HELMSMANSHIP

“In the church God has appointed … those with gifts of administration”.

1 Cor 12:28 NIV

The original word meant, literally, “piloting”. “The reference is to the helmsman of a ship, the person with the responsibility of steering the vessel, keeping it on course, avoiding dangers, recognizing changes in weather and adjusting accordingly. The helmsman knows well the capabilities both of his craft and his crew. He knows which expertise to call on at which moment. The most effective helmsman has a quiet confidence and an immediate rapport with his crew. He neither panics nor relaxes his vigilance. He has his eye on the destination and is above all concerned that his ship and his crew reach their journey’s end safe and sound”.

Such ministry is indispensable in the local church; those who have the ability to steer a service, a meeting, or a conference, indeed the whole church; to hold it on course and keep it moving towards its destination; to call on the right person with the right gift at the right time; to cope with trivial requests, which are important to the individual making them, without becoming impatient or taking his eyes off the main issues and the ultimate goal. Such helmsmen will be people both of vision and of sensitivity” (D. Prior, The Message of 1 Corinthians, p221, 222).

Gifts of administration will also include financial competence, and we note that this is a gift of the Spirit, cherished by Paul. If the financial administration goes sour it will seriously impede the credibility of the church and the gospel. It will reflect on Jesus Christ himself and the body of Christ. Done faithfully it will bring glory to God!

PRAYER THOUGHT

Lord, bless your church with competent helmsmanship.