Akubernesis (in the Greek) was a steersman for a ship. He had the responsibility of bringing a ship into the harbor—through the rocks and shoals under all types of pressures.
Charles Swindoll says, “A kubernesis was an expert in the midst of a storm.” This is a good definition for the gift of Administration. Leading, ruling, organizing, governing, and administering are words that come from different translations of the Scriptures of the same Greek word. Administrators are leaders.
Administrators are “take charge” people who jump in and start giving orders when no one is in charge (sometimes when someone else is in charge). They put a plan on paper and start delegating responsibility. The committee or group reports back to them and they work the whole scheme of the program together.
If a program or event is scheduled, they almost instantly have a plan to carry it out. When followed, the plan usually makes the event more effective.
Administrators usually have one of two leadership styles. One organizes things, events or programs. The other organizes people and emphasizes personal relationships and leadership responsibilities.
Perhaps the Administrator is chairperson of the board or the deacons. In fact, without such a chairperson, the board will not function at its best. Some people think Administrators take on too much. Sometimes they have to watch that they do not overstep their authority and expect the pastor or others in leadership to follow them. On the surface they are extremely organized. If they organize things or events, they will usually organize details and have people carry them out. If they are prone to organizing people, they are not detail people, but rely on others to take care of the little things.
They do not often admit to mistakes. They usually do not take time to explain to those under them why they are doing things; they just expect the job to get done. Their patience may wear thin when plans are not carried through as they laid them out.
When things in the church become fragmented, Administrators can harmonize the whole program if given a chance. As soon as a task is completed, they are already working on the next event and start giving the directions before others even catch a breath. They lead by saying, “Come on, keep up with me and we’ll set the world on fire.” Close observation reveals that most pastors of large churches have this gift. Their ability to lead is a major factor causing the churches to become large.
But what about the small church where most of us worship? Every position in your church that requires leadership is a potential area to practice this gift. Positions include chairperson of the deacons, trustees or another committee; the Sunday school director; small group leader, office manager; and more. All these areas should have people in them who have leadership ability.
It would be much wiser and more effective if churches would place people who have the gift of Administration in positions of leadership. This would work better than using a rotation basis in positions such as deacon chairperson or trustee chairperson. The rotation system may seem to keep one person from becoming a dictator or getting too much control. However, such a system often causes a gap in progress if someone without the gift of Administration is in leadership for a year or more.
The answer is to retain people who are leaders in leadership positions, holding them accountable using the Scriptures and by providing adequate and ongoing training. They need to learn 1 Corinthians 11:1, known as the “four aces of leadership” verse (i.e. the four “1s” [aces] in the verse number): “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” When one of God’s leaders gets a large following, the question is always asked: “Yeah, but are they following God or the person?” They can clearly see that many of these people would not be following God if the person were not present.
The point is that God has always had His men. Would the Israelites have left Egypt if they hadn’t had Moses, or would they have conquered the Promised Land without Joshua? God could have chosen a number of ways to lead His people, but He chose the same method for leading as He did for the rest of His work here on earth—men and women. Throughout history God has always chosen His people for leading: Saul, David, Gideon, Nehemiah, Solomon, Deborah, Esther, and men like Paul. Some were good and some bad.
Have you ever read 1 and 2 Chronicles? It can be boring and confusing with all the genealogies and “begats,” but, one thing is certain, you will find that all through Israel’s history, when godly leadership prevailed, Israel prospered. When ungodly leadership was followed, there was failure.
Even since Bible times, God’s leaders have been recognized: people like Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, Charles Finney, John Wesley, George Mueller, Dwight L. Moody, Lottie Moon, John R. Rice, Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell. But from the very beginning, in the minds of the people, God’s great leaders always stopped with the previous generation
Why is it that a man must be dead before we are willing to follow him, when God has His men and women for every generation, including ours?
ABOUT THE ADMINISTRATOR
If you are an Administrator, you have the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by organizing, administering, promoting, and leading the various affairs of the church. You are the person who leads the church and its ministries.
Witnessing Style of the Administrator:“Your life’s a mess.” Administrators will try to get your life organized before they’ll even try to get you saved.
Characteristics: The Administrator …
1. Is a person with a dream.
2. Is goal oriented.
3. Is well-disciplined.
4. Usually works best under heavy pressure.
5. Is not a procrastinator.
6. Is often a good motivator.
7. Is serious minded, highly motivated, and intense.
8. Has an accurate self-image.
9. Is more interested in the welfare of the group than his/her own desires.
10. Is a perfectionist who wants what he/she is involved in to be done well.
11. Loves drafts, charts, and lists.
12. Wants things done his/her way now.
13. Is prone to being a workaholic.
14. Keeps his/her emotions hidden.
15. Is dominant, not passive.
16. Likes to be center-stage with people looking at him/her.
Burdens, Desires and Strengths: The Administrator …
1. Dreams big dreams for God.
2. Has a burden to move to a new task as soon as one is completed
3. Delegates wherever possible, but knows when not to.
4. Can’t bear defeat—strong desire to win.
5. Can harmonize the various affairs of the church.
6. Is willing to attempt impossible tasks.
7. Is capable of making quick decisions and sticking to them.
8. Will assume leadership when there is no leadership in the group.
9. Is skilled in planning.
10. Makes decisions logically, strictly on facts, not feelings.
11. Is more composed than nervous.
12. Is competitive by nature.
13. Likes challenging tasks.
14. Is enthusiastic, gets people excited.
15. Plans ahead and works on a schedule.
16. Demonstrates competence.
17. Sees the whole picture quickly.
Special Needs and Weaknesses: The Administrator …
1. Appears on the outside to be organized, but usually isn’t.
2. Looks at the overall picture and may miss the smaller details.
3. May make decisions based on logic rather than Scripture.
4. Doesn’t like to admit to making a mistake or to weaknesses.
5. May be insensitive to “little” people.
6. Is often hard to please: his/her standards are too high; he/she is not tolerant of mistakes.
7. Is not good at remembering names.
8. May not be gracious when hurried or busy.
9. Will manipulate others into doing what he/she wants done—uses people.
How the Administrator Is Misunderstood: Others think the Administrator …
1. Is cold.
2. Is pushy.
3. Is using them because of his/her lack of explanation.
4. Is not concerned or have time for others.
5. Is selfish, trying to be a big shot.
6. Is lazy if he/she administrates without getting involved.
7. Is bossy and impatient.
8. Is too independent.
How Satan Attacks This Gift
1. Causes pride because of leadership role.
2. Causes selfishness because of success; not sharing glory with those under him/her.
3. Causes blame-shifting when things go wrong.
4. Causes discouragement and frustration when goals aren’t met or things go too slow.
5. Causes anger and mistreatment of those who disagree with plans, goals and methods.
6. Causes wrong motives.
7. Causes lack of concern for people or their needs.
8. Causes lack of spiritual growth and qualities.
Where to Use This Gift
1. As the leader of a project, ministry or program.
2. As church planner or coordinator.
3. As pastor or assistant pastor, business manager.
4. As an office manager or department head for large staffs.
5. As a Sunday school superintendent, deacon chairperson.
6. As the chairperson of building or fundraising projects.
7. As the nursery coordinator.
8. As a leader of men’s or women’s fellowship.
9. As the head of the library.
10. As a camp director or transportation director.
11. As director of Vacation Bible School or Kids Games.
12. As a women’s missionary circle or fellowship leader.
13. As the church moderator
The Greek word Euangelistes means to proclaim glad tidings, a messenger of good. It denotes a preacher or proclaimer of the Gospel.
