“ How to Identify The Spiritual Gifts ”
What does ministry mean?
- It means… A servant, an attendant (helper), an aid, a waiter, to serve.
I. Some Characteristics
A) Having the ability to see practical needs
- .. Philippians 2:19-23…Timothy’s desire to meet needs
- Paul is sending this letter to the church in Philippi and telling them of his brother in Christ, Timotheus (Timothy). Paul is getting ready to send Timothy to them (in verse 19)
- A person that has the “ministry gift” must have the ability to see the needs of others and to see that those needs are met.
- Maybe a family that you know is poor, then you do all you can to help them buy food, pay their bills and help buy clothes for them… you may have “the ministry gift.”
B) Having a Joy in serving
- When you have the joy of serving… it frees (lets loose) others to do more important things.
- Like when you members decide to help me with the church paper, making the prayer request sheets…that gives me more time to prepare a message for Sunday morning.
- Illustration; Philippians 2:22…Timothy served served Paul so that Paul could do his ministry that God had called Him to do.
- Timothy served Paul … “as a son with the father.”
C) They ignore their personal health to serve others
- In other words… people with the “gift of ministry” usually ignore their own health and comfort in order to serve someone else.
- Illustration; I Timothy 5:23… Timothy’s physical ailments (pains) were shown when Paul wrote to him here in this passage of scripture.
D) Having difficulty in saying “No”
- A person with the “gift of ministry” may also have problems saying “no” to anyone.
- Many times this causes problems because if you cannot say “no” to anyone that asks for your help… then you get distracted (bothered) when doing something that you are supposed to be busy with.
- Illustration; II Timothy 4:9, and 21a…Paul told Timothy twice, not to delay or play around. He told him to come as soon as possible.
E) They get special joy in giving needs and comforts
- A person with the “ministry gift” may also enjoy giving needs to others and know what other people like and dislike.
- Illustration; II Timothy 4:13… Paul asked Timothy to bring his cloak (cape), books and parchments (animal skins to write on)
- How do you know Timothy enjoyed giving others their needs? Because you do not ask some one to do something for you if you don’t think they will do it.
F) They have a need to hear “thank you”
- A person with the “ministry gift” may have the need to hear “thank you” for something they have done for you.
- Also, they have a desire for clear instructions.
- Illustration; II Timothy 1:5 and II Timothy 3:15 and I Timothy 1:18,19 and I Timothy 3:14,15 and I Timothy 4:11-16 and II Timothy 2:1 and II Timothy 4:1
G) They have a strong desire to be with others
- people with the ministry gift enjoy being around others. They do not like being alone all the time.
- When you are around other people, it gives you more opportunity to serve.
- Illustration; Timothy was always working with others… Acts 16:1,2 and Acts 17:14,15 and Acts 18:5 and Acts 19:22 and Acts 20:4
H) They enjoy short or small projects
- People with the gift of ministry do not like to do something that take a lot of work and much time. They would rather do something that requires a short or small amount of their time.
- Illustration; Timothy was encouraged to “continue” and to “endure” in I Timothy 4:16 and in II Timothy 2:3…
I ) Sometimes they feel inadequate and unqualified
- In other words… A person with the “gift of ministry” may feel like they are not able to satisfy the needs of someone. They also may feel “not qualified” to spiritually lead others.
- Illustration; Paul assured Timothy that he was qualified… I Timothy 4:14 and II Timothy 1:5 and II Timothy 3:10-15.
II. Misuses (wrong use) of the “gift of ministry”
A) Ignoring home responsibilities
- When we help others we need to be careful about ignoring our family and the family needs to minister to others.
- Many times a person with this gift demands gratefulness (thank you) from those whom they are serving.
- If the family members will not say “thank you” or show that they are thankful for the work done at home or for the family then the family’s needs become last.
- A person with this gift must learn when to say “no” sometimes, not always.
B) Accepting too many jobs at one time
- When you have the gift of ministry you must not take too many jobs at one time.
- You need to take one or two jobs on, then finish them first before going to the next job or jobs.
- This again is a result of someone not being able to say “no.”
C) Wearing yourself out physically
- When you have the ministry gift you must be careful to not wear yourself out.
- When you become wore out then you cannot serve God and perform your ministry as it should be done.
- You cannot work well when you are tired.
- Physical exhaustion will lead to “tension” and “physical ailments (pains)”
D) Forcing your help on others
- Many times the person with the ministry gift will see someone’s need and try to help them by forcing themselves upon others to help them when they have never asked for help.
- Some servers (ministry gift people) are able to notice the needs of someone before other people notice.
- They also enjoy helping them with their need so much that they become forceful in helping them.
E) Going around proper authorities to get a job done
- When Ministering to others we need to make sure that we do not dis-obey the laws and use the right authorities for the job to be done.
- Do not use your personal money to avoid delay of help to someone.
F) Not allowing others to help
- When you have the gift of ministry, you should always wish to have others help you with your ministry.
- Do not be a “pig” and desire to eat all the food(help).
- A server always wants to do the job themselves. That is good! But it does not hurt you to have help sometimes.
G) Interfering with God’s discipline by premature help
- We must be careful in helping others that we do not interfere (step in the way of) with God’s discipline on those that are in need.
- Example; Let us say that a man named Jack has become backslidden in his ways of serving the Lord and God decides to punish him by allowing his car break down, his house to be destroyed, and his wife to leave him. So Joe Christian person comes along, feels sorry for him and then tries to help him fix his car, find a house and then repair his marriage. Joe Christian is try to help someone when God is punishing them. This is coming between God and His discipline upon His people.
- If you see a need, wait and examine the need first, then help.
- The discipline given to God’s people are to wake them up and make them repent of their sins and wrong doing.
- It could have could have hindered “the prodigal son” in Luke 15:11-32
H) Do not be hurt by some people who do not say “thank you”
- People who serve usually do not wait for someone to say “thank you”.
- These servants are more humble and help people without any “thanks” or appreciation of their help ministering to others.
I) Getting sidetracked while helping others
- It is easy for servers (people with the ministry gift) to stop what they are doing to help someone else in trouble.
- This is not fair to the person who you are serving at the time of the interruption.
- You need to finish with your task first then move top the next.
- If someone has a need and you are too busy at the time helping someone else… then you should help them by giving another brother in Christ the the responsibility.