Those who know me will recognise that I have often exercised this gift. However, that is not the reason for it being first on the list – I am handling the gifts alphabetically!

A particular ability to organise/manage the affairs of the church or any part of its work, with skill and wisdom so that it reaches its goals safely, and functions effectively and smoothly.

Based on 1 Cor 12:28 the Greek word for administration is kubernesis which parallels with kubernetes in Acts 27:11 where it is translated as ‘pilot’ (nautically speaking – there were no planes in those days!). A pilot is one who navigates the vessel using his knowledge of winds, currents, tides and potential underwater hazards. But he does not set the ultimate destination; that is determined by the captain (or the merchant who hired the vessel).

There are many biblical examples of good administrators eg Joseph, Daniel and even Jesus as he organised the Feeding of the 5000.


Abstaining from sexual relations or a particular ability to be single for the sake of the Kingdom.

This is not a negative gift, it is positive. It frees people to concentrate on the Lord’s work. Paul wished all could have this gift, but recognised that all are not like him and that each has his or her our own, different, special gifts from God (1 Cor. 7:7). Jesus also spoke of this gift being exercised ‘for the kingdom’s sake’ (Matt 19:12).

Nevertheless, all Christians are called to be celibate at some stage eg before they are married, if married but away from their spouse, if widowed. Not having the gift does not mean you are free to sin!

The gift does not stand on its own but is combined with other gifts for the more effective service of the Lord. There are men and women who, through history, have given themselves to the advance of the kingdom in remarkable ways often through having more time available without the responsibilities associated with being married (1 Cor 7:32-35).


The skill, ability and knowledge to work creatively in various materials to the glory of God and the practical advance of the kingdom.

During the building of the tabernacle in Exodus 35, 36 there are frequent references to skilled men and women using their gifts both to construct and decorate it. In Ex 35:31 we read ‘…and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship…’. Often there is also a heart element to this – ‘…the women whose hearts stirred them to use their skill…’ (Ex 35:26).

In the New Testament Dorcas is remembered for the ‘tunics and other garments’ she made, presumably as a blessing to the community (Acts 9:39).

Other passages to study could include 1 Kings 7:14 (building Solomon’s palace), 1 Chron 22:15 (building the temple).

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