The Evangelist can either be a preacher who stands before a crowd imploring people to be saved, or perhaps an individual sitting across from someone on a plane or in a living room, encouraging for him or her to accept Christ.
The person with the gift of Evangelism usually is outgoing and personable. He or she has mastered a technique of paying compliments to every stranger and asking lifestyle questions such as: “Where do you work?” “How many children you do have?” “In what part of the country were you raised?” When not talking with people about their soul’s relationship with Jesus Christ, the Evangelist is often quiet.
The Evangelist is constantly consumed with the need to confront sinners with the Gospel or encourage other Christians to do the same, by directly telling them to do so or by encouraging them with a recent experience. The Evangelist memorizes Scripture in order not to be caught “flat-footed” while witnessing, and often quotes Scripture in an attempt to influence others through God’s Word.
Sometimes the Evangelist turns off other Christians and even lost people because of the “sales pitch” used. Some consider him or her kin to the used car salesperson or vacuum cleaner salesperson. However, much of that perception is because of how others view the Evangelist, rather than as a result of the Evangelist’s own motives or desires.
The definition of the Evangelist as found in the Greek is an indication of the ministry of any person who has the gift of Evangelism. The confrontational witness (some prefer the term “soul winner”) is not limited by lack of opportunities, but makes opportunities. Church growth in any type of church probably has at least one gifted Evangelist involved at the center of outreach, regardless of the church’s age or size.
Because of the importance of outreach in the church, God has given two ways to evangelize a lost world. First, He gives every Christian the role of witness. Second, He gives some Christians (approximately 10%) the gift of Evangelism. It is important to understand the difference between the two.
SPIRITUAL MATURITY IN EVANGELISTS EQUALS CREDIBILITY IN THEIR WITNESS
Philip is the only person clearly identified as an Evangelist in Scripture (Acts 21:8). He was also one of the first deacons (Acts 6:3-5). As such, he met the qualifications of a deacon (1 Timothy 3:8-12, Titus 1:6-8). Note what kind of man God chose as His Evangelist. He was a man with no obvious problems in his life. In addition to winning souls, the Evangelist must live in such a manner that reproach is not brought upon the message.
Most Evangelists will probably influence 30 people to every one who is led to Christ, many times leaving the other 29 for someone else to harvest. But if an Evangelist falls spiritually, the 29 onlookers may fall too. Many aggressive soul winners have done more harm than good for the cause of Christ. For this reason, if for no other, it is important that Christians with the gift of Evangelism receive the proper training to help them become spiritually mature and more effective in evangelism.
Many new Christians are almost forced to win souls. Sometimes they are thrust into situations they are not yet equipped to handle. Before accepting full responsibility to be confrontational soul winners, Evangelists need to develop some maturity in the Christian walk. This would prevent young Christians with areas that need correction from hurting their witness before those who do not know their past and have not seen the changes in their lives.
However, do not waste a new Christian’s enthusiasm over newfound faith! If I were a pastor, I would want to have excited new converts providing prospects and giving testimonies to people who knew them before they were saved, but I would not want the new Christians being the “salespeople” who “close the deal.” In other words, new Christians know people who are without Christ and have seen the changes that have taken place in their lives after receiving Christ as Savior. They have an open opportunity to say, “Look what the Lord has done for me.” But they may not be ready to go into a stranger’s home and present Christ if they have certain strongholds that need to be broken or habits that need to be changed.
The solution is to pair young Christians in ministry opportunities with seasoned, mature Christians who have the gift of Evangelism. The young Evangelist will learn much about presenting the Gospel by watching the seasoned Evangelist minister to the lost
ABOUT THE EVANGELIST
If you are an Evangelist, you have the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by communicating with people who are beyond your natural sphere of influence and leading them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Witnessing Style of the Evangelist:“If you were to die today, do you know for sure you will go to heaven?” They will confront you directly with a presentation of the Gospel.
Characteristics: The Evangelist Is …
1. Outgoing and seldom meets a stranger.
2. Well groomed and neatly dressed.
3. Someone who usually keeps to himself in personal times.
4. Fulfilled working one-on-one or with groups.
5. Active socially, gets along well with others.
6. More lighthearted than depressed.
7. Expressive in speech and communication.
8. Subjective rather than objective in viewing things.
9. Tolerant of people and their weaknesses; sympathetic to sinners.
10. Impulsive at times, not usually self-disciplined; likely to make decisions based on emotions.
11. Peaceable and agreeable in appearance.
12. Likely to display enthusiasm.
13. Talkative and often interrupts people.
14. Someone who enjoys being the center of attention.
Burdens, Desires, and Strengths: The Evangelist …
1. Has a consuming passion for unsaved people.
2. Believes salvation is the greatest gift of all.
3. Has a desire to meet lost people.
4. Would rather confront the lost with the Gospel than anything else.
5. Is forgiving.
6. Has a clear understanding of the Gospel message.
7. Usually has a burden to memorize Scripture.
8. Finds great joy in seeing men and women come to Christ.
9. Demonstrates an air of competence
10. Holds the listener’s attention.
11. Remembers people’s names and faces.
12. Works hard to become a good listener.
Special Needs and Weaknesses: The Evangelist …
1. Thinks everybody should be Evangelists.
2. May be satisfied to get a decision just to get one.
3. May turn people off by pressing for a decision.
4. Rarely will admit that Evangelism is a gift—usually has another definition for Evangelist.
5. Believes strongly in “confrontational evangelism.”
6. Tends to dominate other people.
7. Thinks every message must be an attempt to win the lost. This usually causes the Evangelist to be weaker on teaching other areas of Scripture.
