Elder Training Series

Session 16 - The Spiritual Gifts of 'Administration', 'Pastors (Pastoring)', with a section on "Steps To Discovering Your Spiritual Gift(s)" 
(NIV based)

(Repeating) NOTES: - - Perhaps it would be prudent for you to mark or highlight the items in this document that you suspect you need to study further, or accept, or correct, or develop, or work on, or improve in your life.

- - It is important to note that Scriptures do very little to describe, expound, or explain what some of these individual gifts are and how they are manifested in believers' lives.
- - Consequently, many of the following descriptions of these spiritual gifts are based on a combination of biblically-based logic and reasoning, defining of original Greek words, relating Biblical statements, experiential evidence and observations, and Holy Spirit-guided insights.

"...those with gifts of administration,..." - 1 Corinthians 12:28

- - The spiritual 'gift of administration' is the Holy Spirit-empowering of a believer in managing the policies, affairs, and logistics of a church or ministry.
- - The believer with the spiritual 'gift of administration' is personally involved in running or executing or implementing administrative functions of the church or ministry.
- - These administrative functions typically include: bookkeeping; record keeping; submitting required government forms and payments; processing the offering money and donations; managing financial accounts; managing budgets; processing payroll of employees; paying bills; processing purchases; managing the work, repairs, and maintenance to the buildings, property, and equipment; managing the mail and correspondences; managing administrative logistics for meetings, events, programs, worship services, classes, and conferences; managing schedules; and etcetera.
- - Because of this spiritual gifting, this believer performs these functions with skill, excellence, effectiveness, efficiency, orderliness, timeliness, carefulness, correctness, concern, awareness, communication, responsibility, trustworthiness, honesty, alertness for errors, attention to details, completeness, propriety, and etcetera.
- - Within the performing of these administrative functions, this believer possesses and applies a spiritual perspective to every aspect of these administrative functions - always seeing and regarding the entirety of these administrative functions as elements of God's kingdom.
- - The believer with the spiritual 'gift of administration' naturally and consistently practices the command in Colossians 3:17, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him".
- - Consequently, this believer never has a sour attitude, a bureaucratic mindset, a dictatorial approach, a haughty attitude, a subversive intention, a sarcastic comment, a demeanor of drudgery, an outlook of futility, and etcetera.
- - This believer is exceptionally edified when he/she performs well the administrative functions for the church or ministry, and prefers to always operate from behind the scenes rather than from up front in the spotlight.
- - This believer is thrilled when events of the church or ministry occur without any administrative glitches, miscues, blunders, deficiencies, miscalculations, and etcetera.
- - This believer deeply understands that when he/she does a good job administratively, other people serving in the church or ministry are being assisted and equipped to do a good job.

"It was he who gave... some to be pastors..." - Ephesians 4:11

- - Synonymous with the English words 'elder', 'presbyter', 'overseer', and 'bishop', the word "pastor" means "to shepherd", carrying essentially the basic meaning of a shepherd out in a grassy field tending to his flock of woolly sheep animals - "to herd, guard, care for, guide, and tend sheep". 
(1 Peter 5:1-2; Ephesians 4:11, Strong's #4166; AHD - 'shepherd')
- - The spiritual 'gift of pastoring' is the Holy Spirit-given special ability to shepherd in the faith the portion of the flock of God that is committed to one's care. 
(1 Peter 5:2)
- - This involves leading, feeding, instructing, warning, challenging, motivating, exhorting, guarding, protecting, providing, counseling, and caring for persons individually, as well as corporately - as a group or flock, so to speak. 
(John 10:2-4)
- - Obviously, pastoring is crucial to almost all aspects of vital congregational life.

-- As a note pertaining to this study of this spiritual gift, pastoring also would involve:
- - - - helping the believers in his flock find their spiritual gifts;
- - - - facilitating them in developing their spiritual gifts;
- - - - offering them suitable opportunities to put their spiritual gifts to use;
- - - - and equipping them to do ministry work that utilizes their spiritual gifts.
- - Note that the various duties and aspects of pastoring will be addressed more extensively in some of the next sessions of this 'Elder Training Series'.

