The Greek word "parakaleo" means to admonish, to encourage, to beseech. You are a "how to" person. You have the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by motivating others to action by urging them to pursue a course of conduct. In a teaching position, you are able to explain how to apply God's Word. Your goal is to present material that enables the Holy Spirit to promote change in the student's life. You reach out and help Christians become more mature.
As an exhorter you are a very practical person, a good counselor, tolerant of others, serious-minded, orderly, and usually impulsive. You are expressive in a group setting; the group listens when you speak. You are comfortable working one-on-one or in groups. You are enthusiastic and talkative and enjoy encouraging others.
You are burdened to show how Scripture relates to conduct and have a desire to unify people by using practical rather than doctrinal issues. You likely place great importance on God's will and believe that His Word has the answer for every problem. You tend to make decisions logically rather than on feelings and are very orderly.
Be careful not to interrupt other people; your enthusiasm sometimes makes you guilty of this. Others may think you don't use enough Scripture in teaching because you tend to use Scripture to support what you are teaching rather than starting with Scripture.
Unlike teachers, you have the willingness to teach the same material again and again, updating and perfecting it as you do. As a counselor you usually have the ability to leave other people\'s problems "in the office" rather than letting them drag you down.
Beware of Satan's attack on your gift. He may cause pride in your motivational abilities. He may influence you to lose sight of people because of program emphasis. Don't become discouraged when results are not evident. Be careful not to encourage others to do the wrong things through your persuasive abilities.
How can you use this gift?
You may use your special gift in many areas. You may want to be a leadership trainer. You could certainly serve as a counselor in church or in a counseling center. You could teach in church training or seminars or even small groups. You would make a good telephone ministry worker and would be a tremendous volunteer to follow up with new converts. You would work well as an encourager with those who are discouraged and as a counselor in a drug or alcohol program, rescue mission, poverty program, half-way house or runaway ministry or in a shelter for abused women and children. You could also use your gift in organizing or serving in a Men's or Women's Ministry.
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