DISCOVER YOUR MOTIVATIONAL GIFTS
Gifts in Building a Church
How can the diversity of gifts be used to grow the church? If a committee of each of the giftings were planning a new church, how would they do it?
The prophet would aim to ensure a Biblical standard in all teaching and activities of the church.
The server would be thinking about what activities of the church needed to be provided for.
The teacher focuses attention on ensuring a Bible-based ministry and plans for teaching of Sunday School and Youth.
The exhorter would be interested in how the church was going to win people, and in the development of counselling ministries.
The giver enables support for the building and development of the church's ministries.
The leader has the overall plan so that everything could be carried out smoothly.
The carer would make sure that while the church was being built they were growing a warm, caring, nurturing family.
One who loves to bring others to Christ and to encourage them to live a victorious Christian life.
The Spirit's gift to bring comfort, direction and encouragement, and to make appeals for a commitment to the Lord.
The gift of exhortation is the special ability to minister words of challenge, comfort, consolation and counsel to others in such a way that they are helped and healed.
Exhortation comes from the Greek word `parakaleo' to invite, exhort, encourage, challenge, appeal, implore, or comfort.
Peter [Gospels, Acts ch 2-5; 1 & 2 Peter]
Barnabas [Acts 4:36-37; 11:22-26]
Titus [2 Corinthians 7: 13-16]
1. The mouth of the body
Exhorters have a great facility of speech, in order to comfort, challenge, and encourage. They are the most dynamic and interesting speakers.
Exhorters are quick to speak out. They are the most convincing, and have the ability to sway a listener or an audience to their point of view.
They are skilled at interacting with an audience. They are able to relax and warm up an audience. They can use humour well. Peter was the most fluent of all the disciples in spoken communication, and that is why he was so often the spokesman for them.
Less extrovert exhorters still have fluency of speech but quietly in individual encouragement and counselling. Barnabas wasn't an up front person but he was recognised as an encourager. [Acts 4:36] Those with this gift have the danger of speaking out too quickly, as happened for Peter [John 18:15-18, 25-27]. They may also not be good listeners.
2. Encourages people to accept Christ and to
Exhorters have a clear aim to help others to live up to their full potential. Their joy is to be an instrument to help others become Christians, be filled with the Spirit, and to live victoriously.
They make good evangelists. This is the main gift for the person who is an evangelist. Peter clearly presented to the crowd at Pentecost the steps that the people should take. [Acts 2:38]. Barnabas in his more gentle way was also able to lead many people to the Lord. [Acts 11:24] Exhorters are the people in the church who most contribute to the growth in numbers of the church.
They generate enthusiasm. Their aim in teaching is for a greater commitment to the Lord, more holiness, and personal growth, in order to be ready to meet the Lord. [2 Peter 1:10-11]. The exhorter can more quickly that others discern a person's spiritual maturity. The exhorter needs to be careful to not get discouraged about other's seeming lack of enthusiasm.
3. Accepting of others
They generally accept others easily without judging them. They are able to see the potential in others, and encourage them to achieve it. Barnabas could see the potential in Paul. [Acts 11:25-26] The disagreement between Paul and Barnabas was over Barnabas's willingness to give Mark another go. [Acts 15:36-41]
Those with the motivational gift of exhortation are willing to get alongside those with difficulties. Peter went to Cornelius when he asked for help.
4. Take a positive attitude to life
Exhorters are good at encouraging others to take part in Christian activity or projects. They do not like strained relationships, and they will go to the other person to find out what is wrong, and to bridge the gap. Mature exhorters have learned that God gives special grace during trials. [1 Peter 1:6].
5. Desire to be transparent
Exhorters may openly share about their own life in order to encourage others, and love to use personal illustrations in conversation and preaching. Peter at first didn't want to have his feet washed, but once Jesus challenged him, Peter quickly changed his mind and wanted all of himself washed. [John 13:9]
6. Interested in application rather than theory.
Exhorters don't stop too long to think, but see quickly the things that need to be done, and put them into action.
When they encourage others, they encourage them to action. They prefer listening to sermons and reading Christian books that apply Christian principles to everyday life.
Exhorters make good group leaders, or worship leaders.
Decision making comes easily and quickly to exhorters. Peter was always the fastest to action. [John 18:10]. But they may fall down on lack of organisation. A danger for exhorters is that their emphasis on action oversimplifies the problem.
How to Grow in the Gift of Exhortation
Recognise that you can only encourage others as you are open to encouragement of the Holy Spirit [John 14:16]
Take time to learn. You will have far more to encourage others with as you are encourage yourself from the Word of God. [Romans 15:4-5]
Get alongside another person that the Lord leads you to. Pray for them, make friends with them, and see them through to a place of growth in their Christian lives.
The gift should be exercised in patience. Be patient with the slow progress of others [1 Thessalonians 5:14]
Be ready to help in situations of difficulty, such as speaking a word of comfort to someone recently bereaved, mediating on a church committee between opposing points of view, chatting with a young member who is rebellious, inviting a backsliding member back to church.
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