How the Evangelist Is Misunderstood: Others Think the Evangelist Is …
1. Not interested in other church programs.
2. Typically pushy.
3. Aggressive for his or her own benefit.
4. More interested in numbers than people.
5. Prone to judge their spirituality by the number of souls they have won.
How Satan Attacks This Gift
1. Causes pride in number of converts.
2. Causes failure to grow and learn.
3. Causes the Evangelist to see people as numbers rather than people with needs.
4. Causes discouragement when converts are few or infrequent.
5. Causes lack of concern for Bible passages that can’t be used as “soul-winning texts.”
Where to Use This Gift
1. In outreach events and visitation programs.
2. In special evangelistic efforts, such as ministry fairs, etc.
3. In altar calls or invitations to lead new converts to Christ.
4. In church planting.
5. In gospel teams.
6. In migrant ministry.
7. In many public speaking ministries.
The Greek word Parakaleo means to admonish, to encourage, to beseech. The Exhorter is a “how to” person. Everything he or she teaches revolves around telling people “how to do it.” Exhortation has a different motivation than the gift of Teaching, but it is still a teaching gift.
Exhorters often make the best counselors, because they are willing to spend time with people and give them practical steps to solve their problems. They also can see the big picture—from problem to solution.
Exhorters are people of practical application, yet are very result oriented. Everything they do must be done on a practical basis. They are not very interested in theology or doctrine, but in the practical aspects of the Scriptures. This practicality comes from a desire to teach people how to solve problems and make the necessary changes to be a more mature Christian. (Of course, they wish to be doctrinally sound, but that is not their main emphasis.) They have a strong belief that God’s Word has the answer for every problem.
Exhorters have a step for everything. If you go to them with a problem, they might say, “Do A, B, C, and come back next week for D, E, and F,…” Exhorters are very simplified people who do not like a lot of details. They just give enough detail to get the job done.
Exhorters are also encouragers. Synonyms for “exhort” include such words as admonish, persuade, instigate, urge and appeal. These words carry a sense of urgency. When Exhorters instruct how to live and how to solve problems or to carry out God’s work, they usually also encourage the listeners to “get with it” and put the plan to work.
Another aspect of the gift involves what is commonly called motivation. True motivation comes from within a person, but Exhorters are usually able to trigger that inner motivation through encouragement, excitement, and enthusiasm. Exhorters are usually more interested in the positive than the negative. They seldom use, “Thou shalt not” as a way to get people to act. Instead, they use ideas and methods that make the right way seem better to that person than the wrong way; or they are able to make the right way more exciting and more practical. They are the encouragers and cheerleaders of the TEAM.
THE EXHORTER’S APPROACH TO TEACHING
Exhorters aim to present material that will enable the Holy Spirit to promote change in the student’s life. They believe the responsibility of people with the teaching gifts is to take someone who was lost and help the person to become mature in Christ, beyond just engaging in class participation or meaningful discussions. Exhorters use Scripture as it applies to everyday living, not just Bible stories or Bible facts. Exhorters equip believers for the “in the trenches” realities of Wednesday morning and Tuesday evening.
New Christians need to have basic practical Christian living taught to them. This is where Exhorters help: by giving practical application to God’s Word and helping put the principles into practice. Whereas the Prophet can challenge the Christian into living right, an Exhorter can explain how to live right and encourage the person to employ tools for practical, successful living.
ABOUT THE EXHORTER
If you are an Exhorter, you have the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by motivating others to action by urging them to pursue a course of conduct. You are the “how to” teacher, explaining how to apply God’s Word to everyday life.
Witnessing Style of the Exhorter:“If you get saved and live the Christian life, God will help you cope with the daily problems of this world.” Exhorters want to show you that living by God’s Word is the gateway to happiness and fulfillment.
Characteristics: The Exhorter …
1. Is result-oriented.
2. Is comfortable working one-on-one or in groups.
3. Is a very practical person; usually analytical.
4. Is usually a good counselor.
5. Is expressive in a group setting; the group listens when he or she speaks.
6. Is usually impulsive; needs self-discipline.
7. Is more tolerant than hostile toward people; usually sympathetic
8. Has an accurate self-image.
9. Is serious minded, conservative, logical.
10. Is talkative.
11. Is an orderly person, and likes things done in an orderly fashion.
12. Is enthusiastic; usually cheerful and bubbly.
13. Is a person of charts, graphs, and lists.
14. Is bored with trivia.
Burdens, Desires and Strengths: The Exhorter …
1. Is able to help others find their problems and solutions.
2. Typically shows interest in practical areas while studying the Scriptures.
3. Is burdened to show how Scripture relates to conduct.
4. Has a desire to unify people by using practical rather than doctrinal issues.
5. Puts great importance on God’s will.
6. Has several steps of action to solve every problem.
7. Has the ability to motivate others to action.
8. Uses topical messages, most often, when preaching and teaching.
9. Is objective and makes decisions logically, rather than based solely on feelings.
10. Wants to see everyone reach his or her full potential.
11. Believes the Scripture has the solution to every problem.
12. Is a positive thinker; a strong believer in “a better tomorrow.”
13. Prefers the analysis to the task itself.
14. Occasionally needs to be alone where it’s quiet in order to think.
15. Is extremely creative.
16. Likes being the center of attention.
17. Outwardly demonstrates competence.
Special Needs and Weaknesses: The Exhorter …
1. May question the value of deep doctrinal studies.
2. May have difficulty accepting himself/herself because of the need of being an example.
3. May be guilty of using Scripture only to support their teaching, rather than starting with Scripture.
4. Is upset with impractical teaching
5. Often interrupts other people because of enthusiasm.
6. Enjoys motivating people to do more, do better, and do their best.
How the Exhorter is Misunderstood: Others think the Exhorter …
1. Is not evangelistic.
2. Makes everything too simple.
3. Takes Scripture out of context just to suit his or her purpose.
4. Does not use enough Scripture.
5. Puts too much emphasis on edification.
6. Is too positive when things look bleak.
How Satan Attacks This Gift
1. Causes pride in motivational abilities.
2. Causes the Exhorter to lose sight of people because of program emphasis.
3. Causes discouragement when results are not evident.
4. Causes the Exhorter to encourage others to do the wrong thing because of his or her persuasive abilities.
Where to Use This Gift
1. As a “trainer” in areas of leadership or methodology.
2. As a counselor, especially in a counseling center.
3. As a “church training” teacher.
4. As a seminar speaker.
5. As an online ministry worker.
6. As a teacher of premarital classes or other special interest topics.
7. As a counselor in a substance abuse recovery program or rescue mission.
8. As a counselor in a halfway house or runaway ministry.
9. As a follow-up with new converts.
10. As an encourager to those who are discourage
The Greek word Metadidomi means to give over, to share, to give to, to impart. The important thing here is not to spiritualize and explain away this gift. Some say that this gift refers to giving of yourself and your time; that it doesn’t really mean giving money or material resources. On the contrary, Givers honestly feel that the best way they can give of themselves is to give of their material gain for the work of God. They feel that since God gave them the ability to make money, they should use it to give back to God and His work. Everyone should tithe, but the Giver goes far beyond the tithe.
The Scriptures point out Giving as one of the gifts in Romans 12. The Giver is encouraged to give “in simplicity” (Romans 12:8). Most with the gift of Giving do so without fanfare and public recognition. Givers usually do not wish people to know whom they are or how much is given.
