As a leader lives the Christian life and serves others through the gifts he/she has been given, there are three stages that leader progresses through:
- Asking the Lord to do things for me
- Asking the Lord to do things in me
- Asking the Lord to do things through me
It’s that last stage where true maturity takes place. When it’s all about others and not all about me as the leader.
Eric Geiger shares some helpful insight on being gifted for the people you lead, not for yourself.
Guest post by Eric Geiger
Many pastors have made a distinction between abilities and spiritual gifts, that an ability is something you received at birth and a spiritual gift is a supernatural ability you received at your re-birth, when you became a Christian. The distinction can be helpful as long as we remember that both abilities and gifts are from God. God gave us gifts and abilities for one primary reason, and it is often not what we think.
We enjoy using our abilities and gifts. It is fun and fulfilling. It is no fun to live outside of your abilities and gifts, to constantly sense you are in the wrong place, operating outside of who you are. It is why the only people who enjoy golf or surfing are those who are good at golf and surfing. But God did not give us our gifts primarily for our enjoyment. Yes, He cares for our joy but the primary reason for our gifts is not for us.
We can utilize our gifts in our careers and jobs. God will use your abilities and gifts in your career and to enable you to provide for yourself and others, but your gifts are not primarily given to you from Him for you to make money or advance in your career. Yes, He cares that we are provided for and will use our abilities and our gifts as means to help us provide for ourselves and others, but the primary reason for our gifts is not for us.
Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, let it be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, let it be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
(1 Peter 4:10-11, emphasis added)
The primary reason God has gifted us is to serve others. We are gifted by Him, for them.
Gifted From Him
The word for “gift” in the original language is the word “charisma,” meaning that if you are a Christian, you’ve got charisma. Congratulations. You did not achieve your spiritual gifts; you simply received them. When you became a Christian, the Holy Spirit moved into your life and when He did, He gave you spiritual gifts. You have at least one.
Gifted For Them
Because your gifts are from Him, He owns them. Which means you steward the gifts He has given, but you also steward His grace. Notice the verse above: you are to be “good stewards of the varied grace of God.” If you hand your money to a money manager, you are trusting the person to steward your money well. If you hand property to a property manager, you are trusting the person to manage the property well. God has made you His grace manager; He has handed His grace to you to be distributed to people. God has grace He wants to give, and He is going to do so through you, using the gifts you have received.
You are gifted from Him, for them.