When we meet together, 1 Corinthians 12-14, Romans 12 and Ephesians 4 say that we are to each contribute something. In fact, Paul repeatedly uses the imperative – a command – in telling us this.
Time and again Scripture exhorts us to avoid passivity. As such, God intends for our meetings to be incubators where we identify, develop and learn to use our gifts for our mutual growth and edification.
That’s because God’s gifts are not given for purely personal or individualistic purposes. Rather, when we meet we should be ministering to each other, each according to our unique gifts. Using our gifts within the church, in turn, allows us to become a gift – to each other, the world and, most importantly, to Jesus.
But how does that happen, in practical terms? For example, it’s one thing to recognize the gift of mercy in someone (that’s the easy part!). But how can that person use that particular gift – in tangible ways – when we gather together to edify the Body of Christ and proclaim Jesus? See The Gift of Mercy.
In other words, what do the various motivational gifts look like when we meet together as the church?
Different Gifts, Motivations, Means and Fruit
To help sort this out, I developed a chart to summarize what I’ve learned over the years, as an active mentor and pastoral counselor, regarding the seven motivational gifts listed in Romans 12. I don’t claim this is complete or comprehensive, but it serves as a starting point for understanding those gifts, their core motivations, the ways they tend to be expressed, and the fruit that results when used maturely.
|Prophetic||Transparency & Change||Assert What is True, Just & Real||Vision|
|Teacher||Understanding & Stability||Detailed Knowledge & Comprehension||Wisdom|
|Fulfill Tasks & Meet Needs||Completion|
|Relationships & Encouraging Others||Cohesion|
|Generate Life & Seize Opportunities||Vitality|
|Rules, Structure & Administration||Order|
|Compassion, Kindness & Empathy||Acceptance|
In Part 3, I’ll apply these observations by looking at a composite meeting, from many that I’ve been part of, to show how we can use our differing motivational gifts when we meet together.
See Part 1: The Motivational Gifts
See Part 3: What A Meeting Looks Like