If you have not attended our Wednesday night Pastor’s study, we are looking at the PLACE of ministry God has for each of us. It has been a fun and fascinating subject.
Last week I wrote about discovering our Personalities. Today, I want to discuss Learning our Spiritual Gifts.
A spiritual gift is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit enabling a believer to minister to the needs of the body of Christ (see Romans 12:4-6). It is a special ability that God gives you to accomplish His work.
So, let me give you a few descriptions of spiritual gifts from 1 Corinthians 12. (I believe I heard this outline from Dr. Adrian Rogers.)
1. The gifts are spiritual (v. 1). A spiritual gift is NOT a talent. Talents are natural abilities God gave you at your birth. All people (whether Christian or not) have natural abilities/talents. But only Christians have spiritual gifts, which are given at our second birth.
2. They are supernatural gifts (v. 4). The word “gifts” is charismata, which means “something that roots in the grace of God.” Spiritual gifts prove nothing about the possessor, but everything about the Giver. Spiritual gifts are not an evidence of one’s spirituality; that is evidenced by the fruit of the Spirit.
3. They are service gifts (v. 7). They are not to be simply admired; they are to be used to serve others within the body of Christ. In other words, we receive spiritual gifts, not for us, but for others!
4. They are sovereign gifts (v. 11). The Holy Spirit determines which gift or gifts each believer should have. We don’t determine what we gifts we have.
5. They are salvation gifts (v. 13). Every Christian is given his/her gift(s) when they are saved. In other words, we receive our gift(s) on our spiritual birthday.
6. They are supportive gifts (v. 14-18). God made us different to make us one. We have different gifts so that the body of Christ will have what it needs. We are all needed. There is not one in the body that is useless or who is less important than another. We are interdependent. I need you, and you need me.
You and your gifts are needed within the body of Christ at Swift Creek. If you haven’t discovered what your spiritual gifts are, let me give you a few ways to do that:
- Ask those who know you best. Ask them what they think your gifts are.
- Evaluate results. When you serve within the body, what does it seem that you are effective with? What are others saying? How did you serve that uplifted and encouraged other members within the body?
- Evaluate your heart and passion. When it comes to serving the church, what is it that you just love to do? What is it that makes you come alive? I’ve noticed that when we exercise our spiritual gifts, we experience joy and contentment. When you use your spiritual gift, you will feel “connected to God."
- Try various kinds of ministries. See what you like…what invigorates you and what drains you. Even try out a ministry on a short-term basis to see what you enjoy.
- Take a spiritual gifts inventory. You can find these online. Also, we have copies of the PLACE workbook that we will be happy to give to you if you would like. It contains a good spiritual gifts inventory.
Please know this: if you have trusted Christ, you are gifted! And you are gifted to encourage and build up the body of Christ. Let’s be a church that discovers and develops our spiritual gifts. When each one of us does what we are gifted to do, we all benefit, and the Lord is glorified!