The Lord has given us all gifts and talents He expects us to use to further His Kingdom. Some people think we should strive to have all the spiritual gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4 and 1 Peter 4. That seems overkill to me. Am I going to be able steward those 20 something gifts in a way that I can use them all in effective ways. The answer that comes to my mind is, “No!”
So how many can we steward effectively? At a Leadership Summit in the late 90’s I remember Bill Hybels stating he felt like he could only steward three effectively. Since then I have taken an informal Dave Baldwin survey when conducting spiritual gifts seminars. I ask people to raise their hands when I read through the list of gifts if the particular one fell in their top three. Over the years I have found an interesting trend. When there are twenty or more people in the room, all the gifts are represented. When less — even when it’s nineteen — there are gaps missing. So I’ve said that you really can’t start a church without twenty adult Christ-followers.
So how does that relate to stewardship. Well I believe we need to steward those top three gifts the Holy Spirit has given us. Some day we’ll stand before God and He’ll demand an accounting of what we have done with those gifts. Did we just hide them? Did we use them, but never stewarded them to get the most out of them? Or did we do all we could do to be the best at what he had given us to do?
Stewarding our gifts means the following:
- Reading books that will help us do a better job of teaching or leading or praying or whatever we have been gifted to do.
- Practice the gift(s) we have and ask for feedback.
- Ask someone to mentor us who has that gift. Sit under their influence and watch them exercise that gift.
- Attend conferences that will help you develop that gift.
One other thing since we are all in this together. When you see someone being effective at using their gifts, give them some encouragement. Tell them what it has meant to you and how you have grown. You’d want someone to do that for you.
Well, so what are your gifts? I know for sure my top two are Leadership and Teaching. I think Apostleship ranks pretty high up there. What are yours and how are you stewarding them?
That’s this leader’s view.