DISCOVERING YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS
By Pastor Ed Anderson
Every individual is endowed with special talents and skills either gained through life, education, or natural ability. As soon as that talent or skill is used for God, for the edification of the church, or for the proclamation of the Gospel, it is then considered a Spiritual Gift.
Jesus says in Matthew 24:14 that “The Gospel of the kingdom will be preached unto all the world and then the end will come.” However, not everyone is a preacher. Not to worry because the Gospel can be “preached” in many ways other than preaching on a pulpit. The following texts is what God says how he equips individuals:
Romans 12:6-8 New International Version (NIV)
6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
1 Corinthians 12:8-10 New International Version (NIV)
8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
1 Corinthians 12:28-30 New International Version (NIV)
28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[a]? Do all interpret?
Ephesians 4:11 New International Version (NIV)
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers…
1 Peter 4:9-11 New International Version (NIV)
9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
WHAT GOD IS SAYING TO YOU
What are YOUR Spiritual gifts? God has gifted you with a unique calling and thus gifted you with spiritual gifts. Many individuals possess more than one Spiritual Gift. God wants to remind you that you have been specially chosen by God Himself to represent Him. You are called to declare the amazing testimony that God has given you.
1 Peter 2:9 New International Version (NIV)
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
SPIRITUAL GIFTS DEFINITIONS
Administration – Persons with the gift of administration are organized and understand people and process. They have the ability to lead the body by steering others to remain on tasks. Administration enables the body to unite according to God-given purposes and long-term goals. (1 Cor. 12:28)
Apostleship – God sends apostles from the body (or church) to plant other churches. These individuals are the missionaries. These are individuals who have strong call to world missions, third world countries or inner cities to spread the Gospel in spite of harm and danger or seemingly insurmountable odds. Apostles motivate the body to look beyond its walls in order to carry out the Great Commission. These are the global visionaries. (1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11)
Discernment – Discernment aids the body by recognizing the true intentions of those within or related to the body. Discernment tests the message and actions of others for the protection and well-being of the body. (1 Cor. 12:10)
Evangelism – God gifts His church with evangelists to lead others to Christ effectively, enthusiastically ad efficiently. These individuals are typically extroverted or highly skilled in persuasive arts. This gift builds the body by adding new members to its fellowship. Singers, Songwriters, Musicians, Dancers, Actors, Artists, Public Speakers are often gifted with this spiritual gift. (Eph. 4:11)
Exhortation – Possessors of this gift encourage members to be involved in and enthusiastic about the work of the Lord. These are the pep talkers and cheer leaders. Members with this gift are good counselors and motivate others to faith and service. Exhortation may exhibit itself in preaching, teaching, and small group ministries but is often seen in one-on-one bible studies and/or personal relationship building. (Rom. 12:8)
Faith – Persons with the gift of faith show extraordinary faith and trust in God to work beyond human capabilities. Believers with this gift encourage others to trust in God in the face of apparently insurmountable odds, (1 Cor. 12:9)
Giving – Members with the gift of giving give freely and joyfully of their time, energies, resources, finances, energies and abilities. Cheerfulness and liberality are characteristics of individuals with this this gift. It’s not only about money resources but also human resources. Often times it is manifested in skilled laborers, entrepreneurs, professionals, and business owners. However, those with this gift seem to find people who are meek and humble and have the ability of finding and creating resources from impossible situations and places as if Heaven’s banks were open to them. (Rom. 12:6)
Hospitality – Individuals with this gift have the ability to make visitors, guests, strangers, members and family all feel welcome and at ease. They often use their homes, kitchens, and/or businesses to entertain. These are the party throwers, the cooks, the hosts, the tour guides, the receptionists, or the greeters. Persons with this gift integrate new members into the body. (1 Peter 4:9)
Knowledge – Persons with the gift of Knowledge possess biblical doctrine, facts, and truths in all aspects of scripture. The gift of knowledge manifests itself in teaching and training in discipleship. It is the God-given ability to learn, know, and explain the precious truths of God’s Word, God’s character, Human condition, Sin and the plan of Salvation. A word of knowledge is a Spirit-revealed truth. (1 Cor. 12:28)
Leadership – Leadership aids the body by leading and directing members to accomplish the goals and purposes of the church. Leadership motivates people to work together in unity toward common goals (Rom. 12:8)
