Training is essential. In the Book of Ephesians Paul wrote of the need for the “equipping of the saints” to take place in the Church of God. That is the role of the office gifts: Pastor, Teacher, Evangelist, Prophet, Apostle. As those offices of the church are in function, the Church is equipped to do works of ministry. Effectiveness is hopefully accomplished. I say “hopefully” because there are other factors to take into consideration. We also need to be willing to obey. We need to be hungry for results. God shows up in our settings as we say, “Here I am!”
At times I have been guilty of asking people to do more than they have been comfortably able to do. Comfort isn’t the only factor to take into consideration in ministry, but we as leaders are foolish if we discount the importance of people’s feelings. To miss out on this factor is to slowly erode the strength and enthusiasm of our teams. Just because you as the leader are decent at walking out your version of ministry doesn’t mean your team will flourish in those same areas.
We can fall prey to gift projection. For example, just because I find it fairly easy to talk to strangers that doesn’t mean others will find it possible to reasonably engage with those they have never met. Or just because I as their leader find it fairly easy to share my faith that doesn’t mean others will be able to find it possible to convey their belief in Jesus in a natural way. The job of the leader is to empower those he is leading with the mission at hand. Leaders remove barriers to their followers face to the big picture.
As the office gifts in the Church world function rightly there will be plenty of courage to go around. The name of the game is to stir up the gifts of God he has placed within us. That’s the balance in all of this. Let’s focus on the unique gifts God has placed within each of us. Let’s take those seriously. Let’s celebrate those in one another. There’s no point in trying to imitate the gifts of others. God doesn’t make copies. He is only into making originals! You are an original work of God.