- - The believer with the spiritual 'gift of pastoring' assumes upon himself an ongoing sense of personal responsibility before God for the spiritual well-being, growth, nurture, direction, outreach and ministry of each believer and the ministry groups that are under his care. 
(1 Peter 5:2)
- - A believer with the spiritual 'gift of pastoring' naturally gravitates to coming alongside and helping other believers grow in the faith, towards spiritual maturity and corresponding excellent fruit-bearing for God's kingdom.
- - The Holy Spirit gives this believer an intense drive and compassion to seek out and build a relationship with the numerous believers in his flock, for the purpose of sharing spiritual knowledge from the Scriptures with them that will blossom and flourish into an abundant and overflowing harvest of righteousness in each of them. 
(Matthew 9:35-38 - the example of Jesus)
- - This believer values every person in his flock equally, maintaining the awareness that theoretically God can transform any one of them to become an excellent mature fruit-bearing disciple.
- - Therefore, this believer consistently strives to cooperate with and collaborate with God in creating and maintaining conditions in the church or ministry that are conducive and fertile for those believers to be made into disciples. 
(Matthew 28:19-20)
- - This believer understands that the process of believers being made into a disciple can take a long time to occur - nevertheless, this believer remains hopeful for that outcome to occur.
- - When one of the sheep in his flock does respond quickly and wholeheartedly to being transformed by God into an excellent mature fruit-bearing disciple, this pastoring believer is greatly encouraged and exhilarated.
- - And when one of the sheep in his flock stumbles or falls away from the faith, this pastoring believer immediately notices that something has gone wrong and he promptly responds by contacting and meeting with the fallen sheep in order to bring that sheep back into healthy spiritual functioning in the faith and in the flock. 
(Matthew 18:12)

- - The believer, who uses his spiritual 'gift of pastoring' properly, never conducts himself in a manner that would generate shame and/or disrepute to God or to the faith or to his appropriately-functioning flock as a whole. 
(Hebrews 6:6)
- - Likewise, this believer never participates in the fomenting of an inappropriate or hostile split or takeover of a church. 
(Romans 16:17)
- - When conditions in a church become so disruptive that substantial harm will be inflicted upon the church, this believer will voluntarily and silently sacrifice himself and his ministry functioning there, even though he is completely innocent of any wrongdoing, in order to protect the well-being of the church and/or to restore peace in the church. 
(John 10:11)
- - This believer regards his pastoring of his flock as an important vital duty, assigned by God, that necessitates his full attention, dedication, effort, and commitment to his own flock
(1 Timothy 4:13-15; 6:20a).  So, this believer does not give into temptations that draw him away from his flock for significant or frequent lengths of time, nor simultaneously get involved in other ministry activities to other flocks.
- - When hiring to fill a job position in his church or ministry, this believer does not resort to: nepotism - hiring an unqualified relative; or cronyism - hiring an unqualified friend. 
(2 Timothy 2:2)

                                   Steps To Discovering Your Spiritual Gift(s):

If you have sincerely placed your faith in Jesus Christ, the perfect God-man, that He died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins and that He rose from the dead on the third day
(Romans 3:20-25b; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4) , then listed below are 10 steps that you may find helpful in discovering your spiritual gift(s).

- - Realize that God has given each true believer at least one spiritual gift. 
(1 Corinthians 12:11)
- - He wants every true believer to know what their spiritual gifts are and to use them frequently and in a God-honoring manner, for His purposes. 
(1 Corinthians 12:1,7)
- - From observable evidence, most spiritually-mature believers have several spiritual gifts, rather than only one.

- - In prayer, daily confess your sins
(1 John 1:9) and then daily distinctly yield control of your life, your thinking, your words, your behaviors, and your actions to the control of the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:12-13; 12:1-2) .
- - This daily confessing of sins with daily yielding control are vitally necessary for the Holy Spirit to bring out and achieve maximum empowering, effectiveness, and extent of His usage of spiritual gifts in and through your life. 
(e.g. Galatians 5:22-25)
- - These activities of the Holy Spirit in your life will be further and significantly enhanced if you also feed on God's Word daily
(Psalms 1:1-3) and actively oppose and refrain from indulging in sinfulness or indulging in any areas of bondage to sin that you have (Romans 6:12-14,16; 2 Corinthians 10:5) .

- - Prayerfully ask God to show you or cause to be revealed to you which spiritual gifts you have.

- - In prayer, start volunteering to God that you want Him to give you ministry work to do.
- - And then over time and as opportunities arise, appropriately try different types of ministry functioning.
- - This trying of different types of ministry functioning gives the Holy Spirit opportunity to bring out, help you identify, and help you develop spiritual gifts that you did not know that you had.

- - Examine, study, and prayerfully meditate on the descriptions of each of the spiritual gifts again, as described above in this document and the 4 most-previous documents in this series.  And then occasionally review them.

