Tag Archives: acts of service

Finding leaders from those who serve refreshments and stack chairs?


Having considered in last week’s post how we each have the potential to operate across a range of spiritual gifts with one of them – our primary gift – being uniquely tailored to building God’s Kingdom here on earth, we come to a fallacy that can affect spiritual growth – namely:

‘I just make the tea and coffee.’

While it is great that some provide tea and coffee each week in church, there is something wrong when this is the only activity they engage in. Why? Because the remit of one’s primary spiritual gift as ‘server’ should be so much more than that. To be servant-hearted is to allow oneself to be moulded and directed by God to support other people in their ministries, providing a witness to Christ through sacrificial giving.

Years ago, a minister was quoted as saying that if he wanted to find the next set of leaders within the church, he would look to see those people who remained behind at the end of a service to stack chairs and wash dishes. True, making the tea and washing dishes are useful  acts of service but those who are diligent in these aspect would do well to expect other opportunities to follow that may (or may not) result in them taking on greater responsibility in the church.

Summarising, if a person makes the tea and coffee in church, this is the first of many acts of service that they may be called upon to do as they fulfil their calling to model Christ to those people around them. If you are that person, understand that  God is pleased but he has so much more in store for you!

Find out more at primary gift.


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How are suffering and spiritual growth linked?

So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored. When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.‘ Ephesians 3v13-15

Whether you agree or not, the evidence is overwhelming that spiritual growth and suffering go hand in hand . Not that it’s hard to grow spiritually – actually, spiritual growth is surprising easy when we are willing to be obedient to God. However, things get tough when obeying God’s Holy Spirit results in us being placed in situations of conflict we would rather not be had God not directed us to stand up for what is right, defend the downtrodden, etc.

Paul discovered this when he supported  the churches he had helped set up. It  resulted in him facing persecution, slander, imprisonment, beatings and trials. What was his answer to these trials and challenges?  To fall on his knees and pray just as Jesus did so that he might be spiritually equipped to face the challenges ahead of him. Bottom line, spiritual growth comes with a challenge – when it does, rejoice and let it lead you deeper into prayer and union with God.


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Avoiding the pitfalls of spiritual growth?

The Apostle Paul in the book of Corithians says this: ‘What I told you about Christ is true. Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns.’       1 Corinthians 1v6-8

Some believers – if they are not careful – end up with with a condition that is best  described as  ‘spiritual gift envy.’ The situation usually occurs where a person desires to be  like another  to the point where they want the exact same spiritual gifting and ministry. More frequently, their desire is often a ‘trade up’ from what they have at present as seldom do they envy the person who washes dishes or cleans toilets but rather the  evangelist,  apostle, teacher, leader or prophet in the church.

To counter this condition, the person needs to understand that the cure to ‘gift envy’ is contentedness. That’s why scripture says: ‘Now you have every spiritual gift you need– what else can this  mean other than God has given us the spiritual equipping we need that compliments who we are and the perfect role ordained for us to do within the Church. Want to grow spiritually? Ascertain your primary spiritual gift and determine to use it every day to fulfil God’s purpose and plan for your life! You won’t regret it!


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Why ignoring your primary spiritual gift will damage God-given potential

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth….Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen Ephesians 3v14,20-21.

Imagine a scenario in which Pele, knowing his unique skills and ability as a footballer, chose to hide them away from the world until he was in the last year of his footballing career.  People would want to know why he had wasted the opportunity to help the national team as he could have made a real difference in many matches and tournaments?

In the passage, we are informed that God ‘the Creator of everything in heaven and earth’ has spiritually equipped each of us in a unique way – in other sections of the Bible we learn this equipping involves a range of specialised gifts in which believers will serve, teach, prophesise, evangelisepreach, encourage, lead, etc (see table ). The reason God does this is that there is no benefit  if everyone is a pastor in much the same way that for all to be administrators will achieve nothing.  Moreover, God gives believers different passions – one might be a teacher of childern while another a discipler of adults.

To not put our primary spiritual gift to use in the church is similar to the footballer Pele never making himself known or available to the Brazilian team. Both talent and our primary spiritual gift are great opportunities to achieve great things in life.


