Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Four Categories of Strengths & Spiritual gifts

In the new book, Strengths-Based Leadership, the authors divide Strengths into four categories: 1) Executing strengths;
2) Influencing strengths;
3) Relationship building strengths; and
4) Strategic Thinking strengths.
They then suggest that a team ought to strive to have a team that hits on all four of these categories.

I had been seeking to find a way to categorize Spiritual gifts, and so I applied the Strengths-Based Leadership categories to Spiritual gifts. These are the results:

Executing Spiritual Gifts
  • Administration (Tasks)

  • Administration (Coordination)

  • Giving

  • Helping

  • Leadership

  • Service

Influencing Spiritual Gifts

  • Evangelism

  • Prayer

  • Prophetic Ministry

  • Speaking

  • Teaching

Relationship Building Spiritual Gifts

  • Encouragement

  • Faith

  • Hospitality

  • Mercy

  • Pastoral Care/Shepherding

Strategic Thinking Spiritual Gifts

  • Missional Leadership

  • Discernment

  • Knowledge

  • Wisdom

For information and resources on Spiritual gifts, see Story of Redemption.

I took these categories for both Strengths & Spiritual gifts and looked at Strengths & Spiritual gifts of a couple of our ministry teams, and the results were very interesting. I think I will add these categories to the Spiritual gifts team theory that I am putting together.

What do you think of these categories? Do you see any changes that you would suggest in how these Spiritual gifts are categorized?


Professor said...

The primary suggestion is to reexamine placing the Leadership category in the execution category. I don't know how the Strength placed Leadership, but it seems this is more appropriately in the strategy category than with administrative gifts--which certainly "execute" strategy. Strategy is more about "doing the right things" (strategy) than "doing things right" (execution). What do you think and where did the Strength book place leadership?

James Nored said...

Dad, I see your point, and it is certainly possible to place leadership in the Strategy area. This is where I placed Missional Leadership.

However, the category is actually Strategic Thinking, not Strategy (I have corrected this in the post now). And leadership should focus on results as well as thinking.

The same could be said of Missional Leadership, I suppose, but certainly being missional has a strategic focus. Since there are two forms of leadership gifts, I thought it best to have one in each category.

So, that was the thinking here. I understand your point, and would welcome more dialogue.