Summary: In looking at the lit of spiritual gifts in Romans 12:6-8, we've looked at prophecy, service, teaching, encouraging and giving so far. Today we will learn about the gift of leading.

GIFTED (part five)

The seven gifts listed in Rom. 12:6-8 are: Prophecy, Service, Teaching, Encouraging, Giving, Leading, Mercy. Last week we looked at Encouragement and Giving. The OT word for encouragement means to strengthen. To encourage is to inspire, to lift someone’s spirits, to instill hope.

Encouragers are the ones who readily come alongside other believers to motivate, comfort, console, counsel and strengthen them. It's the ability to challenge those who are wavering in their faith or stimulate those who are lazy in the faith. We are all supposed to encourage one another but those with the gift are able to do it more naturally and effectively.

The NT word for encouragement means to comfort. Being an encourager means we sympathize and empathize; we acknowledge their sorrow, anxiety and fear as real and encourage them despite those fears. We meet them where they are and we help them to find the strength to move forward. Someone with the gift of encouragement is able to both comfort and challenge someone. They have the right mix of calmness and firmness. You can tell they love you but they're going to give it to you straight.

Giving. The gift of giving consists of generously providing resources and money to further the work of the kingdom. They have an automatic response to contribute to worthy causes. They ask, "what can I do to meet this financial or material need?" They are generous people; not just with their finances but also with their goods and time. They love to give but they're wise about how they go about it.

And you don't have to be rich to have the gift of giving; it's about the love behind the giving; not the amount. The desire to give is there regardless of your financial situation. Those who have the gift of giving also have the ability to trust that God will take care of them when they give. Those who have the gift of giving also have joy. You can give without joy because some give begrudgingly or with ulterior motives; but you can't have the gift of giving without having joy and appreciation for God's blessings.

Today we'll focus on looking into the gift of leadership.

1) What is a leader?

A leader is someone who has the ability to take charge and lead others with care and diligence. People with this gift are able to see what needs to be done and set goals and track progress. They can motivate and get people on board to accomplish the work of the ministry. They have the ability to coordinate the abilities of others to achieve common goals.

They process the questions of what's the vision, what's the unmet need and what's the aim or goal? They ask what will be hoped for from the results. They can often see the big picture. They can motivate people to use their strengths to accomplish the goals. They are willing to take chances or risks but they do so in a calculated way.

They don't like disorganization; they want things to be in order. They have a plan; they develop a target and they have a timeline. They can envision how things can come together and work out. People are drawn to them; they admire their ability to take charge and get things done.

However, one of the dangers in having this gift is they can get pushy with people. They can be too goal-oriented to where they're not very engaging on a personal level. They can be intense to the point of not exercising patience and grace.

But think of the people you know who are great leaders. They might be in the military, a coach, a boss or someone else. What qualities do you see in them that made them great leaders? Did they know how to bring everyone together and fight for the singular cause?

Did they know how to give a pep talk to get everyone on board and fired-up? Was it their ability to seem to know everything that was going on and deal with it efficiently? Was it their ability to manage the affairs of the organization? Was it the way they were able to take a fledgling team or company and turn things around?

Leaders are people who don't panic in stressful situations. They are able to manage themselves so they can be of sound mind to manage situations and people. Leaders are like a rock-steady in the storm. People look to them to know what to do next.

In order to be a good leader you must first be a good follower. Jesus talked about this principle. Two of his apostles, James and John, who were brothers, approached Jesus with their mother and inquired about obtaining the highest seats of honor in the kingdom of heaven-the ones to the left and right of Jesus.

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