Here’s some thoughts around challenges with developing and using the Gift of Governments:
SCOPE – The Gift of Governments operates in the scope of the universal church, and therefore has application in the context of the church assemblies, international missions, outreaches, and virtually any ministry you can imagine that the Lord has breathed. The irony is that the gift operates outside the 4 walls of the church and is equally effective in the marketplace (just like any other gift).
FOR OTHERS – Since the gift is an advisory function, the gift is not for the bearer, but is for the benefit and edification of others. This can be very tough on the bearer because of “a knowing” of an outcome of a decision before it arrives (good or bad) can cause stress or fretting, or alternative cause hostility if not bridled – when advice is not taken.
TRUST – Since the gift operates for the benefit of others the Gift of Government gains no traction without first building trust between the bearer and to whom the advice (steering) is directed. Developing trust in ministry teams can be a testing journey for many (regardless of calling or gifting), and must be embraced to ensure the value of this gift can eventually be realised. Prayerful consideration must be given to your ministry location, calling, role and rank… and ask the Lord to ensure he reveals to you specifically where he has called you. If you miss the Lord on these directions, you will be attempting to operate the gift in a forum where you may not be well received, if at all. Because the gift has a supernatural and prophetic flavour to it, it’s easy for leaders and other believers to misjudge you if they are not comfortable with the prophetic. Remember, the gift is for serving and the final decision of whether a direction is takien rests with the ministry leaders, not you. So therefore be humble, deliver the guidance from the Lord with humility and grace as permitted. Don’t expect others to know or understand the situation the way you do. Be patient. You are not responsible for the final decision, you simply put the options (blessings and risks) before the leaders and let them be accountable for the decision.
DEVELOPING – Believers who carry this gift can often “know” the outcome of strategic decisions, and can supernaturally explain the pros and cons of various decisions being made. However, not having a platform or an opportunity to share this information can lead to frustration. When the gift begins to function it’s normal to wonder if you are right or wrong. In these times it’s important to have mentors around you, how know you and love you, even if you falter or make mistakes while learning/unpacking the gift (which is very normal). I don’t operate in the gift at the assembly where I attend as I am going through leadership bootcamp, but in time I believe trust will form in my working relationships and I will operate in the gift commensurate with the level of needs/demands placed on the gift. So my advice is relax and wait on God – he wants to use you – and every season in God is perfect.
COMPLACENCY – Don’t get complacent. The process of learning in the beginning is just as important as when you are mature in the gift. God will just increase the stakes, and get you involved in more complex, sophisticated moral, ethical and strategic decisions. For example (these are based on real situations) A simple governing issue may be a decision whether to split a youth ministry out separately from a growing Children’s ministry; Finance a mission work in a new country; and a more complex governing issue might be providing advice on the destiny of a Church elder/board member knowingly investing/working in a publicly listed company that profits in the Abortion industry whilst retaining Church board/elder positions.
PEERS – It’s critical to develop trusted relationships with peers whom you know operate in similar of complimentary gifts. This way you will be able to periodically test your development, and even bring weighty matters before them to give you additional verification or insight, and keep learning. I personally have found it difficult to find teaching/coaching materials on the topic, believers who are aware of the gift (or experienced) and opportunities to practice using the gift to assist the Church.
Holy Spirit – Since the gift is a supernatural gift, it’s difficult to explain and operate the gift in a non-spirit-filled context or a setting when one simply “knows” the answers, options, outcomes, risk and benefits without any effort which can defy natural logic. Envy and intimidation can be typical responses in non-spirit-filled settings. Believers and Leaders who are not comfortable with, or recognize contemporary prophetic and miraculous activity of the Holy Spirit will tend look to the natural elements of problem solving and strategic Church advice – and even lean on worldly, business oriented advice to run the Church, rather than leverage the special gifts God has provided. When leaders are researching a decision, there is absolutely nothing wrong with advice, data and research, however the mind of God has an intention and answer for every situation and it is incumbent on us to “search out” the mind of God when charting a course.
What do you think are other challenges to developing or operating in the Gift of Governments ?