Spiritual Gifts - the Good

A part of my preparation for next month's State Ministers' Meeting of the Church of God in Arkansas, is to complete several "self assessments" and bring the results to the meeting with me.  I do this kind of things a couple of times each year, but this time I want to kind of work through a few related thoughts - using the blog as a "dump tank" to just kinda unload and unpack some random things.

Spiritual Gifts.  I think I've taken some form of Spiritual Gifts Assessment at least once a year since 1995 (the year I began my studies at Mid America Christian University). And each time it seems to be slightly different.  Here are the Five(5) areas where I scored the highest this time:

* FAITH
Faith has consistently been at the top of my Spiritual Gift Assessments for the past 6 years.  The truth is, I don't really need an assessment tool to recognize this.  It drives some people crazy, but I really do believe that God has a grip on this life.  I tend to be a highly spiritual person, and I believe that if I am connected with God, and live surrendered to His guidance, then everything is going to progress according to His purpose.  It is clear to me that the gift of Faith is in me to lead people out of "trying their best" to live for Jesus, and churches out of "trying our best" to be the church, into a relationship of fully relying upon God to do what we just cannot do - grow... and go.

* TEACHING
When I am teaching I am in my zone, and in my Chazown, Honestly, I would rather be teaching or preparing to teach more than just about anything else!  And as I look at the legacy that I'm leaving with my life, I see that through teaching, people are educated, challenged, encouraged, inspired, drawn together in unity, and sent out on mission.


* LEADERSHIP
I love what John Maxwell, leadership guru, said, "Leadership is influence... if you want to know if you're a leader, look behind you.  If no one is following you, you're just taking a walk."  After teaching, my greatest task may be to lead leaders.  A church culture reality is, that in established churches, there are established leaders who may or may not be in official leadership positions... and those leaders seldom include a Lead Pastor unless he has been with the congregation for at least 7-10 years.  It is of utmost importance to lead leaders forward according to God's vision!

*APOSTLESHIP
This is defined as the ability and calling to be sent as a messenger to bring the Gospel to places where it has not previously been embraced.  I really see myself as a missionary to some very specific generations- namely, Gen X, my own generation that has defined itself by the Kurt Cobain breathed lyric, "Here we are now, entertain us!" as well as the generation emerging in a culture rapidly becoming less and less embracing, or even aware, of the Good News of Jesus.  And like any missionary, I find it a necessity to understand these generations, and speak their language in order that hey might meet the one and only Jesus that has changed my life.

* WISDOM
Never had this one show up on an assessment before. Hahaa!  Perhaps this has to do with the making of difficult decisions, and some hard choices, in the past year.  If there is somewhere I see myself as having truly grown as a Lead Pastor, its in the area of wisdom.  As a spiritual gift, this comes into play as I meet with and counsel people with an ever-growing variety of situations and concerns.  May God give me more wisdom!

Next... Spiritual Gifts - the Bad

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