Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A.
Examples Of Capacities
1) Capacity For Patience: How patient are you? Does your impatience often do you in?
2) Capacity For Frustration: How much frustration can you tolerate before you give up? (Cf. Ministry Health article #216, "High Tolerance For Frustration,"by Greg Morris)
3) Capacity For Leadership: Are you able to carry the load of leadership?
4) Capacity For Vision: Are you able to develop a vision?
5) Capacity For Persistence: Are you able to carry a vision to completion? Or do you get easily diverted?
6) Capacity For Empathy: Are you able to feel with others?
7) Capacity For Recognizing Consequences: Can you readily see what potential consequences certain decisions and actions may have?
8) Capacity For Tolerating Ambiguity: Are you comfortable when things are not clear? Are you able to remain calm in such situations or do you become overwhelmed, fearful, and out of control? The type of response demonstrated when things are not perfect and under control is an indicator of the capacity for tolerating ambiguity.
9) Capacity To Face Fear: Courage is the ability to move in spite of fear. The capacity to face fear is the ability to exercise courage in the face of danger. When you confront fearful things, people and situations, how do you respond? Do you face it? Or do you flee?
10) Capacity To Teach: Do you have the patience and energy necessary to mentor individuals or groups as a teacher? Or do you get frustrated because people can be so "stupid"?
11) Capacity To Learn: Some people can be taught. Others can't. Others can be taught some things, but not others. Still others only have capacities to learn to only to a specific level before they reach their capacities.
12) Capacity To Unconditional Love: Do you have the ability to sacrificially love others? Or are you afraid of the intimate sharing of friendship and trust?
13) Capacity To Understand: Some people are able to understand the broader and more complex issues which underscore various circumstances. Others, however, are more simple-minded. Are you able to think things through? Or do you find yourself drawing instant decisions based on factual information?
14) Capacity To Change: Can you recognize when positions, methods, policies, and comfortable ways of doing things are obsolete? Can you change them? Or do you keep insisting on your old "familiar" way?
1) Capacity To Forgive: Some individuals can forgive "seventy times seven." Others seemingly can't ever forgive another's wrongdoing...or even their own. Though, as it is said, "forgiveness follows understanding," the capacity to forgive is one of the most important--but sometimes most lacking--capacity for Christians.
2) Capacity To Trust: The "Capacity To Trust" is constantly tested in our relationship with God and others, too. As is true of all capacities, in some situations the capacity may be higher while in others it may be nearly non-existent. Can you really trust God in all things? Really? Are you sure?
3) Capacity Of Faith: Hebrews 11 gives a marvelous description of this capacity to go against all odds simply because it is God's will. It clings to God's promises and anticipates God's intervention and guidance in every single area of life. Can you go, in faith, to where God calls you? Or are you hesitant, unwilling, or resistant?
4) Capacity To Believe: This was Thomas' problem. His capacity for believing that Christ was truly risen depended on his senses--seeing, touching, feeling, etc. The "blessed" ones, Jesus said, have the "capacity to believe." They believe even the most miraculous working of God even when others can't imagine the possibility of it even being a potential happening. Can you believe in God's promises to you? Do you have the capacity to believe what God's power really can do in your ministry?
- Application Two: Your Personal Pastoral Ministry
- There are a "variety of gifts" all given by the "same Spirit," Paul said in Ephesians 4. What he didn't indicate was that there are also a variety of capacities, too. Or did he??? In Romans 12:6-8 Paul wrote,
- "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully." (NIV)
- Everyone in ministry has different capacities. Those who can serve well may not have large capacities for teaching. Those gifted with impressive capacities for prophesying may not have capacities for contributing to the needs of others. Those who can demonstrate remarkable capacities for leadership may not have capacities for showing mercy.
- Though virtually every minister desires to have unlimited capacities in every area of potential ministry, God does not give His grace as we choose. He blesses us with some wonderful, life-changing, ministry-energizing capacities while making us sometimes painfully aware of our lesser capacities.
- Recognition and acceptance of limited capacities in self and others can also go a long way to discover complementary capacities. After all, the ministry is not a "go-it-alone" proposition. Ministry is a Body activity which, working in fellowship with others, attains to the full unity of Christ as each part works together to complement each others' capacities.
* For more information see Ministry Health Article #169, "Get A BHAG."
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This page was revised on: Tuesday, October 05, 2004 11:03:13 PM