In my work with churches, I am in churches of all sizes and denominational backgrounds. It is surprising how many Christians don’t know their spiritual gifts. They know their talents. They know some areas where they enjoy serving. However, most don’t even know what the Bible says about spiritual gifts.
Do you know your spiritual gifts? Equally important, do you know which gifts you don’t have? If not, don’t feel bad. As a young pastor, I didn’t know mine either. I still can’t believe, after four years of college, seminary, and graduate school, I didn’t know my spiritual gifts!
You might wonder what I did learn. Actually, I learned a lot. Much of what I learned was excellent preparation for ministry. However, it wasn’t until I attended mission school that I learned about spiritual gifts. I taught the people in my church about spiritual gifts. It made a great difference in their lives, and in our church.
You can learn about spiritual gifts in these chapters of the New Testament: Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4. The gifts are given to every Christian by the Holy Spirit. Every person has talents. However, spiritual gifts are not the same as talents. Only Christians have spiritual gifts: supernatural attributes given to each person.
You can’t earn a spiritual gift. However, you can discover, develop, and use them. Each Christian in the same family, has a different gift mix. It is unusual, even in a church of 2,000 people to have two Christians with the exact same gift mix.
In the Bible, the church is called the Body of Christ. Every Christian is a part of the Body. Scripture teaches that Christ is the head of His Body. We are the “members” of the Body. That is, “members” – not like members of an organization, but like a hand, foot, or a liver.
Gifts describe functions. The way you know God’s idea of where you should serve is to know your spiritual gifts. Your gifts tell you where you will find maximum fulfillment. You can serve where you are not gifted for a short term. However, you should not serve long-term where you are not gifted. Your effectiveness is maximized in the area of your gifts.
How do you discover your spiritual gifts? You can take a simple reflection survey. You will discover your gifts. You will learn that, for some gifts, you will not have any exposure. For example, if you have never served in another culture, beyond your own, you may not know if you have the gift of missionary. The survey will tell you that missionary is an area you might want to explore. Consider a short-term mission trip or a service ministry among people of a different culture.
You can’t totally know God’s will for your life without knowing your spiritual gifts. When you know your gifts, you will want to focus most of your service where you use your gifts. Why would you go through life without knowing God’s niche for you?
Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by email, Twitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.