- - After you have sufficiently tried a type of ministry functioning, evaluate yourself as you proceed doing it.  Do you see any indications that God has given you an inclination or propensity to do that type of ministry functioning well, or you are 'naturally' good at it (so to speak)?
- - Also evaluate what else you have been doing well for the Kingdom of God.
- - What do you enjoy doing in relation to interacting with or ministering to other believers?  What do you do best?
- - It may be that you have been exercising your spiritual gift(s) perhaps for years without consciously realizing it.

- - Acknowledge and consider the evaluation of other true believers.
- - If you have a particular spiritual gift, other believers should realize it and be blessed when you exercise it.

- - Develop your spiritual gift(s).
- - Like any other ability, a spiritual gift must be developed through use.  "Do not neglect your gift" - 1 Timothy 4:14.
- - Read books about your spiritual gift(s), study, and observe the techniques of other believers with the same spiritual gift, in order to fine-tune your skills in using your spiritual gift(s).

- - Humbly and gratefully accept the spiritual gift(s) that God has given you, and use it/them as fully as possible. 
(Romans 12:3-6a)

STEP 10:
- - Make a list of your spiritual gift(s) as you discover them.

- - As confidence of the Holy Spirit's ministering through your spiritual gift(s) grows, you can diligently seek situations in which to exercise your spiritual gift(s).
- - Actively using your spiritual gift(s) will undoubtedly stretch, test, and refine you in order to build character and produce greater results for the kingdom of God.
- - Jesus certifies in John 15:2 that God will "prune" those believers (branches) that are bearing fruit so that they "will be even more fruitful".
- - Furthermore, Jesus states in John 15:8 that God the Father is glorified when a believer is bearing much fruit and thereby proving to be Jesus' disciple.
- - But, it is crucial to note that you cannot effectively use your spiritual gift(s) or "bear fruit" unless you are "remaining" in Christ. 
(John 15:4-5)
- - Conversely, appropriately utilizing your spiritual gifts should result in drawing you into a closer walk with the Lord.

- - NOTE: There are other spiritual gifts listed in the New Testament that God ceased using approximately 2,000 years ago, upon the completion of the writing of the 'perfect' New Testament. 
(see 1 Corinthians 13:8-10; Hebrews 1:1-2)
- - For descriptions of those ceased spiritual gifts, see the full-version document entitled "Spiritual Gifts
(full version) " on the 'Doctrines' web-page of this website, www.BelieverAssist.com .


- - Do any of these 3 spiritual gifts jump out at you, inciting in you a reaction of "I think I have this spiritual gift."?  If so, think about, meditate on, and pray about whether there are any improvements or adjustments you can make to maximize appropriateness, effectiveness, and productivity of your engaging in each of these 3 spiritual gifts that you think you might have.
- - Do you know of any other believers in your church or ministry from which you see evidence that they might have one or more of these 3 spiritual gifts?  If so, do you think God would want you to speak up to each of those persons, and express your opinion and cite specific examples to them that you see evidence that they may have one (or more) of these 3 spiritual gifts?
- - How about your spouse, or children, or parents, or relatives, or friends who are true believers?  In this same above manner, can you speak to them about your observations that seem to indicate that they may have one (or more) of these 3 spiritual gifts?
- - And when you encounter one of these people you are talking to who seems to agree that your evaluation of them may be correct, you could offer to go through the description from this document with them, pertaining to the spiritual gift(s) that they seem to agree they may have.
-- As may be evident, the big hurdle to overcome here is for each true believer to correctly ascertain (as soon as possible) which spiritual gift(s) he (or she) has.
- - - - Upon that realization, then they can forthrightly look for and pursue opportunities to exercise that (or those) spiritual gift(s).
- - - - Thereby, you will have significantly helped each of those true believers to get on the path to becoming a fruit-bearing disciple, doing ministry work that God has gifted and is empowering them to do.
- - - - Do these actions sound like some things that you could or should do now, as an actual or a potential future elder, overseer, pastor, or ministry leader?

Works Cited:
The American Heritage Dictionary. 3rd ed., ver. 3.6a (CD-ROM). Cambridge, MA: SoftKey International Inc., 1994.

Bible. “The Holy Bible: New International Version.” The Bible Library CD-ROM. Oklahoma City, OK: Ellis Enterprises, 1988.

“Strong's Greek Dictionary.” The Bible Library CD-ROM. Oklahoma City, OK: Ellis Enterprises, 1988.
Scriptures taken from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc®
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Copyright © 1996, 2020, 2023 Mel W. Coddington, and permission is hereby granted that this document may be used, copied, and distributed non-commercially to non-profit organizations, individuals, churches, ministries, and schools worldwide, provided the copies are distributed at no charge and retain this sources documentation as supplied herein. This document is not for sale, resale, or for use as a gift or premium to be offered in connection with solicitations or contributions.
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