As I stated in a previous post, I am gearing up to teach a course on the spiritual gifts at my church. As in another post I talked about how all the spiritual gifts are important. Now I am going to begin (over a series of several posts) to outline what each of the gifts mentioned in the Bible are. And I’m going to start with one many people have, but do not think is important, because they don’t understand the true importance of it, and that is Serving aka Helps.
1 Cor 12:28 lists helps as one of the gifts given to mankind. The gift of service is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the body of Christ to identify unmet needs involved in a task related to God’s work, and to make use of available resources to meet those needs and help accomplish the desired goals1
Many times you find people with the gift of serving / helps working behind the scenes. It is not necessarily a public gift and people who truly operate in this gift many times don’t want to be seen anyways. They many times work in skilled professions where they can help people professionally (janitor, plumber, nurse, housewife… yes housewife, for someone like me it takes skill to keep a house clean 🙂
Many times people with the gift of helps also have some or all of the following gifts: hospitality, mercy, and/or encouragement. I know a man who is the perfect example of this gift, he worked as a carpenter (now retired), he is always doing things to help the pastor, and while he was working on a building project where I also work he kept giving me half his lunch (for which I was very thankful, the food was always very good and I didn’t have much at the time), and he is always complimenting and encouraging people. He built our new sound booth at church, he faithfully came in and cleaned the church each Saturday. He is a true servant.
The “cons” / pitfalls that people who operate in this gift must watch out for are: over-committing because they find it hard to say no, pride (they can become proud of what they do), they can be pushy, they can get grouchy at those of us who don’t serve (lack of understanding of their gift and other’s gifts), they can be too quick to help people who really need to learn a lesson (that God is trying to teach them), can’t delegate, and may neglect devotions to help others.
But the biggest thing that people who have this gift miss is the true reason for this gift: to support the move of the Spirit. They perform tasks the rest of us don’t like doing or don’t even think about, so that we can focus on the things that God has called us to do. I know a man who is a powerful public speaker and moves in a strong gift of healing, but when he’s ministering, having to take the cover off of his water bottle knocks him out of the flow of the Spirit. I know it sounds funny, but it’s true. Someone who operates in the gift of serving, will see this and make sure that not only does he have a water bottle, but that the top has been removed before he begins speaking so that he flows in an uninterrupted move of the Spirit. It does not sound like much, but to that minister it is important.
Another example is that my pastor is not a techie, he gets by with email and surfing the web and does basic PowerPoint. But if the DVD will not play in the computer he probably wouldn’t know how to fix it. Also, many times in the middle of a service he gets an idea and needs / wants a video or song and I find it for him. I allow him to focus on the rest of the service and things that he is good at. I don’t have a big gift of helps (not like my carpenter friend I mentioned above), but I support the move of God by making sure that the technology works as best as possible.
So if your gift is working with your hands, if you notice the things that need to be done and just do it, and nobody sees you do it. Good! Your reward is in heaven, but don’t ever think that your gift is not important. Without people like you, buildings wouldn’t get built, serviced, and maintained so that God could meet with His children in a public setting, and the things we count on each week to support the functions of the church would break down and be useless. You truly are helping make and maintain a place for God to dwell, and making sure things run right so that the people can focus on God and not on the things that are not working right.
1 Motivational Gift of Serving / Helps