When Attenders Become Contenders

What are you passionate about? A sports team? The latest technology? Your car? Your garden? Whatever it is, you could tell us a lot about it! You could probably unpack the history regarding that subject, along with practical, and fun facts. All of us are learners when it comes to things we are interested in. But how much do you actually know about yourself? Do you know the way you are wired and gifted?

It may come across as narcissistic to want to take some time to discover more about yourself, but what if that was one of the most selfless things you could do?

After all, when we know how God has uniquely gifted us, we are more capable to be conduits of His grace.

Let’s back up. Take a moment to remember what God’s desire has always been when it comes to building a community of people filled with His Spirit. Look at 1 Peter 2:9:

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

While encouraging the believers in the Roman empire to continue to endure, Peter reminds them (and us!) of a very important truth; that we are “a royal priesthood.”

The Church is not a community with priests; it’s a community of priests.

This calls back to Exodus 19:6 when God first spoke this “royal priesthood” language to Israel at Sinai. Priests are consecrated people meant to be mediators between God and man. In other words, the Church (the community of priests in Christ) are mediators of God to the rest of the world. We represent Him through our life and conduct. While we are united in the purpose we have as “a kingdom of priests,” we are unique in our calling; the way in which we carry out our purpose through our personality and spiritual gifts.

We are united in purpose but unique in calling.

Knowing how to be effective with our calling means understanding the way God has wired us.

Our wiring comes from a few key ingredients: personality, identity, skill, and gifting.

  • Personality – this is a concoction of your innate and acquired tendencies, motivations, and character traits that give you your uniqueness. Personality has to do with what kind of person you are. When we call people “kind,” for example, we are classifying them with a trait or attribute that helps describe what they are like (or not like). A lot of our personality is the way we are outside of our faith-orientation. Our relationship with God, however, brings proper alignment to our personality, bringing us closer to who we are supposed to be all along. (Assessments like the Enneagram, DISC, and Meyers-Briggs can help you understand how your personality and motivations interact with the world and people around you.)
  • Identity – the label “Christian” is not just something that can help distinguish what you believe versus other religions or faith systems. It is a marker of identity. It is essentially calling you a “Messiah person.” Nothing is more important than our decision to follow Jesus. Who we are because of our being united to Him marks the most important factor of our identity.
  • Skill – skills are the disciplines or practices you devote yourself to learn or cultivate. Many of us are not born with the skills we have now acquired. Yet, through determination, discipline, and perseverance, we have obtained skills that are valuable to us personally, professionally, and even spiritually!
  • Gifting – this is the God-given ability that the Spirit has put in you to work in tandem with Him in doing kingdom work. (We have a free online assessment that may help you uncover your spiritual gifts. Please consider taking the test.) Romans 12:6-8, 1 Peter 4:10-11, and 1 Corinthians 12 speak about spiritual gifts, but not exhaustively. The key difference between skills and gifting is that skills can be cultivated based on what we want to learn to be able to do. Gifting is different, it comes from the Spirit as a gift, not chosen by us, but chosen by Him for us to leverage through His ability.

Our personality, identity, skill, and gifting come together and function in one of five ministerial “offices” known as the “5-fold ministry

(The “5-fold ministry” has a free online assessment). Each and every one of us functions as one or two of the following “offices” of the ministry:


  • Apostles are those who score highest with an Apostolic position are Dream Awakeners* in the Kingdom of God. They awaken people to their God designed potential. They are instrumental in people discovering who they really are, and walking alongside them to get there. They forge new paths in the Kingdom and are a catalyst for change wherever they go.


  • Prophets are those who score highest with a Prophetic position are Heart Revealers* in the Kingdom of God. They are effective in revealing God’s heart for His people where ever they go. They can accurately discern God’s heart for a situation. They help people experience God’s voice for the very first time and help them develop hearing the voice of God in their own life.


  • Evangelists are those who score highest with an Evangelist position are Story Tellers* in the Kingdom of God. They make the stories of Jesus’s remarkable goodness and love famous. They are the carrier of good news and partner with Jesus in celebrating people’s transformation. They stir curiosity and desire to know Jesus. Their life is a living invitation to all to join the Family of God.


  • Pastors are those who score highest with a Pastoral position are Soul Healers* in the Kingdom of God. They are instrumental in guiding people through brokenness back to wholeness and healing their soul from wounds that keep them where they are. They create a safe atmosphere of family and belonging. They bring fun and enjoyment to God’s ministry and allow people to feel like they are part of a greater family.


  • Teachers are those who score highest with a Teaching Position are Light Givers* in the Kingdom of God. They make the truth and knowledge about God accessible to all. They have an ability for breaking confusion and misinformation. They are strategic in helping people know the truth of God and also how it applies to their own life.

All of this is based straight out of Ephesians 4:11-16.

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Not only is the Church “a kingdom of priests,” but we are a team of ministers! Church leadership, then, is meant to equip YOU for the ministry that happens outside the Sunday gathering. Sundays are for equipping you, the rest of the week is for the Holy Spirit to use you within your sphere of influence, utilizing the calling you have been given.

All our Church gatherings from Sundays to Life Groups to classes are not meant to entertain you. They are meant to equip you for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:12).

When you and I embrace our unique role as ministers we make a greater impact on society. For this very reason, our vision statement reads: “Developing Christ-centered leaders who change their world.”

That is why we are passionate about self-discovery. Because your wiring is not only meant for you, its meant for building up the body of Christ and expanding the kingdom of God. Therefore the better you know your personality, identity, skill, gifting, and office, the better you will be prepared to fulfill your God-given calling.

As church members, let’s recognize that we are all ministers. And by doing so, we will go from a group of attenders to contenders for God’s Kingdom.

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