Is Gathering a Spiritual Gift? Is it a unique calling? I do not see gathering, based on the precise exegetical information, as a spiritual gift. It is not specifically listed among the gifts, although we can be open to the idea that the lists are not exhaustive.
An Issue of Calling
In any event, I see it more as a work of passion and commitment to mission, Jesus’ mission. In this sense, I can definitely see it as an issue of calling – a specific calling for ministry work or mission – not calling in an efficacious environment. If gathering is indeed an issue of passion and calling, then I would see it as the highest calling in the church as it relates to mission and mission movement.
A Common Scenario
We need people who are passionate and who are good at gathering to continue the gathering process, even once the church has begun and shepherding is underway. A common scenario in church planting looks something like this:
A church planter and his family move to a city or town to begin a new church. The planter and his family gather people to the church. Once a group is gathered to some degree, the inevitable occurs. The planter must begin to shepherd those who are gathered. When the shepherding and caring begins, the gathering stops. It has to, because there is no one who is intentionally gathering at this point.
The Gatherer begins the Process
In the GSE process, it is the gatherer who begins the process of collecting a group. As the group grows, a shepherd is intentionally brought to the group to care for the needs of the people, allowing the gatherer to continue following his passion and calling.
Excerpted from Gathering to Movement, pp.61-62
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