1) UPWARD – Worship = Ministry to the LORD.
2) INWARD – Nurture = Ministry to the BODY of Christ.
3) OUTWARD – Witness = Ministry to the WORLD.
All believers can, and should, grow in the following areas: their ability to use their gifts; their depth of understanding in how to use their gifts; and their yieldedness to God when using their gifts. We as leaders should model for our church the teachable spirit and the attitude of a submitted heart that is necessary for growth.
Leaders must also encourage believers in the church to use their gifts. Our church body needs what each person can supply. That is how churches do good works and grow (Eph 4:16).
Leaders should also be aware of both the insecurity and the pride that would tempt us to try to be a “one-man show” and do all the ministry by ourselves. Nothing quenches the anointing and presence of God’s Spirit more than leaders who let their pride or their fears get in the way of what He wants to do.
2. The Problem Of Confusing Your Nose With Your Kidneys
That may sound like a funny title, but it illustrates a common and devastating problem in the Body of Christ.
Let’s put it this way: your nose is prominent. It can be easily seen and admired (or made fun of!). Your kidneys are important. Yet they cannot be seen (unless you are in surgery!). The question becomes: “Which of these -your nose or your kidneys -could you live without?” Obviously we can live without our nose; but we cannot survive without our kidneys!
What does this have to do with the Body of Christ and spiritual gifts?
Simply put, too many believers (including leaders) seem to think “more prominent” means “more important”, and “less prominent” means “less important.” Yet, as we have seen, this is not true of the human body: the kidneys are less prominent than the nose, but they are certainly no less important than the nose!
It is the same in the Body of Christ.
The less prominent, less noticeable “behind-the-scenes” gifts – such as serving, showing mercy, giving, administrating -are certainly no less important, in God’s sight, than the more prominent, visible, “public” gifts such as Apostle, Prophet or Evangelist.
We, as leaders, must teach the people of our churches that the most important thing they can do whether or not they have a “prominent” gift is to obey what the Spirit of God leads them to do in terms of ministry. No gift given by God is unimportant. All are necessary for a healthy church (see 1 Corinthians 12:14-27).
3. Character Or (Spiritual) Gifting?
It has been rightly said that spiritual gifts are like two-edged swords. These two-edged “swords” can cut both ways. They can and should be used in a good way (1 Cor 12:7). But they can also be used in negative, disorderly and harmful ways (the reason for Paul writing 1 Corinthians Chapters 12-14).
Which way (positive or negative) that “sword” (gift) cuts is determined by the character and heart of the individual more than anything else.
A CHRIST-LIKE CHARACTER
God has given gifts to His Church. Yet His greatest priority for us is that each one of us be conformed to the “image” (character, moral and spiritual likeness) of Christ (Rom 8:28, 29; 12:1,2; 2 Cor 3:18).