The Gift of Administration

iStock-1301200314The Gift of Administration


Have you ever volunteered for your church’s preschool ministry? You were likely recruited by the person in charge of leading the preschool ministry. This individual had to find volunteers, schedule the Sundays they worked in the preschool, and ensure they had all the supplies they needed to teach a group of excited preschoolers successfully.

Imagine trying to work in the preschool ministry if this person didn’t exist… it would be a disaster!

There’s a good chance that the person organizing and delegating volunteers has the spiritual gift of administration.

Understanding the Gift of Administration

Paul mentions the spiritual gift of administration in the first letter to the Corinthians. Someone with the gift of administration is often taking charge and leading.

And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. – 1 Corinthians 12:28

The Greek word for administrating is Kubernesis, which refers to a shipmaster or captain. When you think of the spiritual gift of administration, it is helpful to keep this idea in mind. As Chuck Swindoll said, “A kubernesis was an expert in the midst of a storm.”

Cru explains, “With this gift, the Holy Spirit enables followers of Jesus to organize, direct and implement plans to lead others in different settings. Those with this gift help others accomplish their goals.”

What the Gift of Administration Looks Like

The spiritual gift of administration often looks like the example we used above of someone leading the preschool ministry at a church. While this person may not be the preschool ministry teacher, he or she takes charge and organizes things so that the teachers can teach effectively.

Likewise, someone with the gift of administration may organize an event, freeing the pastor to minister to attendees before, during, and after the event.

Cru explains, “Some ways the gift of administration might be used are coordinating events, working in a church office and helping plan different aspects of ministry. When someone takes care of organizing and coordinating, not only are others freed up to focus on whatever God is calling them to do, but administrators ensure that the church’s efforts to build others up are carried out smoothly.”

While those with the gift of administration may work behind the scenes in the church office, they may also be seen as leaders.

According to Got Questions, “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. […] 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.”

How the Gift of Administration Serves the Church

The gift of administration is considered a team gift. Got Questions explains, “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.”

Those with this gift are focused on the needs of others in the church, using their gift to serve. They use their organizational skills to help the church meet a goal, such as a successful VBS program, but not for their own glory. Without those with the gift of administration, things tend to run a little less smoothly.

Here’s one example from Got Questions: “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.”

As a reminder, each Christian has been given a spiritual gift by the Holy Spirit. Each unique gift is meant to be used to serve the church. But all of these gifts work best when they are used together with others. It’s one part of the whole.

Each one of us has a body, and that body has many parts. These parts all have different uses. In the same way, we are many, but in Christ we are all one body. Each one is a part of that body. And each part belongs to all the other parts. We all have different gifts. Each gift came because of the grace that God gave us. If one has the gift of prophecy, he should use that gift with the faith he has. If one has the gift of serving, he should serve. If one has the gift of teaching, he should teach. If one has the gift of encouraging others, he should encourage. If one has the gift of giving to others, he should give freely. If one has the gift of being a leader, he should try hard when he leads. If one has the gift of showing kindness to others, that person should do so with joy. – Romans 12:4-8

Ways to Tell If You Have the Gift of Administration

You may have the gift of administration, but you never realized it. You may have considered your organization and leadership skills as simple skills and didn’t consider how they were given to you to be used for God’s glory.

Consider the following questions from the Spiritual Gifts Discovery Instruction Guide for determining if you could have the spiritual gift of administration.

  • Do you have the ability to organize ideas, people, and projects for reaching a specific goal?
  • Are you an organized person who sets goals, makes plans, and achieves goals?
  • Do you find it easy to delegate significant responsibilities to other people?
  • Are you comfortable with making important decisions, even under pressure?