ep. 89 spiritual gifts and the church

Matt Lantz

ep. 89 | Spiritual Gifts and the Church with Matt Lantz

On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I’m chatting with Matt Lantz about serving the Body of Christ with our spiritual gifts. Matt gave us an overview of the purpose and function of each of the spiritual gifts and how we can go about identifying our gifts and use them to serve in our local churches. What’s the purpose of stewarding our gifts for the glory of God?

If you’re a long-time listener you will know him already, but just in case you missed his first two appearances on the podcast, Matt is a husband, father, and pastor who lives in Fort Worth, Texas with his wife and three children. He’s a graduate of TCU and Dallas Theological Seminary and has been working in full-time ministry since 2000 preparing the way for the Lord Jesus in the lives of men and women. Matt was the founding director of a discipleship program called the Forge at Pine Cove where he spent 12 years helping young men and women learn their identity and steward it well. He has recently moved on from the Forge and is now the West Campus Pastor for Christ Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth, TX.

  1. Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you do?

  2. What is a spiritual gift? What’s the difference between a spiritual gift and a talent or skill?

  3. What’s the purpose of the spiritual gifts?

  4. What gifts are listed in scripture?

  5. Can you give us a brief overview of each of the spiritual gifts?

  6. How do we obtain a spiritual gift?

  7. Can we have more than one spiritual gift?

  8. How do we know what gift we’ve been given?

  9. Once we know our gift, what are we to do with it?

  10. How can we grow in and develop our gifts for the glory of God?

THREE QUESTIONS FOR MATT

  1. What 3 resources would you recommend for someone who wants to learn to utilize their spiritual gift(s)?

  2. What’s been the most influential experience you’ve had in developing your own spiritual gifts(s)?

  3. Popular listener question: do you have any tips/guidelines for developing an identity statement like the one the listeners have heard me share?

NOTEWORTHY QUOTES

“A spiritual gift is a specific manifestation of the Spirit’s work in and through us as believers of Jesus. It tends to have a coordinating effect on all of us as individuals as the Body of Christ so we can do the work that God has called us to do as one body.” 

“A spiritual gift is a manifestation of the Spirit, a Spirit-empowered ability but it’s also a role, or purpose, or mission that the ability has been given for.”

“A spiritual gift isn’t just a spiritual ability, but it’s a spiritual ability that has a spiritual purpose. Whoever invented a hammer, they had a specific purpose in mind. Whoever designed it, gave it a special form, a special function, a special ability so that it could do what it was designed to do. Spiritual gifts are the way that happens in and through Christians as they believe in Jesus and grow in Christ and become more like him.”  

“Spiritual gifts have three purposes: given to equip the Saints for the work of ministry (help us do what God has called us to do), to build up the Body of Christ (encourage us, help us grow, comfort us, challenge us), and as each of us wield and employ our gifts they make us one. We are united together. There is a unifying purpose of spiritual gifts more so than a distinguishing purpose of spiritual gifts.” 

“The manifestation of the Spirit in our lives through these abilities and roles, isn’t so we can distinguish ourselves and make something of ourselves, but it is to unify us as followers of Christ in the same mission that we have together as the Church to make the Kingdom of God available to everyone.”

“Know the numbers 12 and 4: 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 4. It’s in those four passages that you’ll find the majority of the listing of the gifts.”

1 Corinthians 12: wisdom, knowledge, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, teaching, helping, administration

Romans 12: Prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, giving, leadership, mercy

Ephesians 4: apostleship, prophecy, evangelism, pastoring, teaching

1 Peter 4: speaking, service

“No one gift is mentioned in all four texts. Only two of the gifts are mentioned in three of the four texts. None of them are really over emphasized. They are not meant to be distinguishers as they are unifiers.”

“There are a lot of different interpretations of the gifts.”

