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Summary: The serving gifts allow us to help and comfort others in the body. #4 of 5.

Title: Understanding The Serving Gifts

Series: Discovering God’s Special Gifts

Text: 1 Corinthians 12:8-10; Romans 12:6-8

Theme: The serving gifts allow us to help and comfort others in the body.

I. LEADERSHIP/ADMINISTRATION/RULING – PROVIDING DIRECTION TO THE BODY.

Romans 12:8

“…he who leads, with diligence;”

Note: In Romans 12:8, the word leadership comes from the Greek word proistemi (pro-is’-tay-mee), which means to stand before others. In 1 Corinthians 12:28 it comes from the word kubernesis (koo-ber’-nay-sis – translated governments) which means to steer or pilot a ship. Both words refer to the gift of leadership.

A. A Leader Keeps The Church On Course Toward Its Proper Destination.

Quote: John Maxwell, noted expert in the field of leadership says, “He who thinketh he leadeth, and hath no one following, is only taking a walk.”

Illustration: A Sense of Direction

A woman driving through Oregon over the Cascade Range ran into a snowstorm and became very frightened. Then she peered ahead and saw a snowplow. What luck! She kept as close to the machine as she could while it removed snow from the road.

At times the heavy snowfall almost cut off her view, but her faithful guide kept on leading the way. After some time, the plow stopped, and its driver got out and walked over to her car.

"Lady, where are you going?" he asked.

"I’m on my way to Central Oregon," she replied.

"Well, you’ll never get there following me! I’m plowing this parking lot!"

Do you ever feel like you’re moving in circles, running around aimlessly? Who are you following? (http://www.sermonnotes.com, January 24, 2002.)

1. A leader must have vision given to him by the Holy Spirit.

2. A leader must have the ability to inspire and motivate people as God leads.

3. A leader must be a consistent example to those whom he leads.

B. Absence Of Leadership Results In Spiritual And Moral Decay. (Judges 21:25)

C. A Leader Must Be Diligent In His Task.

1. Leadership is not magnetic personality; that can just as well be a slick tongue.

2. It is not making friends and influencing people; that is flattery.

3. Leadership is:

a. lifting a person’s vision to higher sights,

b. the raising of a person’s performance to higher standards,

c. the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations. (http://www.christianglobe.com/illustrations/, Peter Drucker.)

II. HELPS/SERVICE – SUPPORTING QUIETLY IN THE BODY. (Romans 12:7)

Note: In Romans 12, the Greek word for serving is diakonia, from which we get our word deacon. In 1 Corinthians 12, the word is antilepsis (an-til’-ape-sis), which means to give relief. These refer to the same spiritual gift of service.

A. The Gift Of Helps Is The Ability To Bear The Burdens Of Others. (Galatians 6:2)

B. The Gift Of Helps Is Vitally Important To Those In The Ministry. (Philippians 2:25, 30)

C. The Gift Of Helps Is Not Glamorous Or Showy.

1. It is a gift of serving on a day-by-day basis, often without notice or recognition.

2. It is God’s gift, and its faithful ministry is highly prized by Him and by any leader who knows the value of supporting people behind the scenes.

Illustration: A Single Dollar Bill

Friday, October 5th, 2001, was not shaping up to be a good day. My wife and I were already running late leaving for a trip to Pennsylvania, and she still had to stop at work for an errand. To compound our lateness, security at her office had drastically increased since September 11th, 2001. The guards wanted to search our vehicle and unpack our luggage. That would take quite some time and I objected wholeheartedly. We avoided the search by letting her walk through the gate while I sat in the car outside the facility.

I was fuming, sweating, and constantly looking at my watch because we had a three-hour drive ahead of us. When my wife returned, I was not in the best of moods, and neither was she. We spent most of the following 20 minutes cursing security and similar activities. Not a great start to what was supposed to be a romantic weekend getaway.

Our route to Pennsylvania took us through the tunnels outside Baltimore, a route I’d taken many times. I usually stay in the left lane of the northbound tubes to avoid traffic at the tollbooth, and this time was no exception.

However, on exiting the tunnel, all the booth lanes on our side were either closed or only for "Easy-Pass", an electronic automated toll system. Traffic for the other lanes was backed up almost to the tunnel exits. I managed to squeeze into the next lane to the right, and watched other less fortunate souls traveling much further up before being able to merge.

As we inched forward, I noticed one driver to my left. She had realized her situation too late to join the back of the line, and had to sit as car after car passed her. Finally I came by and motioned her in, not really thinking twice about it. By the time we approached the booth, I’d already forgotten about letting the other driver into the lane.

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