Givers have the attitude that tithing is the outward evidence of an inward commitment. Tithing is not giving 10 percent; it’s receiving 90 percent. It is a commandment for all Christians. The gift of Giving starts where tithing ends.
Givers would look with disapproval on the person who gives with the wrong motive—giving to get (e.g., trying to intimidate God into returning the monetary gift). They would not encourage giving grocery money, but would agree with giving the money that was saved toward a new flatscreen TV. Their motive for giving is always to further the work of God and not to “show off,” though some might think otherwise of them.
In Acts 4:34–5:10, there is a significant description of people who had unusual opportunities to give. In the early church, Christian landowners often sold their property and other possessions and gave the proceeds to the church in order to care for those in need. One of those men was Barnabas. He sold his land and laid the money at the Apostles’ feet (Acts 4:36-37).
But Ananias and Sapphira sold their land and schemed to give only part of the money to the Lord’s work. They lied and tried to deceive the apostles (Acts 5:1-10). It is interesting to compare the attitudes and the rewards those attitudes received. Barnabas eventually accompanied the Apostle Paul in much of his ministry. God killed Ananias and Sapphira on the spot as a result of their treachery.
The proper attitude about the gift of Giving is probably best illustrated by the story of the Honorable Alpheus Hardy, who used money to support missionaries and educate ministers. His monetary support helped lay the foundations for Christianity in Japan.
During college, Hardy’s health broke and he discovered he could not become a minister. “My distress was so great I threw myself flat on the floor,” he said of one morning’s depression. “‘I cannot be God’s minister’ kept rolling in my mind. It was the voiceless cry of my soul.”
During that ordeal God revealed to Hardy that he could serve God with similar devotion in business. To make money for God might be his special calling and gift. The answer was so clear and joyous he exclaimed aloud, “O God, I can be Thy minister.” Making money and giving it to God became his ministry.
Another example of how a man’s gift of Giving can be so greatly used is Dr. Oswald J. Smith, writer of the song “Then Jesus Came.” His desire was to become a missionary. Instead, God placed him in the pastorate and used him to send missionaries and money for missions all over the world. He is recognized as one of the greatest missionary benefactors of recent history.
There must be a distinction made between the gift of Giving and the grace of giving. First, realize that tithing and giving are responsibilities of every Christian. The tithe is the first fruits of our increase. It is God’s and we should give it to Him immediately. Luke 6:38 is for every Christian, not just those with the gift of Giving. That is the grace of giving—giving from a heart of love, allowing God to furnish the returns when we have given from a desire to help others and further His work.
An evangelist visited a college campus where I was attending for a week of meetings. His messages on giving inspired personal testimonies from students who gave and received throughout the week. Many caught the spirit and gave and gave. The problem, though, didn’t surface until several weeks later when the students’ bills came due. They couldn’t pay their bills; they had given the money away. What went wrong? After all, the Scripture does say to give and you will receive.
First of all, the evangelist was not aware of the gift of Giving. He failed to tell us (or was unaware) that all the people in the many overwhelming testimonies had the gift of Giving. When it comes to giving and receiving, some principles apply only to those with the gift of Giving (such as the ability to give beyond their means).
Secondly, some of the students did not have their hearts in the right place. They were not giving to help God as much as to help themselves. Motive is the key to giving and receiving. The proper motive is giving to receive in order to give again. These young people were giving to receive so they would have more at the end.
Many Christians, in sheer desperation, have given all they had trying to bale themselves out of a jam, only to see their efforts fail. You can’t give yourself out of a financial jam, nor can you give your way to prosperity with that end as a motive. It’s like borrowing to get out of debt.
Givers must observe four guidelines:
1. Do not love riches.
2. Give for the right reason.
3. Make giving your reason for gaining wealth.
4. Keep your spiritual life strong and consistent with God.
ABOUT THE GIVER
If you are a Giver, you have the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by giving of your material resources, far beyond the tithe, to further the work of God. You are the person who meets the financial needs of fellow Christians and church members.
Witnessing Style of the Giver:“Are there any needs in your life that I can supply?” Givers feel they must buy you something before they can even witness to you.
Characteristics: The Giver …
1. Is usually well organized.
2. Keeps to himself/herself.
3. Wants his/her gifts to be private, not publicized.
4. Usually has the ability to make money as well, but not always.
5. Has an accurate self-image.
6. Is more likely to be lighthearted than depressed.
7. Is particularly interested in helping people.
8. Wants people to like him/her.
9. Is conscientious and self-disciplined.
Burdens, Desires and Strengths: The Giver …
1. Is sensitive to the financial and material needs of others.
2. Is alert to needs others might overlook.
3. Is always ready to give.
4. Wants his/her gift to be of high quality.
5. Has the ability to make quick decisions concerning finances.
6. Wants to know his/her gift is being used properly.
7. Usually has a burden for missions.
8. Is not the first to give to a project, but will wait for the project to prove itself.
9. Is sympathetic.
Special Needs and Weaknesses: The Giver …
1. May measure others’ spirituality by the amount of their giving.
2. May judge others’ success by the amount of their material assets.
3. Thinks God calls everyone to give like them, doesn’t understand why they ignore the calling
4. Usually gives to projects, but not to individuals.
How the Giver Is Misunderstood: Others think the Giver …
1. Is trying to control them with his/her money.
2. Condemns them because they don’t give as he/she does.
3. Condemns them because they don’t have as much as he/she does.
4. Is materialistic because of his/her emphasis on money.
5. Tries to buy positions in the church.
How Satan Attacks This Gift
1. Causes pride because of the amount of his/her gift.
2. Causes blindness to spiritual needs and qualities.
3. Causes blindness to other areas of service.
4. Causes discontent when decisions are made contrary to his/her interests.
5. Causes a critical attitude toward those unable to give.
6. Causes wrong motives for giving or serving Christ.
7. Causes them to mistake a burden for giving to missions as a call to the mission field.
Where to Use This Gift
1. Anywhere large or small amounts of money are needed to support the Body of Christ.
2. As a member of finance or budget committee.
3. As a member of missions committee, building committee.
4. As a trustee.
5. As a member of a school board or commission.
6. As a part of poverty, rescue mission, migrant mission committee member.
7. As a sponsor to underwrite special projects, radio, TV ministries.
8. To meet needs of individual Christians and non-Christians apart from programs
The Greek word Ellco means to feel sympathy with or for others. People with this gift are comforters who enter into the grief or happiness of others, having the ability to show empathy. To show empathy goes beyond sympathy. Empathizers emotionally go through what the victim goes through. They minister to the sick, the poor, the mentally challenged, the prisoners, the blind, the aged, the homeless, etc. They are willing to deal with people, and minister to these people who have needs that most other people feel very uncomfortable working with.