Spiritual Gifts:

  • Prophecy: forth-telling of the Word of God

  • Service and Helps: caring for the physical needs for the Body of Christ; willing to serve in any means necessary

  • Teaching: take the Word of God and clearly explain and apply its truth in a way that helps other people learn and apply the Scriptures themselves

  • Exhortation: motivating other people to respond to God’s word; tend to be people that challenge us and stimulate our faith

  • Giving: ability to be generous in a way that is full of faith, typically in regard to material resources

  • Leadership: leading people to do the things God would have them to do; communicating well, casting vision, and motivating people to what God would have us to do as a whole

  • Mercy: the things that move and break the heart of God will also move the heart of these people; empathize well; compassionate; know how to enter into suffering and distress and other difficulties

  • Wisdom: helping other people see the world the way God sees the world

  • Knowledge: able to take information and communicate to other people in a way that helps them learn and grow; communicate deeper truths that others aren’t able to see

  • Faith: take risks that others aren’t able to; have a vision for where God is taking people and they will take the first step in that direction, especially when things indicate the steps shouldn’t be taken

  • Administration: those that know how to steer a group of people and organize systems in a way that benefits others

  • Evangelism: clear and effective in the presentation of the gospel

  • Shepherd/Pastoring: caring of souls; lead, nourish, protect, and care for the souls of people together

  • Discernment: ability to distinguish motives and thoughts and inclinations of the hearts of other people; observant in order to call people away from sin, call them up into what God has called them to do, or calling people forward in faith

  • *Healing: supernatural curing of illnesses; restoration of health

  • *Miracles: miraculous signs and works that demonstrate the Kingdom of God

  • *Tongues: receiving a message in a language that the recipient doesn’t know and requires an interpretation

  • *Apostleship: a gift that bestows authority on someone to lead

*This gift is considered a miraculous gift. There is considerable debate among Christians as to how this gift manifests itself for the Body of Christ (if at all).

“When people wield their gifts they experience satisfaction, other people are edified, and God gets glory. When we are using our gifts the way God designed for us to, it is a blessing. That’s why they are called gifts. They aren’t gifts because they belong to us. They are gifts because we give them away to other people. When we do that it brings joy, happiness, healing, care, and life.” 

“We don’t have to do anything specifically to obtain a gift as much as our belief in Jesus results in the Spirit indwelling in us and then it’s manifestation in us as we continue to grow in Christ and submit to his leadership in our lives.”

“We need to know what the gifts are so we can recognize the gifts not just in ourselves but also in other people.”

“How will people point out a gift in you unless you’re serving in the church in the first place?”

“Spiritual gifts are not obtained. Spiritual gifts are not skills or abilities that you can hone. You can grow in your wielding of the gift you have by first growing in your yielding of your life to the Spirit of God. There has to be submission to the Spirit to stay in step with him.”

“Jump in and serve. Don’t wait on the sidelines to figure out your gift before you jump in and serve. Go ahead and get out there. The overwhelming exhortation in the Scriptures is to employ our gifts and use them.” 

“If you want to grow in a gift, find someone who has that gift and watch them. Learn from their example.”

MATT’S RESOURCES

Talk to your church

Serve

Ask a mentor for their insight

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES

1 Corinthians 12:4-7

Ephesians 4

Romans 12

1 Peter 4

DEVELOPING AN IDENTITY STATEMENT

“It’s less about crafting a cool sounding statement, than it is about understanding in humility who you are and how God designed you (Ephesians 2:10). The identity statement is essentially not a discovery of who you are as much as a declaration of what God has done in creating you. You cannot do that by yourself.”

 With the help of others, begin to determine these three elements of an identity statement:

  1. You are designed in this way…

  2. To work with these kinds of people…

  3. To accomplish this goal

 An identity statement is a statement about design, who the design is for, and what the design is meant to accomplish specifically for the kingdom within the Body of Christ.

CONNECT WITH MATT


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. What are spiritual gifts?

  2. What are the areas in your life that you are naturally good at that you find yourself using for your own purposes? How can knowing that help you see your spiritual gifts?

  3. What spiritual gifts do you see in the lives of those around you?

  4. What gifts have others seen in you over the course of your life as a Christian?

  5. What would it look like to grow in and develop your gifts for the glory of God?

  6. What are you going to do or implement as a result of what you’ve learned this week?


SPONSORSHIP DETAILS

Marriage After God is led by Aaron and Jennifer Smith who have a new book out called Marriage After God! In their book Marriage After God they transparently share their journey from a marriage in crisis to a marriage built on Christ’s redemptive love. For 15% off your purchase at shop.marriageaftergod.com use the code JOURNEYWOMEN at checkout. You can find them on Instagram at @marriageaftergod.

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Crossway released ESV Scripture Journals and ESV Illuminated Scripture Journals this past year—great tools for those of you who like to take notes, record thoughts and prayers, or creatively engage with the text. You can buy each book of the Bible individually or as Old and New Testament sets. Take a look at the ESV Scripture Journals, ESV Illuminated Scripture Journals, and many other ESV Bibles at Crossway.org/Journeywomen3.


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