Friday, October 22, 2010

Character Matters!

Which matters most for ministry success: Character or Gifting?  I like what Michael at CHARISMATICA had to say:
We have seen a lot of gifted major ministers failing and falling in the last couple of years within Pentecostal and Charismatic circles. I won’t bother to name any since I am sure anyone reading this article probably thought of a couple of them immediately.

‘Gifting’ is so emphasized and such a major part of the Charismatic and Pentecostal moves of God that it seems to almost over-ride character at times. Then the problems come.

We have seen just in recent years alone how certain major charismatic leaders and healers have been protected and their failures hidden from view by those in awe of their extraordinary gifting. Then comes the ‘train wreck’ and everyone who knew better comes out of the woodwork.

You would think that we would learn from the past but it doesn’t seem to work that way for some reason. For example, just after WWII there were a whole slew of major healing ministries that went from town to town in America and did some incredible miracles. They were gifted in a major way but there was no accountability and character was a major problem.

Nearly everyone of those incredible ministries ended up failing and/or teaching weird or false doctrines. It was a major setback for the American church and kept healing and spiritual gifts out of the mainstream for nearly 15 years.

In the same time frame God rose up Billy Graham, a man of extraordinary character. There were a dozen or so ministers from the same time period that were far more gifted than Billy but he excelled in character, was faithful, and God honored him and we all honor him today after a whole generation of incredibly fruitful ministry.

The point is –character matters.

We need both gifting and character for the American church to rise up and become the culture changing agent that it is called to be in bringing on a new era of revival and awakening.
So which matters most: character or gifting?  From both Scripture and history we'd have to loudly shout CHARACTER!  (But best of all, why not both)