Mercy – Individuals with the uncanny ability to add cheer and joy to every situation, room and meeting and provide compassion and understanding have the gift of mercy. These individuals typically have the ability to empathize (as opposed to sympathize) with hurting members. They keep the body healthy and unified by keeping others aware of God’s blessings and needs of the church. These individuals often times have the coupled gift of Faith. ((Rom. 12:6)
Pastoring/Shepherding – The gift of pastoral ministry or shepherding is manifested in persons who look out for the spiritual welfare of others. It is normally manifested in home visits, hospital visits, prayer chains, and counseling sessions. Although pastors do care for members of the church, this gift is not limited to a pastor or staff member. (Eph. 4:11)
Prophecy – The gift of prophecy is the ability to understand the mysteries of Biblical Revelation and eschatology found in both Old and New Testament and then be able to proclaim this Word of God boldly. This builds up the body and leads to conviction of sin, repentance, rededication of faith, and builds hope. Prophecy manifests itself in preaching and teaching. (1 Cor. 12:10; Rom. 12:6)
Service/Helps – Those with the gift of service/helps get much personal satisfaction in giving physical assistance to meeting others needs. These are the logistics people, the greeters, the cooks, the janitors, the nurses, the carpenters, the costume designers, the servers, the therapists, the sound engineers, the lighting engineers, the decorators, the facility managers, the Tech guys, etc. The Christians with this gift do not mind working behind the scenes or the shadow of others. (1 Cor. 12:28; Rom. 12:7)
Teaching – Persons with the gift of Teaching possess the ability to break biblical truths and stories down to object lessons, rudiments and building blocks. They are able to apply truths to a host of applications. Teaching is instructing members in the truths and doctrines of God’s Word for the purposes of building up, unifying, and maturing the body. (1 Cor. 12:28; Rom. 12:7; Eph. 4:11)
Wisdom – Persons with the gift of wisdom can apply knowledge to life applications and situations for the purposes of giving moral, ethical and spiritual guidance. Wisdom is the gift that discerns the work of the Holy Spirit in the body and applies God’s teachings and actions to the needs of the body. (1 Cor. 12:28)
SPIRITUAL GIFT SURVEY
This is NOT a test – so there are no right or wrong answers. This Survey consists of 80 Statements. Some items reflect concrete actions while other items are descriptive traits. Some are statements of belief. Best results are achieved when answers are given HONESTLY.
1. Select the one response that you feel best characterizes yourself and place that number in the blank provided. Record you answer I the blank beside each item.
2. Do not spend too much time on any one item. Remember, IT IS NOT A TEST. Usually your immediate response is the best answer.
3. Do NOT skip any items
4. Do NOT ask others how they are answering or how they think you should answer.
5. Work at your own pace.
Your response choices are:
5 – Highly characteristic of me/definitely true for me – almost 75% - 100% of the time.
4 – Most of the time this would describe me/be true for me – about 75% of the time.
3 - Frequently characteristic if me/true for me – about 50% of the time.
2 – Occasionally characteristic of me/true for me – about 25% of the time.
1 – Not at all characteristic of me/definitely UNTRUE for me – 0% of the time.
_____ 1. I have the ability to organize ideas, resources, time and people effectively.
_____ 2. I enjoy studying and preparing for the task of teaching.
_____ 3. I am able to relate the truths of God to specific situations and scenarios.
_____ 4. I have an ability to help others grow in their faith.
_____ 5. I possess an ability to communicate the truth of salvation either through public speaking, music, dance or dramatic arts.
_____ 6. I have the ability to make critical decisions when necessary.
_____ 7. I am sensitive to the hurts and feelings of people.
_____ 8. I experience joy in meeting needs through sharing possessions, skills, time.
_____ 9. I enjoy studying.
_____ 10. I have delivered God’s message of warning and judgment.
_____ 11. I am able to sense the true motivation of persons, groups and religious or world movements.
_____ 12. I have a special ability to trust God even in difficult situations.
_____ 13. I have a strong desire to contribute to the establishment of new churches.
_____ 14. I take action to meet physical and practical needs rather than merely talking about or planning to help.
_____ 15. I enjoy entertaining guests in my home.
_____ 16. I can adapt my words of guidance to fit the maturity of those working with me.
_____ 17. I can delegate and assign meaningful work.
_____ 18. I have an ability and desire to teach.
_____ 19. I am usually able to analyze a situation correctly.
_____ 20. I have a natural tendency to encourage others.
_____ 21. I am willing to take the initiative in helping other Christians grow in their faith.
_____ 22. I have an acute awareness of the emotions of other people such as loneliness, pain, fear and anger.
_____ 23. I love to give of my resources and time and energies with great cheer.
_____ 24. I spend time digging into facts.
_____ 25. I feel that at times I am given a spiritual message to deliver to others.
_____ 26. I can recognize when a person is genuine and honest.
_____ 27. I am a person of vision. I have a clear mental picture of a preferable future. I am able to communicate that vision in such a way that others commit to making the vision a reality.
