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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

06 Jun '09

Simplifying Spiritual Gifts

My son Chip's spiritual gift is that of the "pied piper." Really! Just watch him. Everywhere he goes kids, young people and animals follow him around and he engages them and befriends them and talks to them (the human ones) about God. So it stands to reason that on summer break he leads inner city kids in the wilderness of northern Minnesota and ministers to them physically and spiritually. He is after all, the pied piper.

Then there is my wife Mary Ann who has a radar for hurting people and extends practical help and grace better than anyone I know. She sees a need and she meets it. She obviously has a gift of help and mercy.

Another friend is one of the most strategic thinkers I know. He can make sense out of almost any problem, think of solutions, and like a chess player, anticipate unintended consequences to those solutions. His gift is strategy and generosity and you put those two together and it is a powerful combination as he strategically funds Christian ministries.

His wife has the most awesome gift of hospitality and can make anyone feel at home from any walk of life. That with a gift of prayer combines to influence huge numbers of people over the course of a year.

We often complicate the spiritual gifts when most often they are pretty obvious if you just watch people, see where they are most effective, watch how they are wired and then encourage them to use those gifts and skills for Jesus - in their neighborhood, circle of influence, workplace and church. Notice that the church is just one place we ought to be joining Jesus, not the primary place.

Jesus wired us a certain way in order to accomplish a certain task. He wired me for strategy, leadership and communication. Everything else is, well, a weakness. What he wants me to do is to use the wiring he gave me for his purposes where he gives me influence.

I love to watch people to see how God uniquely wired them - God's creativity in that regard is amazing. Even with pied pipers. And then I love to encourage those I watch to use that wiring for His purposes, wherever God has placed them. If we all did that, and encouraged one another we would see small pieces of God's character unleashed in a million corners of the world.