We need to talk about the church planter’s gifting. We live in an age that substitutes gifting for character or the Holy Spirit’s fire. Unfortunately, however, what often passes as gifting is really just charisma or personality. Gifting is spiritual and is harder to explain and harder to nail down than a charismatic personality.
Now, I realize that you aren’t all as gifted as I am, so it’s almost unfair of me to write about this, but I also believe God has a sense of humor or he wouldn’t have invented farts or talking donkeys. Therefore, I trust He who beat Shrek to the punch, will forgive my sick joke about being so gifted. God knows funny, and sometimes even your sense of humor is a gift.
But that’s exactly what is important to know. Some will think my joke funny, and see it as a form of self-deprecation, while others will misunderstand and think me arrogant. The point is that we’re not all wired the same. God will use men of different temperaments to accomplish the same objectives; namely, to glorify Himself. Spurgeon and Lloyd-Jones were two uniquely gifted men greatly used by God, yet they were nothing alike. Likewise, your gifting is going to be different from the leader next to you. He may be able to turn on the water works at sad events because he possesses the gift of compassion. You might be the unbreakable rock of machismo; but you can preach circles around him. Another guy may be an incredible administrator who can memorize people’s names and details upon a first meeting, making them feel incredibly loved. Or you might be like the mascot in the chicken suit. You make people laugh.
Temperament and gifting differ from church planter to church planter, and although you’re not a snowflake, you are unique.
It’s all part of God’s sovereign calling of yourself into the ministry, having set you apart from birth, or as Paul sometimes said, “called to be an apostle before the foundation of the world”. Paul was raised with the highest of learning, a mind like Einstein’s, the writing ability of Shakespeare, and the spirituality of…well, Paul. He was unique, and he was uniquely called. And so are you.
Don’t get your head all bigged-up over that, because all of the gifting in the world pales in contrast to your character and walk with God. God can get a donkey to talk for Him, but he needs a human being to be filled with the Spirit to live out the gospel of Jesus. Although I may appear to be side-stepping the issue of gifting, I want you to know that it faced with a choice between character and a preaching gift, I’d pick character. So would Paul. Over speaking with the tongues of angels, moving mountains by faith, raising the dead, and literally burning out for Jesus, Paul would pick love…
He’d pick love.
God, give me love, the greatest of all your gifts.
I may not be a great preacher, administrator, or counselor, but I hear that love never fails.
Buy Peyton’s newest book “Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art” over on Amazon.com. You can also download a free chapter and watch a cool trailer for the book HERE or click the image below.