Living faithful, fruitful and fulfilled on the mission field

Is Your Team’s Spiritual Gift Mix a Delight of Unique Flavors?

Is Your Team’s Spiritual Gift Mix a Delight of Unique Flavors?

Some flavors go together well. Others just don’t. Like lemongrass and coconut milk. They compliment each other and are delicious. Or palm butter and rice. Yum! But when you put minced chicken with ice cream it just doesn’t work right? My husband used to do that as a kid! Yuck!

Sometimes the flavors in our teams can be a delightful combination. Other times our team can “taste” pretty terrible.

I’ve been writing the last few blogs about team dynamics. We’ve been looking at the differences of personality, culture and spiritual gifts in our missionary teams. Click here to see the introduction to this series.

Gifts Should Be Gifts

Spiritual gifts are supposed to be just that- gifts. When we value some above others or become proud of our gifts, it spoils the taste. The body of Christ, represented in our missionary team, becomes dysfunctional.

Valuing Each Person’s Gift

My husband has the gift of hospitality. Unusual for a guy you might be thinking. Maybe, but I don’t see anywhere in the Bible that it says women are the ones with the hospitality gifts and men are the ones with leadership gifts. Do you? You can read more about our journey with this here if you are interested.

His gift is so valuable to me. I often forget to do the needful, especially in an Asian culture and serve tea or welcome people well. He is so great at this! I am so thankful for him.

The leadership team I am currently on has someone who is very pastoral. Again, his spiritual gift is such a blessing! He has a gentle, loving way of interacting with people. We are different, but it’s a good flavor in our team mix.

“Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.” 1 Cor. 12:1

Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts

As you discover your spiritual gifts your team will be able to function well. Each person will flow in their role as a member of the Body of Christ. They can be who they were created to be.

There are many different free spiritual gifts tests you can take online. This site has a free downloadable version too.

The primary Bible passages where the spiritual gifts are listed are:
1) Romans 12:6-8
2) 1 Cor. 12:8-10,
3) Ephesians 4
4) 1 Peter 4.

Take time to study these individually and together.

As you look at the lists, you will see many areas that overlap. Some gifts combine with others.

Encourage each team member to assess themselves to find out what their gifts are. Then share these with one another. Each person can also give input to the other team members. They can mention how they have seen the other team members functioning in various spiritual gifts. This is greatly encouraging to hear. It also serves as a confirmation to hear others say that they also see those gifts in you.

If some team members are still young, encourage them to experiment with all of the spiritual gifts. Avoid labeling. You don’t know what your gifts are until you try something new. You may be surprised what God releases within you as you step out in faith!

Can Introverts Have The Gift Of Evangelist?

I had a friend in college who was extremely introverted. She never talked to anyone and kept to herself. She had a very small circle of friends. But when we went out together to do street evangelism she was amazing! She so clearly had the spiritual gift of an evangelist! So don’t just think about personality types here. These are spiritual gifts, meaning they are given to you and empowered by God’s Spirit!  They are not just your natural gifts.

The area where team conflict can arise is when we are very passionate about the particular ministries we are called too. We naturally place a higher value on the areas of ministry that we are gifted in.

Those with the gift of teaching may have a hard time understanding why we don’t require everyone to do Inductive Bible Study. “Why aren’t we doing a better job building Biblical foundations in the disciples we are making?” they may wonder.

Someone with an apostolic gift wants to pioneer in new places and move in the supernatural more. They get bored with things after a few years and want to move on.

The pastor will want to develop and care for people as the top priority.

This is why we are a body. As it says in 1 Corinthians we must honor and value each member of the body.

  • How are you doing in your team in making space for one another’s spiritual gifts?
  • Is one gift or ministry emphasis dominating things?
  • Given more value than another in the way you prioritize your team’s activities?

Putting It Into Action

The better we understand our spiritual gifts and those of the other team members, the more we can become a healthy functioning team.

Maybe it’s been a while since you thought about your spiritual gifts. Take some time to re-read these Bible passages and pray about this. Ask God to show you what gifts He has placed within you. Commit yourself to use and grow them. Encourage the other team members to do the same.

What step will you take this week to discover more about the spiritual gifts in your own life or within the team? Let me know in the comments or on the Missionary Life Facebook page.

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