Do You Have the Design of an Exhorter?
“Great, more people!”
“Ooo, that’s new!”
Welcome to the mind of an exhorter.
The exhorter is chosen by God to reveal the breadth of His greatness to others. They love to involve people and can communicate across any boundary. As a result they are natural-born evangelists. God often picks them to be world changers, but they must commit to discipline and developing their finest abilities.
The exhorter is perhaps the easiest gifting to spot, along with the prophet. They are a party looking for a place to happen. They love and understand people. They draw energy from being around others, and are adept communicators. Whereas the prophet sees “far”, the exhorter sees “wide”. They are interested in how a project, idea, or event could involve the most people. They are hard workers and usually have multiple things going on at once.
The sign of a mature exhorter is one who can inspire and motivate others to be their best. They have embraced productive pain and endured discipline in their lives. This gives them earned authority. They also know how to package truth in order to make it accessible to the most people.
The gifting of an exhorter is high reward and high risk. A carnal exhorter uses their influence to build their own kingdom. They often choose comfort over growth and get other people to enable their inadequacies. Because they enjoy being liked, they are reluctant to confront sin in their organizations or relationships for fear of being rejected. They try to govern by persuasion rather than principle, and they prefer to be judged by their intentions rather than the consequences of their actions. They often have an unrealistic view of what is possible and take on more than they should. And because they are so good with people, they neglect getting to know God when that requires isolation.
The lie that Satan wants the exhorter to believe is this: “I am legitimate when others like me and want to be around me.”
The birthright of the exhorter is to reveal the majesty of God to others.
Some examples of exhorters in the Bible include:
Paul the Apostle in Acts 9:19-31
Notice Paul’s natural ability as an evangelist. He went from being the hardest working enemy of Christ to the hardest working advocate for Christ. But God had to put Paul through an intense period of productive pain.
Solomon in 1 Kings 7:1-12
Look at the incredible grandeur and scope of Solomon’s palace. Solomon wasn’t content with a bungalow. He wanted it to be a world-beater of a mansion. However, the story of Solomon ends in tragedy because of his refusal to endure discipline and know God above knowing others. Read Ecclesiastes with the knowledge that Solomon was an exhorter who didn’t take hold of his birthright, and you will understand the anguish of his discontentment.
If you are an exhorter here is a prayer tailored to your gifting:
Father God, thank you for giving me the design of an exhorter. Thank You for making me love life, color, majesty, and big things that involve a lot of people. I know You love them too.
I repent for choosing outward expressions or relationships over knowing You first. I have big dreams, but I need deep maturity to handle Your plans for me. I submit to Your discipline in my life. I submit to developing my best talents, and not coasting when it comes easily. I pray that I would have the honor of revealing Your majesty to others, not to show off or build my own kingdom, but so that You receive the glory You deserve.
This teaching on the redemptive gifts is in no way my own teaching. I rely heavily on the extensive work of Arthur Burk.
If you would like to dive deeper, this teaching series is a great place to start.
Do you think you have the design of an exhorter? Leave a comment below.