VM18_05 Motivational Gifts • Vision Magazine

VM18_05 Motivational Gifts

Frank Harvey, ,

[5] Vision Magazine, no. 18, Nov-Dec 1976


Frank Harvey

In recent months a lot of interest has been created by a concept known as 'Motivational Gifts'. We have asked Frank Harvey, Associate Minister of Calvary Chapel, Greenacre, to share some introductory insights into this fascinating subject.

Motivational Gifts

Have you ever wondered why certain activities appeal to you, and not to your friends? Why should you feel some aspects of life to be more important than others, and why you are obviously more comfortable and natural in certain functions and situations than other people?

Pastors must often wonder why some of their truly spiritual people are not quick to make a vocal contribution to an 'open' -type service, while others (perhaps not so spiritual!) will speak at the drop of the proverbial hat! Or again, why do some people create such a rough first impression, when in fact, they are soft and sensitive people; and why do still others hide a deep river of spirituality behind a quiet retiring mask?

Some answers to these and many other questions may be found in the concept of Motivational Gifts, which has been formulated in recent years.

[6] Vision Magazine, no. 18, Nov-Dec 1976


Some 4 or 5 years ago Rev. Bill Gothard (of 'Institute of Basic Youth Con-flics' fame) made the assertion that the Gifts mentioned in Romans 12:6-8 were much more than a casual grouping of Spiritual Gifts, Ministry Gifts and other miscellaneous callings. Rather, he said, the great importance of Romans as a whole made it necessary for a 'common denominator' to exist which would bind these seven gifts together. The idea of personal motivation was suggested.

Rev. Don Pickerill of the Eagle Rock Foursquare Church (L.A. Calif.) decided the suggestion warranted further personality and biblical research, and promptly went to work! Later, he presented a series of messages to his own congregation, seeking their individual co-operation in a survey to validate his conclusions, which he calls 'Motivational Gifts.'

Armed with still more information the concept was later presented to the faculty of L.I.F.E. Bible School in Los Angeles, and in January 1975 Don Pickerill gave a series of messages at the Foursquare Camp Meetings at Windsor, N.S.W. Since that time numerous people in eastern Australia and New Guinea have studied the concept and found real insights into our expression of Christian character and personal development in God.

Are Motivational Gifts received with the new birth?:

The answer is 'No.' These motivations are part of the original gift of life, and the concept may be clearly explained to a group of secular business executives. However, because we are born to serve the Lord, these gifts will be most wonderfully expressed and directed within the wholeness which belongs to us in our New Birth in Christ.

What is a Motivational Gift?:

The concept maintains that beyond hereditary factors, education, spiritual gifts etc. there is a further factor shaping us as individuals — that is motivation! Each person is dominated by one of seven motivational patterns, which are rather like car engines. After possessing an engine, the individual then designs the body work, colour scheme, interior/exterior decorations, etc. so that his 'car' appears to be quite unlike any other vehicle on the road — until you lift the bonnet! Then the secret is out. He is really the same as thousands of other vehicles!

There are many times in life when we falsely imagine that when God made us He threw away the mould and lost the original design, with the result that we wander around in some kind of 'no-man's-land' thinking we are so unusual we must be the only misfit in God's universe. In actual fact we belong to one of these seven categories of motivation, and we will be surprised to realise how similar we are 'under the bonnet' to tens of thousands of our fellow men.

Motivational Gifts seek to identify both the strengths and the weaknesses in a persons life. He may then capitalise on his strengths and with Christ's power strengthen the weaker areas, standing guard over the pitfalls most likely to occur within that particular motivation.

The seven motivational gifts are named after those gifts mentioned in Romans 12:6-8 and are known as:

Gift of Insight (called 'prophecy' in KJV), Gift of Serving, Gift of Teaching, Gift of Exhortation, Gift of Contributing (called 'giving' or 'imparting' in KJV), Gift of Facilitating (called 'ruling' in KJV), Gift of Mercy.

We must not imagine that having one particular motivation hinders us from serving God in a multitude of ways. But it is obvious that most of us are personally fulfilled and fruitful in one special area of life.

How do I identify my motivation?

As you will observe from the accompanying Chart, each Motivation is clearly exemplified in the behaviour of at least one well-known Bible Character. Together with the relevant Scripture references, I have suggested areas in Church life where

[7] Vision Magazine, no. 18, Nov-Dec 1976

each Gift will find the greatest fulfillment and purpose - and then I have listed just some behaviour traits, in an attempt to identify each motivation as clearly as possible. Obviously such a format allows only a minimum of information to be displayed.

I feel sure that experienced pastors/counsellors will readily recognise many of these behaviour patterns in the persons to whom they give counsel and ministry.

1) From the information available seek to gain an understanding of each of the seven motivational patterns, as an entire concept, before making any decision about yourself — and 2) don't be in any hurry to make that final personal identification. You may need to do some real heart-searching before you are able to make a true assessment of your motivation. So 3) — ask your Heavenly Father for self-understanding, even if it means being shocked by who you really are!