Mercy-Showers seem to always say the right thing at the right time. They are the ones people call first when they hurt because something bad happens, or when they feel great because of some good thing happening to them. When there is a death, Mercy-Showers are the first to be at the house holding someone’s hand or fixing a meal. When there is a promotion on the job or a large amount of money comes in, Mercy-Showers jump up and down with the person.
Mercy-Showers are generally not found teaching Sunday school or leading a group since their personality is one of soft-spoken love. They are not usually leaders since they would hurt too much if they had to scold someone or push to get the job done. People love Mercy-Showers because of all the love they receive from them.
Some people think of Mercy-Showers as being weak or compromisers, but they usually have some strong beliefs and principles. It’s just that they do not like to hurt anyone’s feelings, so they do not express them very often. Some people also have a tendency to “use” Mercy-Showers since they are so easygoing. Mercy- Showers are full of prayer requests at any prayer meeting since they are close to those who are hurting.
When do Mercy-Showers best use their gift? In times of sorrow and in times of great joy. People with this gift often use it in conjunction with another gift in an area of service, such as deacon, youth worker or hospital visitation minister.
Mercy-Showers should probably take a counseling course. Since they are sympathetic, they tend not to bring the necessary changes into a person’s life to correct the problems that require the counseling. The other alternative is to develop a list of people to whom they can refer people who need counseling or help. That way, they can offer sympathy and understanding and allow someone else to bring about the necessary changes
For example, if they were to encounter a person who has a problem because of the presence of known sin, it would be good for Mercy-Showers to find Prophets who can confront the sin or Exhorters who can give steps to solving the problem. The TEAM concept of counseling is to use gifted people where their gift will do the most good.
Mercy-Showers must build some barriers on their feelings and establish strong biblical principles to prevent Satan from using the gift as a stumbling block before the Holy Spirit can use it as a stepping stone.
ABOUT THE MERCY-SHOWER
If you are a Mercy-Shower, you have the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by identifying with and comforting those who are in distress.
You are the person who understands and comforts fellow Christians.
Witnessing Style of the Mercy-Shower:“God loves us so much, surely He does not want anyone to go to Hell.” Mercy-Showers will tell you a tear-jerker story that will leave you in such an emotional state, you won’t be able to resist responding to the Gospel.
Characteristics: The Mercy-Shower Is …
1. Usually soft-spoken, though talkative.
2. Outgoing with a low-key, inoffensive personality.
3. Able to easily express himself/herself.
4. Someone who appears to always be loving.
5. Usually good-natured and liked by others.
6. A person who talks easily with people and is easy to talk to.
7. Responsive to people; is a good listener
8. More subjective than objective; decisions are made on feelings more than fact.
9. Peaceable and agreeable; does not overpower others.
10. Someone who does not analyze the details.
Burdens, Desires and Strengths: The Mercy-Shower …
1. Has a burden to comfort others.
2. Is sympathetic and sensitive.
3. Likes to fellowship with other sympathetic people.
4. Has a heart of compassion for the poor, the aged, the ill, the underprivileged, etc.
5. Is patient, but responds to others’ needs quickly.
6. Attracts people who are hurting or rejoicing.
7. Is non-condemning, not a griper (sometimes can be when with other Mercy-Showers).
8. Identifies emotionally and mentally with others.
9. Is patient, sincere, responsive, tolerant.
10. Can become insecure, withdrawn, and somewhat remote.
11. Remembers people’s names and faces.
12. Is self-sacrificing.
13. Likes to think about things for a while before making decisions.
Special Needs and Weaknesses: The Mercy-Shower …
1. Makes a poor counselor without additional discipline.
2. Resents others who are not as understanding as he/she.
3. Is not always logical, and sometimes emotional.
4. Lets others use him/her.
5. Often has a low self-image.
6. Can be indecisive.
7. Can become a gossiper, especially around other Mercy-Showers.
8. Gets depressed easily.
9. Is controlled by circumstances.
10. May be pessimistic.
How the Mercy-Shower is Misunderstood: Others think the Mercy-Shower …
1. Is weak
2. Is a compromiser.
3. “Takes up” for people.
4. Is a “softy.”
5. Is too emotional; cries too easily.
How Satan Attacks This Gift
1. Causes pride because of his/her ability to relate to others.
2. Causes disregard for rules and authority.
3. Causes lack of discipline due to strong feelings for those hurting due to disobedience/sin.
4. Causes him/her to complain and gripe.
Where to Use This Gift
1. As a hospital, nursing home, shut-in worker.
2. As a funeral coordinator and visitor.
3. As a poverty center worker (if properly disciplined).
4. As an usher or greeter, welcome center worker.
5. As a media worker for shut-ins.
6. As a hospitality person.
7. As a telephone center worker.
8. As a member of a newcomer TEAM, visiting and telephoning.
9. As a nurse.
10. As an assistant for the mentally ill, long-term or terminally ill, blind, deaf.
11. In migrant ministry, released offender ministry, or other unique ministries.
Most people think of a Prophet as someone God uses as a foreteller, such as the Prophets of the Old Testament. Today’s New Testament Prophet is a forthteller, one who tells or “speaks forth” the mind of God: boldly preaching, speaking, and teaching God’s Word.
The Greek word prophétés means “a prophet, poet; a person gifted at expositing divine truth.” While the Prophet who is called to preach tends to focus on pointing out sin and explaining what is wrong, this gift goes beyond the call to expose other people’s sin and teach the truths of God’s Word, to actually doing something in daily life to use the gift—to expose injustice and expound the truth, and to lead people to make changes that are biblically based. As the prophet “tells forth” God’s Word, knowing what God’s Word teaches and expects of us, the prophet also leads others to make a difference in today’s society and world.
A Prophet has discernment and has the goal of making people aware of sin in their lives so they will repent. They have the ability to easily spot what is wrong and often have to look to find something right. Their concern over the sinful condition of loved ones, church family, community drives them to pray, and sometimes weep, over them. Because of this, they take every opportunity to share the message of God’s Word.
A Prophet is a person with a strong sense of duty who speaks out publicly about wrongdoing in any environment, whether home, church, school or community. They will stand up for what is right as well as speak for those who are wronged.
HOW DO YOU VIEW THE PROPHET?
People will view the Prophet’s ministry with an open mind or a closed mind
Open-minded people will accept the Prophet’s teaching. They may become very uncomfortable sitting under a Prophet’s preaching because the truth can hurt, but they are willing to do something about it. The next time the preacher preaches, these people come back listening.
Close-minded people will rebel or reject the Prophet’s message. I’ve seen some people get so mad about what is preached, they become red in the face. These people will never grow as long as they are not willing to listen, learn, and change.
The bluntness of the Prophet’s message will stir some people to take action and others to get mad. Prophets may find it difficult to pastor a church for any length of time unless they are able to temper the message with a loving spirit and possibly have the gift of Shepherd as well as Prophecy.
