The Faithful Pacesetters

Learning leadership from those who led in the Bible

Archive for the tag “Gifts”

Coach, Play The Bench!

Bible Reference: Body of Christ

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.  And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.  1 Corinthians 12:27-28 NIV

Why do leaders, just as coaches, need to play their bench?


Coaches can learn a lot about a player by seeing how they perform in an actual game.  They also need to have people on the bench ready to play in case they lose one of their players.

Leaders of organizations need to be doing the same thing.  Pressing inexperienced individuals into pressure situations can be educational for both the individual and the leader.  Don’t just let the veterans do everything, because you never know when you might lose one of them.

Different Gifts

Coaches realize all players are different and possess different special gifts.  In first Corinthians 12, Paul uses the same analogy to describe the body of Christ.  We all have different spiritual gifts and need to be using them.

The same applies to our teams.  Everyone has strengths; it’s leadership’s responsibility to identify and encourage the use of those gifts by our staff.


Often the players on the bench push the players on the floor to do their very best.  The players in the game know that if they don’t work hard, play smart and mistake free, the coach may very well replace them with a bench player.

Accountability in our organizations should be no different.  The culture should be in place that expects maximum effort from all individuals…even if you’re on the bench.


Protecting Our Gifts

Bible Character:  Samson (Judges 13-16)

God granted Samson supernatural strength.  Strength was his gift, and he used it to defeat the Philistines and become a hero among the Israelites.  Even though he was gifted in some areas, Samson also had vulnerabilities.

What is your strength?  Whatever your area of expertise is, it’s important to be strong and knowledgeable in that field, using this gift in an appropriate and ethical way. 

Leaders are often afforded much liberty.  Similarly, Samson received a lot of power in his lifetime.

We sometimes see individuals with authority misuse their influence, participating in activities that are unbecoming, and consequently losing much that they have gained.

How are we as leaders protecting ourselves from these allurements and traps?

Understand the Rules

A tendency of all of us can be to look at the “gray areas” of our life and push beyond the boundaries.  Self-discipline is a key to any good leader knowing, and staying, within the limits.   Standards are high for leaders and attention to them is important.

Ownership for our Actions

Personal responsibility has been diminished in today’s society.  Great leaders not only take ownership for their actions, but also the actions of their team.

Accountability Partners

All of us can use a little help in keeping ourselves accountable.  We are all answerable to God, but also designating a friend or colleague to keep us accountable is vital.

Samson discovered the consequences for not protecting his gift.  His weakness was an attraction to untrustworthy women. Delilah connived with the Philistines and cut Samson’s hair off…without it he was weakened and eventually captured.  In the end, God granted Samson enough strength to take revenge on the Philistine rulers, but he lost his own life in that avenging.

We all need to be on guard so vulnerabilities are not taken advantage of.

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