Spiritual gifts enable us to serve the Lord in the context of a group of believers. We need to have a heart to serve the Lord and commit ourselves to that with time and prayer.
As part of the process of working out how you are gifted, you might like to consider what you are passionate about. Every Christian has a gift from the Holy Spirit to enable them to serve others.
1 Peter 4:10
10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
A spiritual gift is not necessarily a skill, but maybe a more effective use of a skill. For example, you might have the skill to repair cars, but your spiritual gift of service may enable you to use that effectively to bless others or you may have a skill in baking but it is your gift of hospitality that will enable you to use that gift for the Kingdom.
Spiritual gifts will, of course, be aligned with your skills. If you don’t have musical talent, then don’t expect to lead worship but if you are good at teaching people in your day job, then you might be a good Bible teacher.
By definition, using your spiritual gifting comes from the indwelling Holy Spirit. For example, a person skilled in music may not be an effective worship leader if they are using their musical skills but are not allowing the Holy Spirit to flow through them.
There are several biblical lists of spiritual gifts:
- Romans 12:6-8
- prophecy, service, teaching, encouragement, giving, leading, and acts of mercy
- 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
- wisdom, knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues
- 1 Corinthians 12:28
- apostles, prophets, teaching, miracles, gifts of healing, helping, guidance, tongues
- Ephesians 4:10-12 (Gifts of office)
- apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers
There are some good definitions of these gifts at Got Questions.
Some key points:
- God is firstly interested in your character. We should express the fruit of the Spirit, (Galatians 5:19-26)
- The primary purpose of your spiritual gift(s) is the blessing of others, reaching out to the unbeliever, the poor, the fatherless and the needy.
- It is ok to eagerly desire greater gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:31
- You can be blessed by additional gifts as you give your life in service to the Lord.
- Do not be envious of someone else’s gifting. God knows what He is doing.
- We use our gifts is in the context of a group of believers working together to build the Kingdom and generally not in isolation. 1 Corinthians 12
- Pray for opportunities to use your gifting. God does not make mistakes and if He gifted you in some way, He will also provide the opportunity to use that gift.
- It may be appropriate to undertake training. For example, if your gift is teaching, then you may find it valuable to go to Bible College.
- It is good if leaders confirm a gifting in you but not all church situations are set up to do this very well. Pray for some form of confirmation and encouragement.
- We will all give an account of ourselves for our use of what God has blessed us with. Romans 14:12
Identifying your gifts
- There are various questionnaires on the internet and many churches run courses. Questionnaires are not foolproof and the result cannot be accepted in isolation of other confirmation. You can try the one on this link at Lifeway Christian resources or look for others.
- Consider what you are passionate about and what motivates you as this can be a good indicator.
- Just start doing something to serve and see where the Lord leads.
- It is great if someone can observe the gift in you and confirm it to you.
- Pray for the Lord to speak to your heart and confirm the gifts he has placed in you.
- Always maintain a close relationship with the Lord in prayer and reading His Word.
Perhaps the best advice is to just get out and do something while at the same time asking the Lord to lead and guide you. As the saying goes, it is much easier to steer a moving ship than a stationary one. In doing this you are more likely to identify your gift(s) and calling.
10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might,