The Service Gift of Ruling

God’s Gifts of Service, Ministry, and Caring for the Needs of Others in the Church

Romans 12

MP3 Audio of this Message



I.                     Introduction – The List of Service Gifts


A.      What Are Spiritual Gifts? (1Cor 12:1)


1.        Spiritual gifts can be defined as spiritual drives, and passions given to us by the Lord to achieve supernatural goals. They are spiritual abilities that enable a believer to change people’s lives. Each person who is born again into God's kingdom receives at least one spiritual gift that is to be used to changed peoples lives!

2.        These gifts, when used, encourage and motivate other believers into stronger living for the Lord Jesus

3.        A church full of people avidly using these gifts is the most blessed!


B.       What Is the Purpose of Spiritual Gifts? (1Peter 4:10; Eph 4:11-14)


1.        To glorify God and to bless and help others!

2.        The Spirit-filled life is lived in service for others – especially for other believers.

3.        So, the full potential of a life, a marriage, a family, or a church will not be experienced until there is a clear, Biblical understanding of each person’s spiritual gifts. That’s why we have taken so long to go through them, and sought to understand and start using them!.


C.       The List of Service Gifts (Romans 12:6-8; 1Cor 12:28)


1.        Prophecy – (Biblical word) Speaking Up for God

2.        Ministry / Helps – Holding Up the Brethren

3.        Teaching – Instructing People in the Ways of God

4.        Exhorting – Urging and Encouraging Others

5.        Giving – Sharing What You Have With Others

6.        Governments / Ruling – Governing and Managing People

7.        Mercy – Showing Compassion on Others


D.      God has given each believer at least one spiritual gift to build up the body of Christ and to minister in our hurting world.


1.        If our gift is Prophecy, we’ll proclaim God’s view of right and wrong.

2.        If it is Ministry and Service, we will desire to meet others’ needs and hold them up when they fall.

3.        If it is Teaching, we will spend our lives LEARNING how to help people know God’s truth so that they can be not just free from sin, but free “indeed” (John 8:32,36) – really free!

4.        If it is Exhortation, we will rally behind people that others have given up on, and urge them to run and run along with them if need be so that they finish their course! We will help the lost find Jesus is altogether lovely!

5.        If it is Giving, we will contribute our material resources (money, time, talents) to the work of the Lord with liberality and cheerfulness.


E.       All of the spiritual gifts are to be used in the workplace, in our homes, and most importantly in our church.

F.       These gifts are ones that should be sought after because their very purpose is the welfare of others and not elevation of self.  Most in today’s religious community seek after the miraculous sign gifts that are visible and elevate self.  Some of the greatest gifts given to individuals in the church are the least noticed and, yet, the most productive! At least when acted out the Biblical way.

G.       There is a companion list of emphasis that goes with each gift in Romans 12:9-21. This list is almost more important that the gifts themselves – they represent the things to beware of and things to develop with a gift. They constrain us! Without this list, the gifts of prophecy, teaching, ministry, exhorting, giving, governing, and mercy won’t work at all!


II.                   Message – The Service Gift of Governments / Ruling – Governing and Managing People


A.      Defining this Gift (Rom 12:8; James 3:4)


1.        Three words describe this gift: Ruling, Governing, Administration


a.        Ruling – Being in charge

b.       Governing – Controlling, guiding, not letting things just take their own course (James 3:4)

c.        Administration – Managing, Overseeing


2.        In simple terms, this is the gift of Management

3.      The gift of Governing is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the body of Christ to understand clearly the goals that the Lord has for a Church or a Church ministry, and to devise and execute effective plans for the accomplishment of those goals.


a.        These folks understand what has to be done for a Church to do God’s will, and they just live to get it done!

b.      These are the people who live to just get things done!

c.        It is part of the leadership of a church – they are not THE leaders (which are the pastors and elders), but they make it possible for the leaders to lead, and for the people to follow.


4.        Every organisation needs managers – especially a Church. Without management, any organization will collapse. Management is not the ability to shuffle papers all day. It helps manage the affairs of the church by getting people organized enough to obey the pastor’s directions.

5.        The independent spirit of our society instinctively rebels at the idea of someone in a church being in authority over them. But that is just what a pastor is (Heb 13:7; 17; 24), and every manager HAS to have authority also

6.        That’s why most people hate managers! But we need them!


B.       Examples of this Gift of Management in the Bible.


1.        Joseph (Gen 41:38-41; 42:6)


a.        Pharaoh was the leader – the head of the nation of Egypt

b.       Joseph was put in charge of making sure the people of Egypt were fed, and protected from the oncoming drought

c.        Joseph was also to make sure that Pharaoh could better lead without being bogged down with day-to-day details of food collection and storage and pricing, and labour, etc.

d.       Joseph was able for all this because of God’s gift of management being given to him

e.        That gift of management was not wasted because of all the trials that Joseph went through by the way, but it was “perfected”!