4) Remember! We are not especially concerned with what we do (actions, favourite pastimes etc.) but our concern is to isolate the motivation behind any given activity or reaction. 5) Seek the counsel of godly men and women who see you at your best and at your worst moments. 6) Heed the counsel of Romans 12:2-3 to 'prove' which is God's will for us. and 7) finally, note the warning in the same passage, that a man must not 'estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought.. . but rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to Him.!(AMP) Kenneth Wuest says of Romans 12:6-8 'It is a wise man who stays within the sphere of service for which God has fitted him and does not invade some other field of service for which he is not fitted.'

What's the purpose?:

That's undoubtedly the most frequent question I am asked. Among those who have received the concept and identified their motivation in a mature way, there has been a noticeable character/personality development, together with a greater freedom in the area of personal relationships, i.e. business, marriage and congregational relationships.

IN PERSONAL LIFE the concept has caused many people to honestly face the question of who they really are. And why they do the things they do! Apart from a Ministry Gift and/or Spiritual Gifts which we may exercise within the Body of Christ, we must establish what particular kind of personality role God intends us to fulfill. Understanding oneself in a particular motivation can take away the 'orphan' complex — the distinct feeling that God must have broken the mould after He made me! To clearly identify our strengths, and to be thoroughly aware of our potential weaknesses is an enormous tactical victory over the enemy!

IN MARRIED LIFE the concept has enabled many husbands and wives to understand and accept each other to a greater degree than ever before. Such mutual acceptance can only lead to a greater harmony and sense of God's direction in marriage — and who wouldn't desire that in today's world?

IN THE PASTORAL AND COUNSELLING SCENE I see the concept as a most valuable tool in attaining the understanding and insight so necessary in coming straight to the point and dealing with causes rather than symptoms in troubled enquirers.

Having identified a motivational pattern I can surrender it to the Lordship of Christ, that I may enter more completely into the wholeness of His new life.

Many details of this concept not included in the above article may be obtained in booklet form and tape cassette from Calvary Chapel, 204 Waterloo Road, Greenacre, N.S.W. 2190. (Sydney 759 7202).

[8] Vision Magazine, no. 18, Nov-Dec 1976






Matt. 3:1-15 Luke 3: 3-20



Luke 10:38-42 John 11:20-22 11:39 12:2



Acts 18:24-28



Acts 4: 36/7 9:27 11:22-26 12:25 14:20-22 15:37-39



Gen. 13:1-11 14:14-24 22:1-3 23:14-18 24:1 & 10



Nehemiah Chaps. 1-7 13:6-13

  MERCY 'THE GOOD SAMARITAN' Luke 10: 29-37    

[9] Vision Magazine, no. 18, Nov-Dec 1976

Declares, truth. Desires motives/ attitudes to be right.

Meets spiritual needs.


Can show a 'rough' exterior, but inwardly gentle. Have a directness and frankness in speaking, yet acutely aware of personal unworthiness.

Behaviour is 'black or white' and place great emphasis on right and wong.

Sensitive re others' motives and will often openly reprove evil. Quick to repent when accused of wrong themselves.


Demonstrates love by fulfilling practical deeds.

Meets practical needs.

Find great fulfillment in practical/manual tasks. Have a tendency to do things by themselves and sometimes give the appearance of taking over — but inwardly this is not their desire. Often concentrate more on the task than the person in need, and may take on more tasks than they can reasonably handle. Gifted with their hands and have great physical stamina. They can 'see' what needs to be done. 'Big-hearted' people. May at times feel spiritually inferior.
Searches out and validates truth/ facts. Leads others into revealed truth.

Meets mental needs.


Place great emphasis on facts and accuracy. Their concern for details may appear unnecessary to others, and their objectivity may wrongly suggest a certain lack of warmth in their person.

Orderly, punctual, faithful persons who are not easily persuaded. Enjoy their own company and tend to be 'loners'.


Gives encouragement to personal growth and achievement.

Meets personal needs.


Centres of personal experience. Positive in outlook and attitude and can remain self-accepting even in stress. Self-actualizing people. Desire true things, and make a great appeal to the Will in personal growth and in counselling others. Need full attention of listeners when speaking. Jovial - and tend to be teasers.
Gives support of every kind ie material, financial and spiritual to God's work and people.

Meets supportive needs.

Often bubbly, joyful people, with leadership potential. Have a great sense of justice. Appreciative. Need to be occupied or they can become restless. Have a liberal spirit, compassionate and willing to give whatever they have to others — yet know the value of things and will not spend money wastefully. Often blessed with finances.
Gives leadership aid.

Can co-ordinate the activities of others to achieve a common goal.

Meets effectiveness needs.


Have a special zeal for God's work and can sense overall problems and needs. Make things 'easy' for others and can take pressure and opposition. Quiet yet firm people who do not seek the limelight. Never want to be a burden to others. Have a wide range of knowledge and interests. Often write notes to themselves. Positive people, able to co-ordinate the activities/abilities of others and can relate to all age-groups.
Gives personal support and empathy. Ability to feel for people and relieve their distress.

Meets emotional needs.


Quiet people, disturbed by loud noises and harsh commands. Sensitive, and hard for them to communicate personal feelings. Great compassion and empathy for 'hurt' people, with an ability to sense insincerity. Difficult for them to reprove others, but they have a quiet strength (almost stubbornness) on major moral/ ethical issues. Feel a great need to be loved.

By Permission. © Southern Cross College, 2004. All Rights reserved.



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