Tag Archives: church growth

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 an administrator?

(Summary table  from ‘Know your spiritual gifts.’)

‘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 the aspect of leadership that involves the practical outworking and logistical oversight of all spiritual gifts within the church – I refer of course to the role of Administrator.

These people oversee, guide and direct the effective use of human and financial resources within the church. This may involve activities in which they organise people in ministries, plan budgets and finance, or ensure adequate resources are available for church events. Without them, church flounders for lack of system and structure.

All of which brings us to the end of our posts on primary spiritual gift descriptors. Although these  descriptor acts as a guide, please consider  doing the test using either the spiritual gift app, of ‘Know your spiritual gifts’ as either a paperback book (available in UK only) or as an ebook (available world wide). These will help you to elicit which one of the spiritual gifts is primary to you. For more information and resources, check out the primary gift website.


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Spiritual Gift Definition – what makes an evangelist?

‘So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.’ Ephesians 4v11-13 

Those who have evangelism as their primary spiritual gift see every encounter as an opportunity to tell someone about Jesus – no time or activity is off limits. Those who also have a speaking ministry are often productive and it is not unusual for people to respond to Christ as a result of their message combined with the Holy Spirit’s conviction.

Find more information and resources at primary gift or click to buy the spiritual gift app.


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Spiritual Gift Definition – what makes a pastor?

Three questions to identify your primary gift (taken from ‘Know your spiritual gifts.’)

‘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.

Those with the spiritual gift of sympathy (rendered as ‘mercy’ in v8) make for good Pastors. They spend time with people who are struggling or upset, and notice when a person is not at church. They possess empathetic skills and will utilise a variety of ways of contacting people through visiting, phoning, sending cards, enquiring through others, etc. Pastors are a listening ear, friendly face and concerned prayer. More information and resources at primary gift.


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Spiritual Gift Definition – what makes a leader?

‘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 with a primary spiritual gift of Leadership. Although the spiritual gift of leadership may operate at a range of levels, some people clearly recognise it as their responsibility to lead and develop others. These leaders cast vision and inspire/motivate others with their plans. In team situations, they bring wisdom, insight and direction to whatever project is being undertaken.

Find more information and resources at primary gift

 

 


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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 apostle?


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

Today we consider those whose primary spiritual gift is to serve as Apostle. Unsurprisingly, people with this gift are a rare breed in most churches as they exist to plant, develop or fix, then move on for an assignment elsewhere. In short, Apostles pioneer new initiatives. Their desire is that everyone might know and experience Christ. Like prophets, they are goal orientated in their decision-making.

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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