the shape of leadership

Six Ways Spiritual Gifts Help Outside of Services

The Spirit’s work isn’t just for church

Influence Magazine on May 8, 2019

When you think of the gifts of the Spirit, what’s the context? Perhaps you only appreciate them as a way to lead in worship services. But there is so much more!

Scripture talks a lot about the Spirit’s work in the Church. One of the best-known passages is in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians:

To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:8-10).

What can this list of gifts teach us about leaning on the Holy Spirit Monday through Friday? Here are six ways spiritual gifts can help us outside of weekend services:

1. Wisdom and Knowledge

Within a worship service, the gift of wisdom or knowledge may lead the senior pastor, the worship leader or any other minister to redirect the flow of the service according to the Spirit’s will.

Outside of that context, these gifts can powerfully direct other areas of your life and ministry. You may be able to make a better decision about finances because of a word of wisdom from God. Your path may lead you to someone who needs your witness because of a word of knowledge. Your counseling sessions may become more effective when God leads you to present a word of wisdom.

The Holy Spirit wants to move in the lives of people, regardless of whether they are physically at church.

2. Faith and Healing

Many churches offer prayer for healing during services. But what about outside of service times? The Holy Spirit wants to move in the lives of people, regardless of whether they are physically at church. In fact, those most in need of help are often unable to attend.

As you read the Gospels and Acts, take note of how frequently people receive healing somewhere other than a synagogue or church. Ask God to show you opportunities to pray for the sick outside of church.

3. Miracles

“Miracles happen,” according to a popular worship song. That’s especially true in worship, but what about outside the walls of your church? What miracle do you need? Perhaps it’s as mundane as a letter from the zoning board, an open invitation to a school or a large donation. Whatever you need from God, ask the Holy Spirit to show up miraculously.

4. Prophecy

Words of prophecy are part of the Pentecostal experience. But do we relegate prophecy only to worship services? A prophetic word in the midst of a workday may be just as powerful. God wants to speak to you and through you, wherever you go.

5. Discernment

Perhaps the most overlooked of any spiritual gift is “distinguishing between spirits,” more commonly known as discernment. Any business agreement must involve discernment. The hiring and managing of staff is another area that requires discernment. Dealing with the public at large is another instance. There are really no limits to the need for discernment.

6. Tongues

The public proclamation of tongues with interpretation has always been a hallmark of worship in Pentecostal churches. Outside those walls, tongues are still vital to the life of any Spirit-filled believer. Your personal prayer language is a way to connect with the Spirit on a different level. It invites deep intercession as well.

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