Knowledge, Organization, Wisdom

In last month’s article we introduced the concept that Christian ministry works through three dimensions, each associated towards one of the persons of the Trinity. These dimensions of ministry are drivers of our actions for using our spiritual gifts, rather than attributes of the three persons of the Godhead. In other words, these gift labels of Wisdom, Commitment and Power help us to relate our gifts to God’s purpose, and not for us to “tag” the properties of the Creator, Jesus or the Spirit.

Within the Wisdom Dimension of Gift-based Ministry, in Part 1 we defined the spiritual gifts of Giving, Hospitality, Mercy, and Voluntary poverty (in the green area), and provided a primary and other support passages which are scriptural bases for each gift. In Part 2, we’re looking at a second category of the Wisdom gifts, which has been given us to help our human minds perform for God’s will. Those with the spiritual gift of Knowledge delight in using information from creation, scriptures and experience to generate new ideas that grow both our understanding and God’s kingdom (including healthy church development). Many with this gift may also have a gift for Teaching (the practical application of knowledge). Scripture: Eph.3:14-19. Also Rom.15:14; 1Cor.8:1-2; 1Cor.12:8; 1Cor.13:2, 8-10; 2Cor.12:7.

The spiritual gift of Organization is a mediation or steering ability among people, which translates Leadership decisions into plans and actions for managing church growth and ministries. A useful analogy is the helmsperson who guides a ship’s crew by orders from the captain. Scripture: Ex.18:13-27. Also 1Cor.12:28. To function well in a church, a person with this gift must also maintain a robust spiritual life, to avoid worldly practices that may stifle the vision in a church, and to be open to God’s “supernatural” works.

The spiritual gift of Wisdom is different than the gift of Knowledge in that its use helps people apply knowledge to specific situations. Scripture: 1Kings3:5-28. Also 1Cor.12:7-8; James3:13-18. People with this gift often find fulfillment in counseling, consulting and prayer ministries, and are skilled at asking the right questions. Also neither Knowledge nor Wisdom is to be confused with the gift of Prophesy, which is a Power gift for relaying messages from God, specifically fed by the Spirit, and not guided by personal ideas.

As we progress through the spiritual gifts presented in this series of articles, it will be useful for us to remain aware of our human tendencies for comfort-seeking and self-justification. Gift-oriented ministry doesn’t mean “doing just what we want,” but rather allowing God to determine when and where He wants to use us. Being “closed-minded” while exploring our spiritual giftedness can also spill-over into inactivity for fulfilling our universal Christian responsibilities (e.g. tithing, sharing the Gospel, ministering to the poor, working for social justice) by claiming, “That’s not my gift.”

Which of the spiritual gifts has been given to you can be identified by joining one of the small groups for Spiritual Gifts Discovery, either by signing up at the Connection Point after church services, or by contacting the church office. Your information and availability will be collected for the purpose of forming such small groups to study this process together, because there is affirmation and insight from God through fellowship with other believers. Next month we will explore the last Wisdom gift group for creative potential: Artistic creativity, Craftsmanship, and Music.

Originally publish in The CHIMES as, “SPIRITUAL GIFTS – WHAT ARE THEY (Part 2)?