When LEADERSHIP was founded nearly fifteen years ago, it included something unusual for clerical publications of the time: humor. The editors thought then (and continue to believe) that the ability to laugh about the tensions of ministry is healthy. In that vein, we inaugurate this column from pastor John Ortberg.
Over the past 25 years or so, there has been a proliferation of materials on spiritual gifts. It turns out that the main reason it has been so hard to get people to volunteer for church work all these years is that people have been trying to work "outside their area of giftedness" (as if, for example, Michael Jordan should try to be a baseball player).
So, diagnosing your ministry potential has become a cottage industry. It started with a few simple inventories. Then the process got finessed and nuanced until today a small battery of trained consultants, theologians, and licensed mental health practitioners are required to help you identify your spiritual gift(s), personality temperament, ...1