Go ahead and breathe a sigh of relief… this won’t be a gluten-free blog! I’m referring to your corporate spiritual body—the body of Christ in your spheres of influence. As a leader, you’re familiar with the built-in limitations of your own gifting and the need to have team members with different giftings. But let’s take that concept into larger realms.
Twice a year I meet with a small group of pregnancy ministry leaders from across the nation. Here’s what I’ve observed. Each of our ministries has one “shining star” area—an area God’s especially schooled us in, so it’s highly reflective of His wisdom and ways. It’s not that the other aspects are dull; it’s just that this one outshines the rest.
Here’s what typically happens. When we’re together, these shining stars become obvious. So we ask a certain leader to share about his or her area of expertise, and we all become students. Recently, I was so struck by one leader’s philosophy on sharing the gospel that I wanted my leadership team to hear it straight from her. A few weeks after the retreat, we had a conference call with her and light bulbs went on for our entire team. We’re grateful for her God-given wisdom and are eager to implement it.
5 Realms for Experiencing Body Life
- Know your gifting. If you don’t already know your primary gifting from Romans 12:3-8, read through the list, ask the Lord to help you identify it, and ask a few close associates to weigh in as well.
- Build your team with variety. While leaders have multifaceted gifts and skill sets, no leader has anywhere close to all of them. God gave us complimentary gifts, designed to be used in concert with others. Prayerfully form a team with a spectrum of gifts represented.
- Relate to similar ministries in your region. Identify ministries within driving distance whose mission is like yours. Reach out to those leaders, develop relationships with them, and consider meeting regularly as a group to learn from each other.
- Network with similar ministries nationally. Geographically broadening your sphere will enable you to meet with ministry leaders whose outreach, budgets, and staff-size are comparable. You’ll have even more in common with these leaders and greater learning opportunities.
- Partner with like-minded ministries. Stay attuned to Spirit-led opportunities to partner with organizations that aren’t identical to yours. Discern ways you can join forces with them to build God’s kingdom.
Our “shining star” area of ministry can be so bright and alluring that we neglect other areas. But God wants the fullness of His wisdom to be reflected through every aspect of our ministries. We won’t accomplish this on our own. A healthy, well-rounded ministry has a leader who is connected with and learning from many other ministry leaders.
We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which He has the final say in everything… A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together… The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part.
1 Corinthians 12:12-27 (MSG)
In the Comment Section below, share an experience where you learned from another leader whose personal gifting, or ministry gifting, differed from yours.