Sometimes when thinking about the spiritual gifts needed for church growth, we might be tempted to identify just a few strategic gifts. However, if we really stop to think about it, we’d have to lengthen that list to include all.
Biblical Basis for All Spiritual Gifts Needed for Church Growth
If we only pull on verses like Matthew 28:19-20, the Great Commission, we might limit the spiritual gifts needed for church growth to those which are more of an outreach nature. A broader view of that verse, however, takes discipleship beyond conversion to also include spiritual maturation. And so, we must add shepherding and teaching types of gifts into the mix to ensure not only quantitative but also qualitative growth.
For a verse that would most suggest the role of all spiritual gifts in church growth, look at Ephesians 4:16. — “From him (Christ) the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Eph. 4:16) While there are ways everybody can do their part in church growth regardless of spiritual gifting, we must acknowledge that this verse was written in the context of spiritual gifting in the church so it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that spiritual gifts should factor in on the part each member of the Body has in church growth.
How Different Spiritual Gifts Assist in Growing the Church
As you look at your church, try to identify people with spiritual gifting to be used in different facets of church growth. (Click on the links to learn more about the gifts mentioned below.)
1) Who sees the potential of where your Body could grow? — These visionary members tend to be those with the spiritual gift of leadership.
2) Who wholeheartedly believes God is able to take the Body to greater levels of growth, fervently prays toward that end, and inspires others to trust that God can do it? — People who believe God is able even when circumstances or resources seem to negate growth tend to have the gift of faith.
3) Who passionately seeks to share the Gospel with people who do not know the Lord, to lead them into a saving knowledge and relationship with Him? — Those most directly instrumental in conversion growth tend to have the spiritual gift of evangelism.
4) Who are the teachers, shepherds, and those who otherwise spur people on in their spiritual maturation so qualitative growth follows quantitative growth? — Among many who could be involved in this process are those with the gifts of pastor, teaching, exhortation, and prophecy.
5) Who works, often behind the scenes, to set a good first impression that whets the appetite of those who visit your church, increasing their potential of returning? — People with the spiritual gifts of administration, service, and helps could have a part in this, each in a different way to bring coordination, efficiency, and excellence to ministry strategies and facilities.
6) Who makes visitors feel welcome? — Those who warmly greet newcomers and help make them feel like your church is a place they could belong often tend to have the gift of hospitality.
7) Who builds a grace-filled environment conducive to growth? — People who help meet needs, whether physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual, that builds people up tend to have the spiritual gift of mercy and/or exhortation.
8) Who does God often use to sacrificially provide for church growth efforts? — Members with the spiritual gift of giving often go beyond the tithe and are used by God to supply needs for ministries that help the church grow.
10) Who would be best to lead the effort should your growth get to the point where it’s time to plant another church or new ministry initiative? — Those with the spiritual gifts of apostle, leadership, and faith definitely should have a major part in the initial stages of church planting. But, all of the above are also needed as these same factors must be a part of a new initiative for continued growth.
As you can see, it truly does take everybody doing their part for the church to grow both quantitatively through conversions and qualitatively through maturing and becoming healthy … to experience people coming to salvation in Jesus and growing in that relationship.