One of the biggest challenges for Prophets is to keep a spirit of love. When Prophets keep tender, loving hearts, they will be blessings to their homes, their churches, and to individual believers, making a real impact on their spirituality. In order to do this, Prophets must always “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15)
ABOUT THE PROPHET
If you are a Prophet, you have the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by boldly and fearlessly proclaiming God’s truth.
Witnessing style of the Prophet:“You know you are going to hell, if you don’t change your ways. So get on your knees and pray this prayer after me.” Prophets want to expose sin so others can confess and repent of it.
Characteristics: The Prophet Is …
1. Not very patient, especially with people and their problems.
2. Often disorganized and depends on others to keep him/her on schedule.
3. Very discerning.
4. Usually much more pleasant when not speaking or preaching.
5. Someone with a strong self-image, and is individualistic.
6. A strong sense of duty, not caring what others think about what he/she does.
7. Very opinionated.
8. More likely to be depressed and serious than lighthearted about life.
9. One who desires to be alone frequently.
10. Not usually inhibited, but is usually expressive.
11. More interested in his/her own aims and desires than others’.
12. More likely to be authoritative, especially about Scripture.
13. Dominant, not submissive.
Burdens, Desires, and Strengths: The Prophet …
1. Is burdened to expose sin in others.
2. Must preach—and wouldn’t be content just writing
3. Wants to make all the “softies” in the church stronger.
4. Speaks with urgency and presses for rapid decisions.
5. Desires to see a world without sin—wants to see revival.
6. Wants to stir your conscience.
7. Preaches for conviction.
8. Enjoys speaking publicly and does it with boldness.
9. Is more likely to be hostile than tolerant, especially about sin.
10. Is usually a disciplinarian who wants things done right.
11. Is able to make quick decisions; is seldom indecisive.
12. Is sometimes less discerning than they might think.
13. Sees problems where others do not.
14. Is idealistic.
15. Is able to hold the audience’s attention.
Special Needs and Weaknesses: The Prophet …
1. Doesn’t like to study—relies on others for background work. Has poor memory for details.
2. Does not relate well one-on-one and is not concerned about being gracious.
3. Over-categorizes. Mostly, sometimes, often, are words the Prophet replaces with “all.”
4. Tries to convict rather than letting the Spirit convict.
5. Judges others quickly.
6. Jumps to conclusions - makes decisions before getting all facts; doesn’t analyze the details.
7. Tends to look at the negative side of things.
8. Does not make or follow through with long-range goals and plans.
9. Tends to be selfish.
10. Uses sarcasm and teasing to get points across; is not tactful.
11. Is bossy and impatient; has little tolerance for mistakes; wants things done “my way now.”
12. Is suspicious by nature and cautious about making friends.
How the Prophet Is Misunderstood: Others Think the Prophet …
1. Is not understanding.
2. Looks at a congregation as all bad.
3. Makes some people doubt their salvation
4. Is insensitive and cold and has no love for people.
5. Is a poor listener.
6. Is too self-disciplined and can’t have a good time.
7. Receives joy in hurting the other people’s feelings.
8. Is too demanding.
How Satan Attacks This Gift …
1. Causes lack of compassion.
2. Causes pride and self-righteousness over lack of certain sins.
3. Causes anger and bitterness.
4. Causes lack of forgiveness.
5. Causes discouragement because of unrepentant attitude by others.
6. Causes Prophet to sometimes fall into the very sins he/she teaches against.
7. Causes Prophet to rarely say, “I’m sorry.”
8. Causes a pessimistic attitude.
Where to Use This Gift …
1. In revival speaking.
2. In pastoring when the Prophet has supporting gifts suitable for pastoring.
3. In problem solving for a church with a sin problem.
4. In counseling to help point out sin in a person’s life.
5. In preaching on gospel teams.
6. In prison ministry.
7. As a mediator.
8. As an advocate for just causes, children, or victims of crimes.
9. As an accountability partner.
11. In ministry planning, depending on secondary gifts
The Greek word Diakonia means to do service. In Acts 6:1 the word is interpreted ministration. Our word “deacon” comes from the same Greek word. Actually the gift of Service is a combination of gifts-helps and ministering, two expressions of the same gift. The word “helps” is used in 1 Corinthians 12:28, and “ministering” in Romans 12:7. People with this gift enjoy manual projects and are happy working behind the scenes.
Servers are not people who believe that since they can do nothing else in the church, they must have the gift of Serving. That attitude would belittle the gift and would be an insult to the person who has the gift of Serving. There are no menial tasks in God’s work. It is possible that more people have this gift than any other. Servers paint the walls, pick up the trash, sort the hymnals, clean the baptistery, keep the nursery, bake the cakes, cook the meals, paint the signs, drive the bus, and a million other necessary tasks in the church. They can always be found late in the evening doing some seemingly small job like fixing the public address speaker that didn’t work last Sunday. They usually do not realize that their love for the Lord shows every time the doors of the church are open, especially if they oiled the now-quiet hinges last week.
Let’s examine helps and ministering one at a time.
Helps:Many new Christians are highly motivated to serve the Lord; most have to backslide to fit into the average congregation. They are gifted, anxious, motivated, able to help with the duties of the church, yet inexperienced. That is why new Christians should become helpers—to help in Sunday school or other ministries of the church. They should even move around helping in different ministries. As they do, they will get a feel for what God has called them to do.
Statistics show that most people who don’t get involved in the church’s ministry within the first six months will not get involved at all. Yet, six months is hardly enough time to train a new Christian to be a Teacher, Shepherd or Administrator. The best way for new Christians to get involved and trained while discovering and developing their gifts is in the ministry of helps.
Ministering:Many Christians will never leave the gift of Service because it is their dominant gift. They are always spiritually fulfilled because God gave them this gift and they need not be pushed elsewhere to serve. Most importantly, the gift of Service should never be thought of as a lowly or second-rate ministry.
Dorcas was a woman in the Bible whom God used as an example of the Server (Acts 9:36-42). She used her talent of sewing in the gift of Serving. She was faithful in helping the widows of the church where she served, and she exercised her gift under the lordship of Christ. Just before Simon Peter arrived for a preaching engagement, Dorcas died. The widows showed Peter the dresses that she had made them. Without her help, they would have had nothing to wear. Peter was so touched by the scene that he raised Dorcas from the dead.
Simon Peter had a gift too. He had been used mightily by God as a preacher, a healer and even to raise Dorcas from the dead. Surely his gifts were more important to God than Dorcas’ little gift of Serving … but when Simon Peter died, no one raised him from the dead.
ABOUT THE SERVER
If you are a Server, you have the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by rendering practical help in both physical and spiritual matters. You are the person who meets the practical needs of fellow Christians and the church.
Witnessing Style of the Server:“Is there anything you need help with?” Servers feel they must do something for you. They probably won’t witness to you but they want to show God’s love through serving you.