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5 ways to accelerate spiritual growth

There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain … You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.’ (Hebrews 5:11-12)

Why do some people accelerate in spiritual growth while others languish? Aside from Maslow’s Hierarchy that details how some may be affected by circumstance, other factors include openess, attitude, opportunity, obedience and resilience.

Openess – a willingness to be available to God to explore the spiritual gifts you have.

Attitude – a resolve to trust God’s Holy Spirit and not to back track when things get tough.

Opportunity – seeing each circumstance as a God-given chance to pray or act.

Obedience –  determining in advance that the action taken will favour God’s perspective.

Resilience –  even when failure occurs,  a trust in God that encourages perseverance.

If you don’t know your primary gift, why not do the spiritual gift test by getting the app, ebook or print copy (UK only)


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Spiritual Gift Definition – what makes a generous giver?


‘In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;  if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;  if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
 Romans 12v5-8.

Although believers possesses a number of spiritual gifts, one is unique and primary to them – the other spiritual gifts are useful but also carry a formational benefit.  The following descriptor acts as a guide, please  consider getting the app or doing the test in the book/ebook to elicit which one of the spiritual gifts is primary to you. Today we consider those whose primary gift is as Generous Giver.

These believers – sometimes entrepreneurial – are financially secure in ways that enable them to give generously to the work of the Church. As stewards of God’s resources, there is nothing they enjoy more than supporting church projects, charitable organisations or individuals in need. Such giving may involve time, talent and/or money.

Find more information and resources at primary gift.

 

 


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Spiritual Gift Definition – what makes an encourager?

‘In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;  if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;  if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12v5-8

Today we consider those whose primary spiritual gift is Encouragement. Encouragers possess good interpersonal skills and are people-focused. Nurturing and supportive, their focus is usually on counselling and prayer as this is what they do best. Their advice and encouragement is often inspired, recollecting passages, verses and other examples they consider helpful. They are always eager to see people mature and fulfil the spiritual potential that God has for them.

Although the following descriptors may act as a guide, please  consider getting the spiritual gift app or doing the test in ‘Know your Spiritual Gifts’ to elicit which one of the spiritual gifts is primary to you. Find more information and resources at primary gift.


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Spiritual Gift Definition – what makes a prophet?

‘In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;  if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;  if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12v5-8

Today we consider those whose primary spiritual gift is Prophet. Often, these people act as God’s conduits  to the Church. Receiving a word or revelation from God, the person is often burdened with it until such time as they are released to to tell others. Although this may be in a verbal way it can also involve some sort of living metaphor (see Hosea 1). Hallmark of a prophet? Answer – Dedicated to prayer.

NB. please note that a distinction exists between those who exercise a prophetic gift (1 Corinthians 12) and the rare few who have a prophetic role (Ephesians 4:11).

Although the following descriptors may act as a guide, please  consider getting the spiritual gift app or doing the test in the book or ebook to elicit which one of the spiritual gifts is primary to you. Find more information and resources at the primary spiritual gift website.


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Spiritual Gift Definition – what makes a Server?


‘In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;  if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;  if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
 Romans 12v5-8

Today we consider those whose primary gift is as Server. People with this gift have a willingness to serve. They do not need to be asked twice to help and very often have no desire to be in a position of leadership over others. Whatever is asked of them, they do. Servers are the backbone of the Church and a real blessing to others.

Although the following descriptor acts as a guide, please  consider getting the app or doing the test in the book/ebook to elicit which one of the spiritual gifts is primary to you. Find more information and resources at primary gift


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Spiritual Gift Definition – what makes a preacher?

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.’ 1 Corinthians 12v27-31

Quick recap : every believer possesses a number of spiritual gifts of which one is unique and primary to them – the other spiritual gifts are useful but also carry a formational benefit.  Although the following descriptor acts as a guide, please  consider getting the app or doing the test in the book/ebook to elicit which one of the gift is primary to you. Today -we consider those who have a primary gift as Preacher.

People with the gift of preaching speak about God in an inspired and authoritative way. Always keen to address individuals, groups or congregations, they will convince and convict people through their arguments.  They are energised as they preach and people understand and respond.

Find more information and resources at primary gift


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