater depth in sessions 3 and 6.
We also briefly discussed how the church background of each of us in the class has led to very little understanding in regards to some of the spiritual gifts on the inventory. We will get into greater depth on this in session 3.
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