Characteristics: The Server …
1. Is usually ambitious.
2. Does not need to be in the public eye to be fulfilled.
3. Enjoys manual projects.
4. Is involved in a variety of activities and volunteers for many different jobs.
5. Is loyal, sincere, tolerant, faithful, and devoted.
6. Is usually easy-going, likable, congenial, inoffensive.
7. Usually wants people to like him/her.
8. Listens to others without being critical.
9. Is usually inhibited publicly, not often expressive.
10. Is not dominating—more a follower than a leader.
11. Is usually good with mechanical work.
Burdens, Desires and Strengths: The Server …
1. Is burdened with others’ needs, quickly responds to the needs.
2. Is impressed with the need to respond when exhorted to serve.
3. Is usually unable to say “No.”
4. Will very seldom step in as a leader.
5. Likes to meet immediate needs.
6. Likes to have a good leader to support.
7. Enjoys doing mechanical or hands-on jobs in the church.
8. Often has high sense of empathy.
9. Is usually very patient.
10. Avoids drawing attention to himself/herself.
11. Is often considered a workaholic.
Special Needs and Weaknesses: The Server …
1. May emphasize practical needs over spiritual needs.
2. Is not as concerned about completed tasks as immediate service; can lack follow through.
3. May underemphasize verbal witnessing.
4. May jump to meet needs in the church or in other homes before own family.
5. Has a low self-esteem.
6. Needs to know that his/her efforts are appreciated.
7. Will take his/her own time, usually working slowly and deliberately.
8. Does not stand out in a crowd.
9. Likes challenging tasks.
10. Attaches to someone doing exciting things and allows excitement to spill over onto them.
11. Is controlled more by circumstances than principles.
12. Is only satisfied when he/she has done more for you than you have done for him/her.
13. Avoids long-term responsibilities.
14. Is a master of decisive indecision.
15. Reads directions when all else fails.
How the Server is Misunderstood: Others think the Server …
1. Is pushy, doing things without asking leaders.
2. Excludes them.
3. Is impatient and jumps in too fast.
4. Interferes with the Spirit’s work.
5. Neglects spiritual needs.
How Satan Attacks This Gift
1. Causes pride because of work he/she has done.
2. Causes feelings of insignificance.
3. Causes lack of burden for people.
4. Causes lack of concern for spiritual growth.
5. Causes lack of quality workmanship due to lack of knowledge or skills.
Where to Use This Gift
1. As person in charge of maintenance and grounds.
2. As a baptismal helper.
3. As a nursery, kitchen or choir helper.
4. As an office worker, errand runner.
5. As an audio or video technician.
6. As a record keeper.
7. As a librarian in church library or media ministry.
8. As a greeter or an usher.
9. As an instrumentalist or choir member in music department.
10. As a stagehand in drama productions.
11. As a photographer.
12. As a hospitality worker for newcomers or visitors.
The Greek word poimen is translated sixteen times as “shepherd”. It is translated once as “pastor” in Ephesians 4:11. We must recognize that although Scripture uses the term pastor in this one instance, we are discussing the gift of Shepherding, not the position of pastor.
Though the pastor must have the gift of Shepherding, everyone who has the gift of Shepherding does not have the position of pastor. This gift can be utilized in many positions in the church other than senior pastor. The term shepherd and pastor can be used interchangeably.
Shepherds lead and feed, guard and protect, and oversee flocks. They coach and lead their TEAMS. The main thing on their “shepherd” minds is the welfare of those in their care—their “sheep.” They work under a pastor and are therefore an extension of the pastor and must “oversee” their part of the flock.
The Shepherd is not a “jack of all and master of none,” but a “jack of all and master of one.” My experience has been that when this gift is used in the pastorate, the individual probably has another dominant speaking gift besides the gift of Shepherd. Although many are strong Evangelists or Teachers, or even Exhorters, most pastors of large churches have a dominant gift of Administration. While the Shepherd’s heartbeat is shepherding the flock God has given, the other dominant gift complements their ministry.
Ephesians 4 suggests that if anyone is given the gift of Shepherd, then he or she must also have the gift of Teaching. If you are sure you do not have a Teaching gift, then you can be sure God has not called you to the pastorate.
A Sunday school teacher or small group leader is a shepherd the same as the pastor is a shepherd. Sunday school teachers are really pastoring small churches within a church. Their responsibility is to shepherd the class members. The position demands the gift.
1 Corinthians 12:11 says that when God gives gifts, He divides “to every man severally as He will.” Severally means according to one’s own ability. God gives the gift of Shepherd and puts one in a position where they can function according to God-given ability. Some may have the ability to care for ten people, thus utilizing their gift in a capacity such as a Sunday school teacher or small group leader. On the other hand, God may give someone else the ability to care for hundreds; therefore, allowing them to utilize their gift in the position of pastor.
Acts 14:23 (“And when they had ordained them elders in every church”) indicates that more than one elder is to be appointed in the church. First Timothy 15:17 (“Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially them who labor in the word and doctrine”) indicates that the elders had different ranks, or junior and senior elders. Who are these junior elders or pastors? They are Sunday school teachers and group leaders. When Luke penned Acts 14:23, Sunday school did not exist. If it had existed then, the verse may have read, “And they ordained pastors and Sunday school teachers in every church.”
Most women test high in this gift because their natural mothering instincts are similar to the characteristics of Shepherding. Women should take this into consideration when evaluating their gifts survey, and may want to look closely at their second most dominant gift also.
ABOUT THE SHEPHERD
If you are a Shepherd, you have the spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by overseeing, training, and caring for the needs of a group of Christians.
You are the shepherd who leads and feeds: the coach of the TEAM.
The following characteristics are a mixture of the gift of Shepherding in any capacity and the gift of Shepherding in the capacity of senior pastor.
Witnessing Style of the Shepherd:“I’ll pray that God will reveal to you your need for His salvation and I’ll be there to help you every step of the way.” Shepherds want to share in your salvation and personal growth.
Characteristics: The Shepherd Is …
1. Usually patient.
2. Usually willing to spend time in prayer for others.
3. Usually a “Jack of All and Master of One.”
4. People-centered; loves people.
5. Often authoritative.
6. More a leader than a follower.
7. Expressive, composed, and sensitive.
8. Someone who draws people to himself or herself easily.
9. A person with a pleasing personality.
Burdens, Desires and Strengths: The Shepherd …
1. Has a burden to see others learn and grow.
2. Is protective of those under his/her care.
3. Is burdened to teach the whole Word of God.
4. Usually doesn’t like to present the same material more than once.
5. Is willing to study what is necessary to feed the flock.
6. Is more relationship oriented than task oriented.
7. Wishes to give direction to those under his/her care.
8. Desires to look after the spiritual welfare of others.
9. Has a high sense of empathy; is tolerant of people’s weaknesses.
10. Is able to resolve problems between people, compromising rather than going to either extreme—a peacemaker and diplomat.
