1 Corinthians 12:27-28 is a well-known passage that says the following: ‘Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.’
I have had the pleasure of working as a Human Resources Consultant, a Management & Program Analyst, an Event Coordinator, and a Church Administrator. Do you see the common gift needed in all of these roles? That’s right – the gift of administration. Administration is more than just typing, filing papers, and answering phone calls. There is a spiritual dimension to it and faith is the driving force behind the work. While ‘admin stuff’ is not always thought of as glamorous or rewarding, good administrators know that we free up others to do different work for the Kingdom. We provide the structure and organization needed to see God’s glory manifested here on earth!
The spiritual ‘gift of administration’ is the ability to turn God-given vision into reality. The literal meaning is “to steer,” or “to rule or govern.” It carries the idea of someone steering a ship; someone who guides and directs a group of people toward a goal or destination. The Holy Spirit enables administrators to organize, direct, and implement plans to lead others. This gift is closely related to the gift of leadership, but is more goal or task oriented and is also more concerned with details and structure.
Behind every good leader is a good administrator providing the necessary support to make the steering of the ship actually happen. You need someone to draw maps, pay the crew, develop ship safety policies, and organize the various departments (cooking crew, cleaning crew, maintenance crew, etc.). With a good administrator on the team, the Captain can focus on wanting to steer the ship in a certain direction. However, it won’t happen well unless you have a good administrator to put systems in place to ensure it’s steered effectively.