Understanding Purpose in Christian Ministry (PART 4)

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To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. (Matthew 25:15)

Compliments! It’s a new year! Blessed be the name of the LORD, the one who saw us through 2023 and is set to do greater things in our lives and ministries in 2024. May we receive the grace to connect well with Him this year so we can be able to take a full delivery of all that He has got to offer us! Amen!

Towards the end of 2023, we began to examine “Understanding Purpose in Christian Ministry|” and won’t be out of place if we continue this at such a time as this when many visions and ideas are being conceived, many plans written plainly and many programmes and project about to be executed.

The last time on this series, we considered talents and skills which are given to us and as well given grace to acquire respectively for a definite purpose, but today we shall focus on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

It is unfortunate and disheartening that there are still many ministers today that don’t know their spiritual gifts and neither do they have a full understanding of the operations of the same. For instance, the usefulness of hoe and cutlass is known to almost everybody just as that of hook, net, basket and canoe. Just as you wouldn’t expect a man given a hoe and a cutlass to head for a river to fish, so you wouldn’t expect a man given a hook, net, a basket and a canoe to head for a farm to farm. Notwithstanding, success here begins with knowledge.

It is basic that every minister understands his basic spiritual gifts such as the revelational gifts (word of knowledge, word of wisdom and discernment), the vocal gifts (tongues, interpretation of tongues and prophecy), the power gifts (faith, healing and working of miracles), and others such as the gift of leadership, giving, serving, teaching, exhortation, and mercy. These gifts often define our spiritual office and spiritual operations.

God doesn’t place a demand on any minister not having equipped him with all he needs to meet such demands. For instance, God will never ask any minister to be accountable for not healing another if He hasn’t been given him the gifts of healing, and neither will He ask anyone to be accountable for refusal to interpret a tongue when He hasn’t given him the gift of interpretation of tongues. Also, God doesn’t reward any man for the mandate He has not given him but that he decides to fulfill on his own.

We don’t do ministry by prediction, but by precision. One of our major problems is always trying to do what we feel like doing, what seems to attract attention to us, what seems materially profitable, what earns us applause, e.t.c. This is nothing, but self-inflicted affliction.

For ministers who can’t identify their spiritual gifts; one of the ways they can is to study about all the spiritual gifts earlier mentioned and see the ones expressive in their lives. Aside that, they should listen to the testimonies of mature believers and that of the Church about them. This is easier where there is good ministerial discipleship structure. This is where success begins, because at this point you will be sure of the circumference of your calling even when you don’t have a full detail of it. This will help you to know your limitations and help avoid expending your energy where your work will not be divinely rewarded.


Pastor Raphael Adegoke is a Pastor in Christ Apostolic Church (Nigeria & Overseas) and a Lecturer in Christ Apostolic Church Theological Seminary.

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