11. Is sensitive to hurt feelings or problems that cause loss of unity.
12. Is sensitive to the overall attitude and spirit of the flock.
13. Remembers people’s names and faces.
14. Is self-sacrificing when it comes to his/her flock.
15. Is more concerned with doing for others rather than others doing for him/her.
16. Is faithful and devoted to his/her flock, often becoming a workaholic.
17. Learns to become an all-purpose person in order to meet needs.
Special Needs and Weaknesses: The Shepherd …
1. Fails to involve other people.
2. Becomes too involved by doing it all alone; becomes too independent.
3. Doesn’t hold people accountable to the rest of the group.
4. May lack involvement in evangelistic efforts because of already having as many people as he or she can shepherd.
5. May become overly protective of his/her flock.
6. Tends to use other people.
How the Shepherd Is Misunderstood: Others think the Shepherd …
1. Should do all the work.
2. Should always be available.
3. Knows all the answers.
4. Should be at every social function
5. Should do all the evangelism.
How Satan Attacks This Gift
1. Causes discouragement because the load gets heavy.
2. Causes pride because his/her sheep look up to him/her.
3. Causes family problems because of too little time and attention.
4. Causes selfishness when “sheep” feed in other pastures.
Where to Use This Gift
1. As a Sunday school teacher.
2. As a pastor or assistant pastor.
3. As a special ministry leader (youth, children, seniors, etc.).
4. As a volunteer or staff member in a shelter for abused, homeless, or other needy people.
5. As a den leader for scout troops.
6. As a dormitory leader in a college, orphanage, children’s home, etc.
7. As a small group leader
The Greek word for teacher is didaskalos, which means master, teacher or doctor. The teacher is one who communicates knowledge, guides, makes known or relays facts.
The Christian with the gift of Teaching is not the person we often think of as a teacher in the Sunday school class. The Teacher is the scholar, the person who learns and teaches with more depth than the average Sunday school teacher. The Teacher usually becomes a Teacher of teachers, having the desire to go to great depths to research a project or topic.
There are two areas for which Teachers live: learning and teaching (or writing, if teaching through the written medium). Teachers would rather gain knowledge than to eat, sleep or do just about anything else.
Teachers must learn to teach in two manners that are contrary to their nature. First, the material must be kept simple so students can understand it. Students normally do not have the hunger for knowledge at the detailed level of a person with the gift of Teaching. Secondly, the lessons must be practical, for the Teacher will love knowledge whether it is in practical form or not. The most effective Teacher is the one who can teach more than average knowledge with more than average simplicity.
Many churches don’t even have one Teacher, while others may have only one or two, depending on their community and church needs. Most Teachers (scholars) are found in full-time Christian vocations. The Teaching gift (in its scholarly sense) involves the lowest number of laypeople. The most common place to find the believer with the gift of Teaching is in a church with a Bible institute program, or in a Christian college.
We need gifted Teachers to handle interpretation problems, deeper theology and to teach those with the other Teaching gifts in a more complete manner. People with the gift of Teaching do not necessarily have to teach the Bible to be a help to the church ministry. Teaching in such areas as education, business, finance or computers, for example, may greatly benefit some churches and schools.
Remember that the scholarly Teacher is only one of four teaching or communication gifts. The other three, the Shepherd, the Prophet, and the Exhorter usually have to rely on resources from the Teacher in order to fulfill their responsibilities in the local church.
The most common problems in connection with the Teaching gift are those created by believers who have desires in other areas and find the Teachers to be dull or too deep for their liking. Teachers tend to be heavy on details and light on application. The blessing is that the Teachers (scholars) can challenge us to learn more rather than being complacent with what knowledge we think we already have.
Most teaching aid books, reference books, and commentaries are written by people who have the gift of Teaching.
ABOUT THE TEACHER
If you are a Teacher, you have the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by making clear the truth of God’s Word with accuracy and simplicity. You are the scholar clarifying and explaining the doctrine and teachings of the Bible
Witnessing Style of the Teacher:“To get saved you need to start from the beginning. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth …” Teachers must clarify their position with minute details.
Characteristics: The Teacher …
1. Loves God’s Word.
2. Usually enjoys reading.
3. Is not usually an extrovert and may be a little shy of strangers.
4. Prefers teaching groups rather than individuals.
5. Is creative and imaginative.
6. Is usually confident in own ability to accomplish; has accurate self-image.
7. Is generally self-disciplined.
8. Sometimes is technical; usually methodical.
9. Is genius-prone.
10. Loves charts, graphs, and lists.
Burdens, Desires and Strengths: The Teacher …
1. Has a great burden to know and teach the whole Bible.
2. Relies heavily upon the authority of Scripture.
3. Has an organized system to store facts.
4. Sometimes want to just research, but “must teach” because others wouldn’t teach as well.
5. Is upset when a verse is used out of context.
6. Will question the knowledge of those who teach him/her.
7. Places great importance on education.
8. Accumulates knowledge and is analytical.
9. Is usually objective in making decisions, based on facts not feelings.
10. Enjoys studying for long periods of time—likes it quiet; needs time to think.
11. Likes to see things clearly and is always looking for better ways to communicate truth.
12. Enthusiastic when explaining, stimulates others to learn; easily understood when teaching.
13. Is always concerned with accuracy, often dwelling on the trivial.
Special Needs and Weaknesses: The Teacher …
1. Tends to criticize those who differ in doctrine.
2. Puts great emphasis on word usage and pronunciation.
3. Tends to measure others’ spirituality by the amount of their Bible knowledge.
4. Finds other people’s material hard to present.
5. Finds practical application hard to present.
6. Has small need for relationships. Sometimes only needs people as an audience.
7. Is more likely to talk than to listen.
8. Needs to see a positive response from students.
9. May have a narrow field of interest.
10. Can easily spend more time studying than actually teaching.
11. Usually makes friends cautiously.
12. Has little tolerance for mistakes.
13. Reads directions only when all else fails.
How the Teacher Is Misunderstood: Others Think the Teacher …
1. Is a poor counselor.
2. Gives too many details.
3. Is more interested in presenting facts than in the students.
4. Does not have time for them.
5. Is boring.
How Satan Attacks This Gift
1. Causes pride and feelings of superiority because of knowledge.
o This is reinforced when others consider the Teacher a final authority.
2. Causes the Teacher to lose sight of people’s needs.
3. Causes discouragement and disenchantment because of others’ lack of interest.
4. Causes lack of zeal.
Where to Use This Gift
1. As a Teacher of teachers.
2. As a writer and developer of curriculum.
3. As a Bible college or seminary teacher.
4. As a Bible institute teacher in a local church.
5. As a missionary-teacher.
6. As an online or distant-learner instructor.
7. As a researcher for pastors, teachers, committees, and special projects