This post follows up yesterday’s post on Mobilizing Saints for Powerful Ministry.
The Holy Spirit gifts every member of the body of Christ to help the church become the beautiful Christ-exalting bride that He wants her to be (Cf. 1 Cor. 12-14). So it makes sense that we would want every member of the body to know and use their spiritual gift(s) in ways that will help the church become all that Christ wants her to be.
My own assumption is that there are no little people in the body of Christ. Everyone is a vital link in the whole. And since that is true, everyone deserves respect; everyone has something to contribute; everyone has something to teach me.
With that in mind: Here’s seven tasks(1) to accomplish if you want to mobilize more of your people to utilize their spiritual gifts.
- Encourage, teach, and challenge all to become involved in personal growth and service to the body. Create a culture of expectation by celebrating the various gifts of people in the congregation.
- Design a gift-based ministry system. Pick one off the shelf or start from scratch and design your own. There is no magic material. Find what fits the personality of your situation and prayerfully work at it.
- Train ministry placement consultants. Depending on the size of your church you might only need one or two (male and female). Qualifications: Prayer warriors who love ministry themselves and who see the potential in others.
- Teach people about spiritual gifts. Overcome the fear and mystery surrounding the subject by attacking the problem head-on. Lift the veil of ignorance in your church by teaching on the whole context of 1 Corinthians 12-14 and other NT passages related to spiritual gifts. Use the pulpit. Use small groups. Use special classes or seminars. “Teach your way out of every problem.”
- Guide people to ministry opportunities appropriate to their gifts, passion, and experience. The gift of hospitality does not mean that a person necessarily can be entrusted with organizing every baby shower in your church family. It might mean that they take a new family out to lunch once a month.
- Provide advanced spiritual gift training. Whatever is good in the church you need more of. Deeper understanding of what the Bible teaches on everything, including spiritual gifts, will always (under the guidance of the Holy Spirit) will always produce power for living more passionately for and like Jesus.
- Constantly evaluate how you are doing in mobilizing people into their areas of giftedness and passion. Any ministry that functions on auto-pilot without supervision and new input will eventually grow stale and lose its direction. Evaluation that includes celebration, as well as correction, will help you help others find their place of service for the King.
(1) Adapted from Robert E. Logan and Steven L. Ogne’s, Church Planter’s Toolkit, (1991), session 11.