Question: "What is the spiritual gift of administration?"

Answer: Of the many gifts given by the Holy Spirit to His church, administration is sometimes overlooked but is as important as the rest. First Corinthians 12:28 and Romans 12:8 both include the gift of administration in their lists of spiritual gifts. It is called “administrating” in the ESV, and other translations have “guidance” (NIV), “leadership” (NLT), or “governments” (KJV).

Administration is considered a “team gift” because it thrives when called upon to organize people to accomplish an objective. God gives some the spiritual gift of administration in order to help organize those with other gifts and keep the church functioning at its most efficient best.

God has given every true believer in Christ at least one spiritual gift to use in His service (1 Corinthians 12:7). The gifts are given to edify, or build up, the church (1 Corinthians 14:12). The gifts are not for building up our egos but to serve the Lord with more power and effectiveness. Some operate in many gifts. For example, those with pastoral/shepherding gifts may also possess the gift of administration. It is the Holy Spirit who distributes the gifts “just as he determines” (1 Corinthians 12:11).

Administrators are leaders. When volunteers are needed to organize an event, administrators are often at the head of the line. A church leadership team needs at least one person with the gift of administration to organize people and programs. Without that leadership, great ideas can dissolve into chaos. Often, pastoral teams consist of one administrator and others with the gifts of mercy and shepherding. If those leaders are wise, they respect the way the others are gifted and allow the Lord to balance those gifts for optimal service. A wonderful, merciful pastor may be very disorganized in his own life and needs someone with the gift of administration to handle the business affairs of the church while he tends to the emotional and spiritual needs of his flock.

Administrators are also excellent delegators. They seem to sense who would handle a project well and don’t mind calling people and recruiting volunteers for projects they believe in. Depending on their personalities or leadership styles, administrators tend to gravitate toward either people or programs. Extroverted administrators thrive when working with people. They appoint leadership teams, organize volunteers, and recruit those who need a little nudge to get involved. Introverted administrators may feel more comfortable behind the scenes, planning events and organizing calendars that benefit the whole church. They are more project-oriented while extroverted administrators are more relational.

Many pastors of megachurches have the gift of administration. Their ability to lead and inspire others to lead is one reason their churches grew so large. However, a danger for pastors with this gift is that it is easy for them to slip into a competitive mindset when they see exploding church numbers. Those with the gift of administration must never forget that the church is not a for-profit business. It is a ministry that must operate through the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish what God wants. Administrators may be prone to adopting business strategies that they see working in other arenas. They may appear successful while actually operating in the flesh (Romans 8:8).

The spiritual gift of administration is a valuable asset to the church. God wants each of His children to discover and develop the gifts He has given us. As we engage in ministries that utilize those gifts, we are bringing honor and credit to the Lord who gave them (Romans 12:3–8).