Tuesday: Discovering Our Gifts
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Discovering our gifts is not difficult. You will be able to recognize quickly the gifted ministry areas of your pastor and other key leaders in your church. All you have to do is observe what they are doing and notice how people respond to their ministry. However, it is another matter when it comes to considering what one’s own spiritual gifts might be.1

The process of discovering an individual’s spiritual gifts has sometimes been presented as rather simplistic: fill out an inventory, apply a formula, and your gift is discovered. Many church members have attempted to discover their spiritual gifts through this avenue but have been disappointed when their local church does not place them in positions where they can exercise their gifts within the body.

An appropriate spiritual gifts seminar is perhaps the easiest way to begin to discover your spiritual gifts. However, it is wise to consider the seminar as only the beginning of the search, as, indeed, most prepared seminars point out.

Read 1 Corinthians 12:28–31. What is Paul telling us in these verses about spiritual gifts?

These verses are not directing us all to desire one or two gifts that are commonly thought to be the best. In this passage Paul shows that spiritual gifts are distributed according to the needs of particular situations facing any church in any place at any time. Therefore the best gifts would be those that would empower members of the local church.

When seriously considering your possible gifts, don’t underestimate what other church members say. When members sit on the nominating committee to choose the various leaders and support teams for the coming church year, they look for people who have already exhibited an interest and ability in certain ministries. Even though the committee may not understand or intentionally consider spiritual gifts, they are in fact looking for people gifted in specific areas of ministry.

When someone shares his or her belief that you would be really effective in a certain ministry position, it may well be confirming your gifts. It would be wise to listen and pray about it.

The results of a spiritual gifts seminar—coupled with the affirmation of fellow believers and the results of a trial period in a particular ministry field—would be a clear indication of what the Lord has called and gifted you for.

What do you think your own gifts are, and why?

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Tuesday: Discovering Our Gifts — 10 Comments

  1. Dear Henry,

    I am inclined to agree with Michelle's comment. (See Sunday: Gifted Believers.) My personal experience would suggest that the best way to know God's will for one's life is to see a need and fill it. If we were only to stick with what we -- or perhaps even others -- think we can do well, then I feel we might be in danger of limiting God's prerogative to take us outside of our "comfort zone." Myself, I have seen God use me in an area that would have been the last thing I could ever have seen myself doing! Needless to say, He did make His communication rather clear to my mind. In dealing differently with every individual, God doubtless has endless ways of making His will known to us personally.

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  2. Pastor CA Murray, from 3abn's church in New York, their church website had a seminar packet on spiritual gifts posted under resources. Google his name and I am sure you will find the church website.

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  3. This lesson highlights the importance of serious prayer season prior to nomination inviting the leading of the Holy Spirit and submission to His direction. He gave the gifts and He knows who to put in the nominating committee through whom He can place the relevant workers according to their giftedness. Many of us, when we have been selected don't trust God's choice and decline to serve in those capacities because it is not our areas. When appointed, let us also pray that God may lead us into the reason He picked us when there seems to be others "always more capable" than us.

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  4. It is not easy to be sure of my spiritual gift, even when other christians tell me of my gift. I think one has to pray for the Holy Spirit to show them their gift and how they can use it to the glory of God.

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  5. I hate filling in forms!
    You go shopping on the Internet - fill in form.
    You buy a new fridge - a week later someone is asking you to fill in a form.
    You are sitting quietly in school - suddenly a survey form is there to fill in!
    You go to church and someone gives you a form to find your spiritual gifts.

    A year or so ago a local public survey company rang me up and asked me to fill in one of their forms - a diary of my radio listening habits. It was the easiest form I have ever filled out - completely blank. It must have been years since I listened to a radio.

    I have seen the Spiritual gift forms. I guess that some people may find them useful, but really spiritual gifts are something that are difficult to express in a form. One of the problems with forms is that they typically have a preconceived idea of spiritual gifts, and many spiritual gifts are the result of people thinking outside the square.

    I know a man who has the spiritual gift of riding mountain bikes. He does amazing things with young people who have no sense of direction. A woman I know helps people to laugh at themselves when they have done something incredibly stupid. Hurting people are often helped by her wonderfully wicked sense of humour. Then there is the guy who turns up on the doorstep of the bereaved and does the housework for them unobtrusively, while they reorganise their lives. I see young people who have grasped hold of an idea and have mobilized a whole church into doing an outreach project.

    Just doing what you are good at, to the glory of God, is the best way of expressing your spiritual gift(s). And don't look at others, wishing in your heart that you had gifts like theirs. I once desired to be a mighty preacher, but someone wise said to me, "Maurice, if God has called you to be a computer scientist, heaven forbid that you should stoop to being a preacher!" I have lived long enough to treasure that statement.

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    • Well said, Maurice! Acts 2:38 teaches that all repentant, baptized believers will receive the Holy Spirit, and with that come spiritual gifts. They will be manifest even if we are unaware of what they are. It is not our work to develop them, but God's. The Spirit will not allow the surrendered Christian to sit idle, not using his or her gifts.

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  6. If the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts and power to use these gifts to spread the gospel, then in the same vein the Holy Spirit should help us to discover our spiritual gifts, not seminars or filling out forms. We should pray that the Spirit directs us to our ministry, like He did Barnabas and Saul in Acts 13.

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