By Stephen Phinney

Prophets tell the Truth, teachers clarify the Truth, and exhorters tell us what to do with the Truth. They usually are very practical and life application oriented. They bless people with a keen sense of care and concern.

The exhorter can work with complete strangers, but pastors have a harder time with this. In the Bible, Barnabas is a great example of this (Acts 4:36). Like Barnabas, the exhorter loves picking up people right where they are and molding them into an instrument of the Lord .

All Christians have been ordered to exhort one another, but exhorters have a special ability to do it well (Heb. 3:13). Exhorters have a wonderful ability to communicate using their supernatural insights given to them by God.

An exhorter is an ideal person to work in the church discipleship center.  As an occupation, they often end up with jobs such as acting, sales, community relations, promotions, and like-minded jobs.  These Christians have a strong sense to help the Church grow and oftentimes struggle between leaving the “work world” and joining “full-time ministry”.
As you can most likely tell, we are talking about the investment of…

This gift offers special abilities to minister words of comfort, encouragement (to put courage into), confrontation, and clarification on revelations from “prophets.”

This gift is oftentimes confused with the gift of pastoring. This is primarily a one-on-one gift. Exhorters love encouraging people around them. They are compelled to give advice. Many look at them as “counselors.”

Fleshly Liabilities:
Exhorters can become “wired” or “hyper” about what they believe and can be overly optimistic in presenting their ideas. They
can be convinced that “their way “is the only way for the people they are helping. 

If walking after the flesh, they can take on the appearance of being immature, emotional, irrational, silly, wordy, and simply selfish.
These types of people tend to irritate or frustrate exhorters: those who don’t appear interested or excited about what they are saying, pessimists, and those who are “too detailed.”
If not hearing the Lord, they live by their own schedules, meaning they are usually late. The exhorter becomes "phobic" when having to live under heavy structure.
Places of Service:
1. Discipleship ministry (counseling)
2. Altar call ministry

3. Follow up ministry for the evangelism team4. Marriage discipleship (counseling)
5. Pre-marriage work
6. Preaching
7. Small groups
8. Sunday school teaching
9. Nursing home ministry
10. General visitation
11. Comforting the sick
12. Reconciliation meetings
The exhorter needs to keep in mind that he should listen more, count the cost before taking action, yield his emotions to Christ moment-by-moment, and stay humble before the Lord.  He needs to avoid being caught in the rejection cycle.  Exhorters need to stay disciplined, be punctual, hear the Lord’s words (not their own), and respect those who don’t agree with them.


Those with the gift of leadership have a spirit-given ability to guide and motivate God’s people in the ways of the Lord to accomplish His purpose.  This person is able to gather the Body together, aid them in setting and revealing God’s goals, and help fulfill those goals (Rom. 12:8).

Many Christians are confused with the use of this gift—particularly the ones with the gift.  In order to be an effective leader, the leader must be an effective follower or servant leader.  The primary role of Jesus was that of a servant (Mark 10:45), but He still was the greatest leader of all.  Leadership without servanthood (love) equals dictatorship (fear).  The overall purpose of this gift is to lead the flock, through serving the flock.

Leaders must have followers.  True leaders do not have followers because they are recruiting them; they have followers because people want to join them in their special ability to lead and serve.  Men and women with this gift never have to manipulate or force people to listen or follow.  They generate a supernatural confidence that reveals God’s direction and plan.

People who truly have this gift are relaxed in their leading.  They are confident in what needs accomplished and know they need a team of people to get the job done.  Therefore, they work with the Body to develop the right skills in the people to accomplish the plan.  Those with the gift of leadership understand the importance of multiplication.  Leaders oftentimes have problems with the details, particularly administrative ones.  They have the tendency to delegate responsibilities.

There are certain qualifications a leader needs to have that do not come with most gifts.  Longevity is one of them!  It takes time to establish leadership in a flock.  Many are attracted to strong leaders, but with this attraction oftentimes come people who are rebellious against authority.  Many followers are new to the idea of submitting to authority.  Due to this challenge, the leader needs a heart of long-suffering.  A Christian who has this gift understands it takes time to bring a flock to the point of being willing to submit to his leadership.

An example of this is the Israelites grumbling against Moses because he was a leader.  God called His people to obey the men and women He appointed to lead them (Heb. 13: 7, 17).  When we obey God’s leaders, we obey God (Rom. 13:1-7).

Some of the possible leaders in the Scriptures are Jesus (Mark 10:45, Phil 2:7, John 13: 14-16), Moses, Nehemiah, and Church officials (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5). The Apostles were also recognized as leaders (Acts 4:37; 9:27).

Leaders can sometimes become too intense about the people who are following them.  They have an ongoing passion to make sure that people submit to them.  They are quick to notice rebellion.  One of their biggest liabilities is that they have the tendency to be too regimented and overbearing.  A true leader is a servant; but a leader who loses sight of this expects followers to serve him/her.  Another liability is they are prone to have a problem with authority.  This is why many of them become dictators instead of servant leaders.

Places of Service:
1. Elder
2. Cell group leader and/or intern
3. Zone pastor (leader overseeing several cell groups in a designated area)
4. Group leader
5. Children’s ministry coordinator
6. Finance chairman
7. Community spokesperson
8. Fund-raising
9. Community projects
10. Event coordinator

If walking after the flesh, leaders have the tendency to use the flock for their own goals, tasks, and personal gain.  In other words, they take advantage of people.  This has been a noted problem for generations.  Look at the life of Solomon (book of Ecclesiastes).

Scripture  taken from the New American Standard Bible, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.