God gives every believer spiritual gifts to be used in ministry to gift others (Romans 12:6-8). There are different gifts for different believers (1 Corinthians 12:4-6). They are gifted by the Holy Spirit, thus only to believers (1 Corinthians 12:7). Each one of us is a different part of the church body. It is important that we not expect all believers to be the same part as us. However, just because we do not have a particular gift does not mean that there will not be times when God does desire you to carry out a particular task, for example: you may not have the gift of evangelism, but we all have the responsibility for the Great Commission. It may not be your gift, or an activity that you love, but somebody has to change the diapers on the babies in the nursery! It is important that we remember that none of us are the complete body by ourselves. It is also important that we not think more of ourselves than we ought to (Romans 12:3). Spiritual gifts are chosen by God (1 Corinthians 12:14-20). They are equally important so jealousy towards another person’s gifts is foolish (1 Corinthians 12:21-27). You can have more than one gift and they can change or be flamed into action more at one time than another. God is our enabler who gives us what we need to accomplish what He wants to accomplish through us and when (1 Corinthians 12:6, Philippians 2:13). HOOORRRAAAHHH!!! Powerful saints we are with Him at work in us!!!
Discovering your spiritual gifts takes time. Experience that comes from stepping out and trying some different areas of ministry is necessary to affirm our true gifts. When you are using your gift(s), you will enjoy it and when people are saying or showing that what you are doing is bearing fruit in their lives or saying that you are good at doing something in particular, these are indicators that you are working in your area(s) of giftedness. You will not learn this apart from trying. Try your hand at doing some things where you think you might be gifted and ask God to reveal the reality of your giftedness in that area. Try serving in several different ways, not just in the areas that assessment tests suggest (I’ll talk more about that later). Don’t worry about finding the perfect fit right away. Allow yourself to learn as you experiment. Consider one-time serving to try out different ministry areas. After each serving, ask yourself:
1) Was the work meaningful to you?
2) Was your emotional energy higher or lower after you served? Were you energized or drained? Connecting your spiritual gift with an area of passion is the key to ultimate effectiveness and fulfillment in serving. It is also one of the keys to maintaining energy in serving.
3) Do you enjoy serving with the people involved?
4) Does it fit well with your schedule and time frame for the serving opportunity? You may discover that one part of a serving opportunity feels great while another part doesn’t, so use what you learn, both positive and negative to inform your next experiment. Don’t wait to be asked. Just step out! Whether your first step reveals your ideal serving spot or begins a slow process of self-discovery, it will provide invaluable opportunity to invite God to reveal your calling, your gifts and your passion.
There are assessment tools available to help give you a hint at what you may be gifted at doing, but do not consider the results all-inclusive or an absolute indicator. As I just mentioned, experience will be the true test. DO NOT BE PIGEONHOLED BY TESTS! Assessment tools can give you some areas to think about and pray about. If you take the tests, it is important to be honest in your answers as to how you really are and not how you think you should be. The only should is that you should be yourself – how God made you! A Spiritual Gifts Analysis that you can consider that offers personalized and instant results is available through the Internet by typing into the search engine:
Church Growth Institute
You need to select FREE Spiritual Gifts Analysis – Church Growth.
If you do not have access to the Internet, you can also order a booklet test by calling the Church Growth Institute at 1-800-553-GROW (4769).
There are many assessment tools available through the internet and in book form to assist you in determining “Spiritual Gifts.” They vary in what they include, in that they may test for some or all of the “Spiritual Gifts” that the Bible refers to in Romans 12:6-8, Ephesians 4:11 and 1 Corinthians 12:1-14, but they may add other abilities and talents found throughout the Bible as well.
There are also different opinions as to what a “Spiritual Gift” is – some will say that they are limited to select gifts while others say a spiritual gift is anything that a person can do supernaturally well.
The “Spiritual Gifts” referred to in the “Running Your Road of Purpose” Bible study are the “gifts” referred to in Romans 12:6-8, Ephesians 4:11 and 1 Corinthians 12:1-14. They are listed below:
Romans 12:6-8 Ephesians 4:11 1 Corinthians 12:1-14
Prophecy Apostleship Wisdom
Serving Prophecy Knowledge
Teaching Evangelism Distinguishing spirits
Exhortation/Encouraging Pastoring Speaking in tongues
Giving Teaching Interpretation of
Showing mercy Faith
Some believe that the operation of some of these gifts is limited to early Christianity – a time when people did not have the written Bible and they looked for miracles to determine if someone was truly of God. According to some Protestant denominations, some of the spiritual gifts, for example: speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues were enjoyed only for a short time and were suited to the Church’s infancy, not to later times. This view is known as “cessationism.” While many churches hold to this view, others do not. One opinion is sure, God cannot be put into a box and have it be said of Him that He would not equip a believer to utilize a particular gift to carry out a purpose if that was His desire for that person to do so.
Don’t get hung up in these issues. The point to remember is that all believers are gifted by the Holy Spirit to serve in a way(s) that builds the church. Assessment tools can be used to give you a hint at how you may be gifted, but they are not absolute or all inclusive as God gives us other abilities and talents as well through which He works His purpose for our lives. Experience is the key to truly understanding our uniqueness that God has given to each one of us for serving Him. Each one of us is specially equipped and none of us are indispensable to the body. To that I say, WOOOHOOO!!! LET’S GO IN THE GIFTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TO SHINE FORTH THE LOVE AND LIGHT AND VICTORY OF JESUS INTO THE WORLD WHEREVER HE HAS US AS HIS ENERGY WORKS SOOO POWERFULLY IN US AS THIS SONG SAYS HERE. I AM PROUD OF YOU FOR DOING SO, DEAR ONES!!!