2.        Nehemiah.


a.        Was burdened about the state of the walls of Jerusalem

b.       It had been over 70 years since Jerusalem had been completely destroyed by Babylon

c.        Now, God’s people the Jews were slowly being allowed to return to their homeland, but it was in no shape for people to dwell safely in

d.       But Nehemiah cannot resist what God was putting on his heart (Neh 2)


1)       The Call of God – the Challenge Before Nehemiah (2:1)

2)       The Faith of Nehemiah (2:2-4)

3)       Nehemiah Already Had a Plan (2:5-8)

4)       The Carefulness of Nehemiah (2:9-16) – he didn’t just walk in and take over

5)       The Motivation of Nehemiah (2:17-20)


e.        So Nehemiah sets off to manage the rebuilding of the walls of the city of Jerusalem – a monumental task with impossible obstacles (Neh 4:9,10)


1)       Too much rubbish

2)       Many enemies

3)       Weak resolve on the part of the volunteer workers

4)       Yet, when you read in Nehemiah, you find that he constantly kept coming up to ways to accomplish the goal – he would never let anything discourage him from finishing the job!


3.        Jesus (Isaiah 9:6,7)


a.        King at His birth

b.       His calling is to govern our lives – be Lord and ruler over what we do, how we act, how we respond, what we love, how we live!

c.        He managed massive crowds day in and day out – no problem

d.       He was even in control of the wind and the waves

e.        He has earned the right to be in control of YOUR life


4.        A Leader who did NOT have this gift was Rehoboam (1Kigs 12:1-14) – abused his management of the people, and they abandoned him!!!


C.       A Person with this Gift is Usually:


1.        Thorough

2.        Objective – they see the best way to do things instead of worrying about everybody’s feelings

3.        Responsible

4.        Organized

5.        Goal-oriented – they live to reach a goal

6.        Efficient

7.        Conscientious – they believe the little things matter as much as the big things

8.        Methodical – they make the effort to do every step – no skipping steps, or cutting corners

9.        Authoritative – they lead the people, not drive them!


D.      The Bible’s Description of How Best to Manage People.


1.        Diligently: Rom 12:8; Prov 12:24

2.        Gently: Neh 5:18; Lev 25:43

3.        Justly: 2Sam 23:3

4.        Personally: Prov 16:32

5.        Family: 1Tim 3:1-4

6.        Servingly: Matt 20:25-28


E.       Distinctives – How can you know if you have this gift?


1.        You will have a knack for developing strategies or plans to reach identified goals;

2.        You love to assist ministries to become more effective and efficient (doing the right things, and doing things right);

3.        You create order out of organizational chaos;

4.        You love to organize people, tasks, or events, managing the details carefully and thoroughly.

5.        You will not just have ideas about how things should be done, but you will take the time to make sure those ideas are actually right and best

6.        You have little or no problem managing or coordinating a variety of responsibilities to accomplish a task, even at the same time;

7.        You help provide direction for God's people in a ministry – you keep people in motion, and producing fruit;

8.        You willingly take responsibility to reach a goal – you are not scared of failing because you believe the goal can be accomplished

9.        You work hard to motivate others to perform to the best of their abilities;

10.     You always like to initiate some form of action and direct the efforts of the group.

11.     One Note – it is sad when people have this gift, but only use it on the job and not in their church!!!


F.       People with this gift are needed in the church for:


1.        Treasurer and Finance committee – wisely manage the monies

2.        Deacon – figure ways to best serve the needs of people

3.        Church secretary – wisely manage all the projects of a church’s ministries so that the pastor can spend more time leading, praying, and caring for the flock

4.        Church elder – helping to manage specific church ministries under the pastor’s leadership

5.        Team leader – also helping to manage specific church ministries under the pastor’s leadership

6.        Youth ministry leader – helping to lead the young people, and manage all their energies!

7.        By-the-way, these kind of people aren’t always the wisest and best – they just have God’s gift (Dan 4:17). We all have the tendency to think that we could do a better job than so-an-so. Be careful!


III.                 Conclusion


A.      Thank God for people with the gift of management

B.       These people that have the gift of “taking responsibility” for accomplishing the goals of the Lord through the church!

C.       They live to get the jobs of a church done for the Lord. They don’t want Christians just coming to church and then just going back home the same – they know that Jesus is building His church in this world to reach our world – but it won’t happen without management and direction, and organisation, and plans and vision, and just plain old hard work of sweat and tears!

D.      These kind of people in a church love all that stuff!

E.       If you don’t have this gift, you ought to be seeking to better your managing skills – or at least allow yourself to be placed under a spiritual manager (like your parents, or your pastor)

F.       If you do have this gift, or want to find out if you have this Gift, then start getting involved in the many ministries of this church, and in the many projects that we constantly are working on:


1.        Finding church property

2.        Church secretarial efforts

3.        Running the entire Sunday School programme

4.        Helping Tony manage the RU outreach

5.        Helping us finish the Irish Bible Project

6.        Help us prepare for the Revival, and the Men’s Retreat, and the Youth Camp, and Bible Clubs that are all coming up


G.       If you find it hard to get involved in an active, New Testament kind of church anything, it is because of one of three reasons:


1.        You do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ who is the greatest Servant of all time – get born again

2.        You are imbalanced doing too much for your family, or your work, instead of having enough time for the Lord

3.        Or, you have some sin in your life that is causing you to ignore your responsibilities as a Christian right here


Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland