By Simon Mason
A lot of time in the church its seemed like there hasn't been much value for administration. It's been the lessor gift or the domain of those who lacked the charisma for more prominent roles. But the game has changed. As we enter into a rapidly evolving and reforming society, the insight and flexibility of those who have cultivated the gift of administration will be the ones who step into fresh places of influence.
Yet beyond even societal changes, as the church recaptures its mandate to build the kingdom and replicate the culture of heaven on earth, we're realising that we have an extraordinary administrative task ahead.
Paul makes it clear that one of the key gifts (amongst the collection available) is the gift of administration. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.– 1 Cor 12:28
He lists a few here, but it seems likely the list isn't conclusive. Elsewhere we see other gifts listed, the gift of wisdom, the gift of deliverance, etc. Notably, the gift of administration makes this keynote list which suggests it has particular value.
The wider context for this is that Paul identifies and locates administration as a spiritual gift, and necessarily makes it clear that as a spiritual gift it's something that we should be eagerly desiring. Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. – 1 Cor 14:1
Yet, despite this, administration is rarely the prioritised gifting in the church.Perhaps Paul, who spent half his life administrating a tent-making business, saw something the church has been prone to miss.A few years ago, a prophetic word was given by Steve Whitt, that I first heard shared by Paul Manwaring:
It's an extraordinary word. What's most striking is that it re-captures the truth about administration; that more than anything else; administration is about people. It's about building businesses, systems, churches and organisations so that people can benefit. It's about building so that we can honour the people around us with better systems and better structures, and so these better systems and better structures can not only solve the problems of our day but solve them relationally.
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When we build businesses that creatively address social issues like poverty or homelessness it is the gift administration to build in a way that doesn't just put a patch over the issue but relationally empowers people to move beyond their circumstances. When we seek God for a solution to crises our cities face, like youth suicide or drug use, it is the gift of administration that empowers us to build youth programs that connect authentically and produce fruit.
Administration isn't simply about resolving paperwork or completing menial tasks, administration is a creative skill of system building that:
The gift of administration is the grace to receive the solutions of heaven to organise in away that produces order, enables the Holy Spirit and empowers people.Heaven is full of solutions for every problem we face. It's the gift of administration that empowers us to draw out these solutions and implement them well.
As we recapture our mandate to be representatives of heaven on earth, necessarily, we need to recapture the necessity of building by the grace of the gift of administration.
So like, Paul in 1 Cor 12:28, don't drop administration to the bottom of your list and keep in mind, heaven has solutions for every issue.......it's simply waiting for a change-maker to lay hold of the solution and bring it to bear on the earth.
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