Fellowship of Serving: Service Gifts

Do you know someone that is always ready to jump to the aid of others? They defend the defenseless and they are quick to offer forgiveness and a fresh start. They make sacrifices to meet the needs of others. They put the needs of others ahead of their own. They love to entertain and to show acts of kindness toward others. Such a person is one who has spiritual gifts in the category of service gifts. The service gifts include: Giving, Mercy, and Service. There are many ways that these gifts can be used for the edifying of the church and for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. Those who have these gifts serve well in benevolent and hospitality ministries of the church. They also serve well to use these gifts in the fulfillment of the Great Commission by showing people the love of Jesus through acts of kindness. Those with these gifts have an overwhelming love for people and are very sensitive to the needs of others.

The Gift of Giving. We see the gift of giving mentioned in Romans 12:8 where it says, “…he that giveth let him do it with simplicity.” The word ‘give’ in Romans 12:8 comes from the Greek word. ‘haplotes.’ It means to give sincerely, generously, and without prentice or hypocrisy. Those with this gift, according to Romans 12:13, “Distribute to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” The Holy Spirit gives the gift of giving specifically to certain believers as He wills and strategically places them in local churches for the purpose of meeting various needs of the church and its ministries, missionaries, or of people in need. The purpose of having those with the gift of giving in the church is to encourage and to provide. Those with this gift will share what God has blessed them with and they regularly seek out opportunities to be a blessing to others.  They are very hospitable people and always has an open hand to receive what God gives to them and to let it flow through them to others. Those with the gift of giving are very good stewards. They typically handle their finances well and will often adjust their own lifestyle in order to give more to evangelistic efforts and to the care of the needy.

All believers are encouraged to give. We are instructed in scripture to give tithes and offerings to the church and we are instructed to help those in need. 2 Corinthians 9:7 sheds light on the issue of giving. “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” There are several principles we learn about giving from this verse. (1) Give as God leads you. Giving according as one purposes in his heart means to give according as God lays it upon your heart. We may also say that we are to give according to how the Holy Spirit convicts us to give. We know that we are to give tithes and offerings to the church because that is clearly taught in scripture. Every believer is convicted by the Holy Spirit in accordance to God’s Word to give tithes and offerings to the work of the local church. However, above and beyond our regular giving we may also be convicted to give to other missional causes or to help others in need. The Holy Spirit may convict some to give more than others. The Holy Spirit especially works in the heart of those to whom He has given the gift of giving to reveal to them specifically how and to whom they should give. Whether you have the gift of giving or not you are to give tithes and offerings to the church because all believers are commanded to do so. We are also to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and be obedient to His leading when it comes to additional giving. (2) Don’t give out of obligation or guilt. We should give not because we have to or we feel guilty if we don’t. (3) Give cheerfully. We should give because we want to. We should give cheerfully. We should have fun with giving and should give with great joy.

The Gift of Mercy. Another service gift is the gift of mercy. All believers in Christ are called to be merciful just as God is merciful to us. There is a good illustration of our need to show mercy to others in Matthew 18:23-33. Jesus tells the parable of the unforgiving servant and in verse 33 He says, “Shouldest not thou also have had compassion (mercy) on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee?” Though we are all called to show mercy toward others, there are those to whom the Holy Spirit has given a specific gift of mercy. Those with this gift are tuned in to the needs of others. They have a concern for both the physical and spiritual well-being of others. Those with this gift will assist those who are suffering and walk with them until the Lord relieves them of the burden. The gift of mercy is expressed in great compassion for others. Those with the gift are very sensitive to the sufferings of others. They share their pain. They have an overwhelming desire to be there for those who are suffering. They are driven by a desire to help others.

The Gift of Service. Found in Romans 12:7 as ‘ministering’ or ‘serving’ is a reference to waiting tables. It is referred to as acts of service done in genuine love. This gift is often spoken of as the gift of helps. In 1 Corinthians 12:28 this gift is defined as helping or aiding the community. The Holy Spirit gives this gift to those within the church as He wills to fill the many gaps of ministry and meet the needs of the church as it works to fulfill the Great Commission. The goal is to perform acts of service so that others will be freed up to use their gifts in carrying out the mission of the church. Those with this gift do not desire the spotlight, rather, they work well behind the scenes. Those with this gift are most suitable for ministries within the church such as serving in the kitchen, serving as trustees, working on special projects, etc.

Though the service gifts are not typically in the spotlight, it is important that we recognize and show appreciation to those who use the service gifts for the edification of the church and for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. There are many things in the church that simply would not happen if it were not for those with the service gifts. If you believe the Holy Spirit has given you these gifts, then get involved. Look for ways that you can serve and get connected with those ministries in the church that gives you the greatest opportunity to use your gifts for the glory of God.

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