You probably haven’t heard of the spiritual gift of guiding. I certainly hadn’t. But it makes a whole lot sense and it’s biblical—I checked! Here’s how I discovered it and why I think it’s so important:

Is guiding a spiritual gift?

spiritual gift of guiding

I was recently teaching through a workshop on spiritual gifts. It’s one of the ministries I most enjoy, as it’s so inspirational to see people begin to understand and make use of the ways God has uniquely gifted them.

This was a group of people mostly unfamiliar with spiritual gifts, so we started with the basic passages. I showed them a print-out of Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 in NIV and asked them to name the spiritual gifts they could identify, ignoring the duplicated ones listed in both passages. The group listed several and I wrote them down on the whiteboard. 

We got to the part where I would normally write down “administration,” but the participants called out “guiding.” I had to stop and think for a minute. I looked back at the passage. Sure enough, verse 28 read, “And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.” All I had given them was the scripture passages, so that’s all they had to go on. I wrote down “guiding” on the list.

Why guiding is a gift

Later on in my office, I decided to look into this. Apparently, the most recent translation of the NIV translates “guidance” instead of “administration.” In the Greek, the word is helmsman: one who guides a ship. It’s a fitting image, I think. The helmsman has the role of charting a course and figuring out how to get there. They need to figure out ways around the obstacles that arise, whether blockages or weather or attacks. They need to put the right people in the right spots to guide the ship safely through the course toward their intended destination.

I always thought administration didn’t have quite the right connotation, and now I see why. When people hear administration, they can think busy work and unimportant details. But this role isn’t about that at all. It’s about guiding people or organizations toward where they want to go… safely, efficiently, and strategically. It’s about finding the best way to accomplish something and moving that plan forward in spite of obstacles and moving pieces. And it’s about harnessing the power of many of the other gifts so they are all being used systematically in ways that work well together.

Consider how the gift of guiding could be used in your ministry. Who might have the gift of guiding? How could you empower them to use the strengths God has given them? 


Speaking of guiding… if you have been hitting walls as you try to move your ministry in a more missional direction check out the practical guiding steps in these downloadable webinars!

Getting you ministry moving in a missional direction– This downloadable recorded webinar serves as a training resource to help your people take practical steps toward reaching out to others in missional ministry.

The missional path: strategic planning– This downloadable recorded webinar helps you lead your people in making specific, actionable plans to move forward in missional ministry. We’ll help you design a complete system from getting people on board to supporting them along the journey.