Gift of Craftsmanship

Exodus 31:2-5

See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah,  and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts- to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship.

The gift of craftsmanship or artisanry is the third of what I consider the “labor gifts.”  Each is similar but distinct.  While service is unskilled labor and helps is skilled, craftsmanship is the least likely to be learned without just being gifted with it.

God has enabled certain people to do beautiful works of art and craftsmanship.  These people were used in the construction of the tabernacle under Moses’ leadership.

In our modern age, the church has possibly stunted the works of skilled artisans.  During the Renaissance however, almost all of the great works produced were either commissioned by the church or otherwise produced for the glory of God.  Today we see less of it but not for a lack of talent available.

The church has become formulaic in our worship at times.  We need the work of artists to spice things up some.  Today it might appear in the form of video, drama, or even websites.

If God has gifted you to do beautiful works of art, regardless of the medium, it is needed within the church today and should be used for His glory.

Gift of Pastoring

1 Timothy 4:12-13

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.

The gift of pastoring is also known as shepherding.  If you’ve ever read about shepherds, you know what tremendous responsibility they take in tending to their flock.

It is much the same with pastors.  They are nurturers who look out for the sheep and protect them.  But they also look out for the sheep and must guide them and correct them from going astray.

People with the gift of pastoring do not necessarily have to be pastors.  Many women rate high in this gift, most likely in part to a natural motherly instinct.  Denominations differ on whether to allow women as pastors or not but there are many ways to use this gift outside of the pulpit.

People with the gift of pastoring make good small group leaders or Sunday school teachers.  They are good in places of hospitality and mercy.  A person with the gift of pastoring may excel in virtually any place where they may be involved in caring for the spiritual well being of another.

Shepherding does not need to take place from the pulpit.  In fact most of the work is done away from it.  Those with this gift should put it to use caring for God’s people wherever they feel they best fit.

Gift of Evangelism

Matthew 28:18-20

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Our Lord’s instructions to go and make disciples of all nations is not limited to just those who are gifted evangelists.  But our modern translations do this passage a disservice as well.  We read “go” as an imperative that we must really get out and do it.  Instead, this passage is better translated “as you are going.”

In other words, you should be evangelizing wherever you are.  People with this gift do this naturally without feeling uncomfortable or needing to prod people.

I was taking a preaching class a few years ago and one guy stood out above the rest.  My problem was that he came across as too polished and it seemed very fake like the guys on TV you don’t know whether to trust.

My opinion changed when I had lunch with him.  He was genuine.  He struck up a conversation with everybody and prayed with two or three people right there in the restaurant.

If you have the gift of evangelism it doesn’t mean you have to get up and move or go overseas.  Your backyard is your mission field.  The restaurant and grocery store is your mission field.  Everywhere you go you’ll find people who need Christ.  Your job is to reach them with the good news.

Gift of Administration

Exodus 18:17-21

Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good.  You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.  Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him.  Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform.  But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.

Moses was a talented leader.  He confronted Pharaoh boldly and led the Israelites out of Egypt.  He was also a wise counselor, settling disputes among the Israelites.  One thing he was not was an administrator.

It took the insight and gift of his father-in-law Jethro to see that what he was doing was going to burn him out.  He needed to be more efficient.  Administration guys are the ones that repeat the “Work smarter, not harder” mantra.  Sure, it’s cliché’ but there is truth to it as well.

While leaders can lead a group of people to accomplish a certain task or realize a certain vision, administrators are the ones who visualize the details that will get it done.

I can recall organizing a Sunday school class picnic.  My idea of organizing was setting a time, place, and date.  Show up then with food and we’ll eat.  Then the administrators (the women in this case) all start asking “will there be drinks provided?” “Who’s bringing what so we don’t have duplicates.”

I was happy to just show up and have food, regardless whether there were two potato salads.  But administrators saw the little things that made the difference and took care of details I may have overlooked.

Gift of Helps

Romans 16:1-2

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me.

The gift of helps is very similar to the gift of service.  Both are gifts that are used in a physical way.  Many people even lump these two gifts together but I believe there is reason to separate them.

People with the gift of service tend to minister anonymously.  They may likely even prefer it, working in the background, doing things that others don’t desire to do.  People with the gift of helps labor more in the forefront.

Those with the gift of helps are skilled laborers.  Not that this makes them better than unskilled workers but only certain people can do what they do.  They are electricians, plumbers, construction workers, and carpenters.  These are the people who are called upon by the church when there is a specific need and often they provide their services for free or at a reduced rate.

People with the gift of helps are also the ones who have a keen eye as to what may need to be done or what the church may need in the future as it moves forward.  For this reason they make important trustees or property commission people.