www.beaconmedia.com.au – Professional development for teachers
adapted from www.TES.com.au
Motivational gifts Romans 12: 4-8 Each one of us has a body, and that body has many parts. These parts all have different uses. In the same way, we are many, but in Christ we are all one body. Each one is a part of that body. And each part belongs to all the other parts. We all have different gifts. Each gift came because of the grace that God gave us. If one has the gift of prophecy, he should use that gift with the faith he has.
If one has the gift of serving, he should serve.
If one has the gift of teaching, he should teach.
If one has the gift of encouraging others, he should encourage.
If one has the gift of giving to others, he should give freely.
If one has the gift of being a leader, he should try hard when he leads.
If one has the gift of showing kindness to others, that person should do so with joy. from the International Children’s Bible
Some call the seven gifts outlined here, ‘motivational gifts’. It is common for Christians to have a natural strength in one or more of these areas. However, to be more effective in serving God in whatever situation we find ourselves, we should try to grow in all the gifts, not just the ones we are naturally good at.
In the following stories, two children learn about the gifts by observing African animals:
For this gift we need to be able to see the meaning of what God is saying. In order to use the gift of prophecy we have to stay alert like the giraffe, who has excellent eye sight. We have to have special eyes to see and ears to hear what God is saying.
This gift is shown to us by the little tick bird who serves the rhinoceros, riding on its back and picking the ticks from its skin.
The monkeys are excellent teachers of their young, and the young are attentive learners.
In order to encourage others we need to be strong in the Lord, putting our own problems aside and with God’s strength, lift up others. The eagle exemplifies this attribute, having great strength for take-off, and the ability to soar to great heights.
The lionesses are the givers of the pride. They work hard to provide food for their family.
The meerkats show us an example of an organized community, with good leaders. A leader in God’s family must be humble, prepared to serve, and treat everyone fairly. Jesus gave us the greatest example of leadership. He showed humility and served mankind.
Kindness (showing mercy)
The elephants are an example of kindness in the way they rear their young. The whole elephant community cares for the young cooperatively, so that orphaned babies are taken care of.
Using all the gifts
The chameleon reminds us about the importance of growing in all the gifts, not just our strengths. God wants us to use the right gift for the right situation, just as the chameleon has the ability to change its colour according to its situation. It turns a dark colour to absorb heat when the weather is cool, and a light colour to reflect the heat when the weather is hot.
Characteristics of Motivational Gifts The prophetic one
“tells is like it is”
can be blunt
quickly identifies good and evil
is often an intercessor
has strict personal standards
remembers the things that people like or dislike
enjoys serving and does not think of work as a drudge
Understanding the motivation of each spiritual gift Let’s pretend that all of the seven motivational gifts are represented in the one family. Each member is strong in one of the seven gifs. Someone is carrying the whole dessert dish to the table, and drops it on the floor. What would each person say, and why would they say it?
The prophetic one
“That’s what happens when you’re not careful!”
(Motivation: to correct the problem)
“Oh, let me help you clean it up.”
(Motivation: to fulfill a need)
“The reason that it fell is that it was too heavy on one side.”
(Motivation: to discover why it happened)
“Next time, let’s serve the dessert in bowls before carrying it to the table.”
Motivation: to correct the situation so that it doesn’t happen again in the future.
“I’ll be happy to go down to the shops and buy a new dessert.”
(Motivation: to give to a tangible need)
“Tom, would you get the mop. Meg, please help scrape it up; and Kim, help me prepare another dessert.”
Motivation: to achieve the immediate goal of the group.
The one who shows mercy
“Don’t feel badly. It could have happened to anyone.”
Motivation: to relieve embarrassment)
Developing motivational gifts in students
This is the child that loves to research.
Provide plenty of free-choice project opportunities.
This child needs a wealth of books and information to research.
Provide opportunities for presenting research projects to the class.
Also give opportunities to explain Biblical meaning.
Look for the child that likes to help.
Give them responsibilities in the area of classroom / equipment maintenance.
Set up situations where they can help others in academic work e.g. helping younger children with reading.
This child loves to give gifts.
Provide opportunities for making gifts for others, e.g. writing a story for a younger child.
Put this child in charge of a giving project, e.g. to a hospital, nursing home or overseas community.
Allow this child to work with others who need support.
Give them opportunities to teach others one-on-one.
Leadership / administration
Allow this student to mentor others.
Give opportunities for group leadership.
Involve this child in the setting up and running of rosters.
Give opportunities to comfort others, e.g. be a friend to a new class member.
Give responsibility in missions or community projects.
Prophesy / insight
This child has a gift of hearing what God is saying.
Give opportunities for reflection on Bible verses / stories and encourage them to share what God is saying.
Motivational gifts and teaching styles
This section gives opportunity for teachers to reflect on their own motivational gifts and the ways they are used in teaching.
A teacher’s God-given gifts may be reflected in his/her teaching style or classroom management style as follows:
Teaching: the ability to impart knowledge and lead others to revealed truth
shows diligence to the profession
is enthusiastic about subject matter
researches subject matter deeply
tends to use large group instruction (lecture style)
shows lack of emotional involvement with personal needs of pupils
does not involve students in planning
Serving: the ability to see and do things that need to be done
provides numerous and colouful materials
able to think ‘on the spot’ and provide individual instruction
teaches according to the child’s interests
puts the students first
gives little direct instruction
focuses on short-term goals, ignoring long-term goals
may be prone to ‘burn-out’, trying to meet the needs of every individual.
Giving: the ability to handle and give resources to others