_____ 28. I am willing to yield to God’s Will rather than question and waver.
_____ 29. I would like to be more active in getting the gospel to people in other lands.
_____ 30. It makes me happy to do things for people in need.
_____ 31. I am successful in getting a group to do its work joyfully.
_____ 32. I am able to make strangers feel at ease.
_____ 33. I have the ability to plan learning and education resources and approaches.
_____ 34. I can identify those who need encouragement.
_____ 35. I have trained Christians to be more obedient disciples of Christ.
_____ 36. I am willing to do whatever it takes to see others come to Christ.
_____ 37. I am attracted to people who are hurting or grieving.
_____ 38. I am a generous giver.
_____ 39. I am able to discover new truths.
_____ 40. I have spiritual insights from scripture concerning issues and people that compel me to speak out.
_____ 41. I can sense when a person is acting in accord with God’s will.
_____ 42. I can trust God even when things look dark.
_____ 43. I can determine where God wants a group to go and help them get there.
_____ 44. I have a strong desire to take the gospel to places where it has never been heard.
_____ 45. I enjoy reaching out to new people in my church and community.
_____ 46. I am sensitive to the needs of people.
_____ 47. I have been able to make effective and efficient plans for accomplishing the goals of a group.
_____ 48. I often am consulted when fellow Christians are struggling to make difficult decisions.
_____ 49. I think about how I can comfort and encourage others around me.
_____ 50. I am able to give spiritual direction to others.
_____ 51. I am able to present the gospel to lost persons in such a way that they accept the Lord and His salvation.
_____ 52. I possess an unusual capacity to understand the feelings of those in distress.
_____ 53. I have a strong sense of stewardship based on the recognition that God owns all things.
_____ 54. I have delivered to other individuals messages that I feel have come directly from God.
_____ 55. I can sense when a person is acting under God’s leadership.
_____ 56. I try to be in God’s Will continually and be available for His use.
_____ 57. I feel that I should take the gospel to people who have difference beliefs from me.
_____ 58. I have an acute awareness of the physical needs of others.
_____ 59. I am skilled in setting forth positive and precise steps of action.
_____ 60. I like to meet visitors at church and make them feel welcome.
_____ 61. I feel I can explain Scripture in such a way that others understand it.
_____ 62. I can usually see spiritual solutions to problems.
_____ 63. I welcome opportunities to help people who need comfort, consolation, encouragement, and counseling.
_____ 64. I feel at ease in sharing Christ with nonbelievers.
_____ 65. I can influence others to perform to their highest God-given potential.
_____ 66. I recognize the signs of stress and distress in others.
_____ 67. I desire to give generously and unpretentiously to worthwhile projects and ministries.
_____ 68. I can organize facts into meaningful relationships.
_____ 69. At times it feels as if God gives me messages to deliver to people.
_____ 70. I am able to sense whether people are being honest when they tell of their religious experiences.
_____ 71. I enjoy presenting the gospel to persons of other cultures and backgrounds.
_____ 72. I enjoy doing little things that help people.
_____ 73. I can give a clear, uncomplicated presentation.
_____ 74. I have been able to apply biblical truth to the specific needs of my church.
_____ 75. It feels as if God has used me to encourage others to live Christlike lives.
_____ 76. I have sensed the need to help other people become more effective in their ministries.
_____ 77. I like to talk about Jesus to those who do not know Him.
_____ 78. I have the ability to make strangers feel comfortable in my home.
_____ 79. I have a wide range of study resources and know how to secure information.
_____ 80. I feel assured that a situation will change for the glory of God even when the situation seems impossible.
SCORING YOUR SURVEY
Now it’s time to gather all the information and determine which spiritual gifts you might have. Please remember that honesty will get better results. Also, many people are given multiple measures of all the spiritual gifts, so we look to the top three!
Follow these directions to determine your score for each spiritual gift:
1. Place in each box your numerical response (1-5) to the item number which is indicated below the box.
2. For each spiritual gift, add all numbers in the boxes in the row and put the total in the TOTAL box.
3. In the graph, after totaling the numbers, for each gift you will place a mark across the bar at the point that corresponds to your TOTAL for that gift.
4. For each gift shade the bar below the ark that you have drawn to create a bar graph.
5. The resulting graph gives a picture of your spiritual gifts. Gifts for which the bars are tall are the ones in which you appear to be the strongest. Gifts for which the bars are very short are the ones which are weaker.
||+ Item 16
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Did the results surprise you? Now that you have determined your spiritual gifts, realize that you have a duty to use them for the edification of God’s church and his great commission to proclaim the good news to your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and the world. Your top three Spiritual Gifts that God has given to you are:
After praying to God, I am sensing that God wants me to use my spiritual gifts by serving in the following capacity: