There’s a war between Kingdoms raging, and you need your equipment!
What if your spiritual gift is not a box of chocolates tied up with a bow, but rather the equipping that you need to take your place in the army of God?
Jesus said that the gates of hell wouldn’t stand against His Church—that implies that there’s some charging happening, but it’s not supposed to be random chaos. An efficient army moves with strategy and intention, with each division and each troop knowing and doing its part. If we (The Church) are going to “storm those gates” what’s your role to play in the battle?
OK, I don’t claim to be an authority on spiritual gifts, or the administration of a church, but I am going to present a scenario on which I’ve been pondering. (And I would love to hear your feedback!)
What if the gifts of Romans 12 were like military deployments?
What if the church organized around the gifts of the members?
What if we functioned like the most efficient unit ever to rescue prisoners of the enemy and train them as soldiers on the Good Team?
Go here to download my Spiritual Gifts as Military Deployments Infographic.
I know there are a lot of gifts listed in the Bible in different places, and I know there are differences about what gifts are active now. For my purposes, I’m looking to the list in Romans 12, often called the motivational gifts. I’m going to call them deployments.
Prophet = Reconnaissance.
Leader = Generals.
Teacher = Instructor.
Servant = Soldier.
Exhorter = Drill Sergeant.
Giver = Procurement Officer.
Mercy Giver = Medic.
What if in any Christian organization - a church, a small group, a para-church organization, etc. - people representing each of the gifts organized like this…
The prophet/recon crew take the lay of the land. Who is our target group and what is their status? Are we tasked with rescuing lost people? Are they trapped in certain deceptions, such as New Age beliefs or occultism? Are we tasked with a training operation? What does our target group need in order to become stronger disciples of Christ? What’s wrong? What’s right? Where are strongholds in operation?
The Leader/Generals comes up with the battle strategy. When will we meet? What needs to be taught and in what sequence? Who will do what? What is our prayer strategy?
The teacher/trainer equips the group or organization with Biblical knowledge with a goal of application.
The exhorter/drill sergeant encourages and motivates with a goal of helping each person become the strongest disciple they can be, “spurring one another on to good works.”
The servant/soldiers get the tasks done that must be done to accomplish the mission. For every Maverick in the fighter-jet cockpit, there are a hundred crew members doing all the other things that enable him to fly. They are the wind beneath his wings. They make the copies and the phone calls. They man the registration tables, set up the decorations. and pick up the snacks.
The giver/resource officer considers how the work of the group is funded and manages the necessary material resources.
The mercy-giver/medic spots the wounded members, makes sure they have the treatment they need - prayer, visits, counseling. The goal is to get them back into the battle.
Storming the Gates of Hell
When a young person enlists in the military, he is given an aptitude test to see where they best fit in the overall scheme of things. A spiritual gifts inventory could serve this purpose. Often your deployment is found by trial and error, bur you must be doing something.
“No one is without some graces, and therefore no one is without some duties…It is inconceivable that any Christian should not possess, and be conscious of possessing, some endowment from the life of Christ which will fit him for, and bind him to a course of active service.” (Alexander MacLaren)
Imagine the difference we could make in this world if everyone knew his or her gift and corresponding responsibility and DID it!
Onward Christian Soldiers!