Administration? Craftsmanship? Discernment? Maybe ….encouragement, wisdom, healing, teaching….
These are just some of the 23 unique spiritual gifts that are expressly mentioned in the Bible.
Have a read and think of the unique gifts you have been given and the gifts of those around you.
- Administration: The gift to be able to understand what makes an organization function. People with this gift develop strategies and plans to reach identified goals of the ministry; they assist ministries to become more effective and efficient; they create order out of organizational chaos; they manage or coordinate a variety of people, tasks, or events.
- Apostleship: The gift to start and oversee the development of new churches or ministry structures. People with this gift pioneer new acts of mission, are sensitive and aware, able to oversee, and demonstrate authority and vision for the church. They care deeply for any ‘unreached’ people.
- Craftsmanship: The gift to creatively design and/or construct items to be used for ministry. People with this gift work with wood, cloth, paint, metal, glass, and other raw materials to make things which increase the effectiveness of others’ ministries and beautify the work of the community.
- Creative Communication: To gifting to communicate God’s truth through a variety of art forms. People with this gift use drama, writing, art, music, dance, etc., effectively to captivate people and cause them to consider the good news of God. There is often a ‘prophetic’ aspect to this gifting of challenging people’s perspectives and inviting the community into a new way of following Jesus.
- Discernment: The gifting to distinguish between truth and error, to discern spirits, and to differentiate between good and evil, right and wrong.
- Encouragement: The gift of being able to present truth so as to strengthen, comfort, or urge to action those who are discouraged or wavering in their faith. People with this gift come alongside those who are discouraged and strengthen and reassure them. This comes through challenge, comfort, confrontation, and application of God’s promises.
- Evangelism: The gift of being able to communicate the Gospel to seekers and non-seekers so that they respond in faith and move towards discipleship. People with this gift communicate the message of Christ with clarity and conviction, find themselves in conversations with non-believers about spiritual matters, and are comfortable challenging people into deeper faith.
- Faith: The gift of being able to act on God’s promises with confidence and belief in God’s ability to fulfill his purposes. People with this gift believe and inspire others to do the same.
- Giving: The gift of being able to contribute money and resources to the work of the Lord with cheerfulness and liberality. People with this gift trust the provision of God and ask not, “how much do I need to give to God”, but “how much money do I need to live on?”
- Healing: The gift of restoring people to wholeness. People with this gift demonstrate the power of God to restore, strengthen, and heal through their prayers, touch, and words.
- Helps (serving): The gift of accomplishing practical and necessary tasks which free-up support, and meet the needs of others. People with this gift serve behind the scenes wherever needed to support the gifts and ministries of others.
- Hospitality: The gift of being able to care for people by providing fellowship, food, and shelter. People with this gift provide an environment where people feel valued and cared for; meet new people and help them feel welcomed; create a safe and comfortable setting where relationships can develop; seek ways to connect people together into meaningful relationships.
- Intercession: The gift of consistently praying for and on behalf of others, seeing frequent and specific results. People with this gift feel compelled to earnestly pray on behalf of someone or some cause and is convinced that God moves in direct response to prayer.
- Interpretation: The gift to make known in the body of Christ the message of one who is speaking in tongues.
- Knowledge: The gift of being able to bring truth to the Body of Christ through revelation or biblical insight. People with this gift often receive images, scriptures, or insights which encourages, clarifies, and strengthens the faith of individuals or the community.
- Leadership: The gift of being able to cast vision, motivate, and direct people to harmoniously accomplish the purposes of God.
- Mercy: The gift of being able to cheerfully and practically help those who are suffering or in need. People with this gift focus upon alleviating the sources of pain and discomfort in suffering people and serve cheerfully in difficult circumstances.
- Miracles: The gift of allowing God’s power to be expressed concretely. People with this gift speak with confidence of God’s faithfulness and see that faith authenticated in miraculous events and happenings.
- Prophecy: The gift to be able to bring distinct clarity to a situation which highlights the unseen implications of a decision or pattern. People with this gift expose deception or malice, sin or falsehood for the sake of reconciliation. A prophetic person is comfortable to challenge assumed patterns so that the community may know a deeper life with God.
- Shepherding: The gift of being able to nurture, care for, and guide people toward on-going spiritual maturity and Christ-likeness. People with this gift take responsibility to nurture the whole person in their walk with God providing guidance and oversight to a group of God’s people.
- Teaching: The gift of being able to understand, clearly explain, and apply the word of God so that the Christian life of others is strengthened. People with this gift communicate biblical principles that inspire others to live simply and practically a life with God. They give attention to detail and accuracy and prepare through extended times of study and reflection.
- Tongues: The gift of being able to speak, worship, or pray in a spiritual language unknown to the speaker. People with this gift may receive a spontaneous message from God which is made known to the community through another’s gift of interpretation. This gift only comes when it will truly edify the community.
- Wisdom: The gift of being able to apply spiritual principles to meet the need of a specific situation. People with this gift focus on unseen consequences in determining next steps to take and receive an understanding of what is necessary to meet the needs of the body. They listen deeply to the Spirit and to others and provide divinely inspired solutions in the midst of conflict and confusion.
Gift list adapted from Network by Bruce Bugbee, Don Cousins, and Bill Hybels. Here’s a tool to help you go further into your exploration.
Distinguished from our “natural” talents and abilities – Spiritual gifts are tied to our specific calling and role within the community of faith. Spiritual gifts are for the “building up of the body” – for strengthening the community, and they strengthen and enliven us as we express them.
Spiritual gifts are about Unity – but not Uniformity! Thank God we are not all the same or life would be boring. The Christian community is built up and strengthened by the gifts of each individual of any age. What gifts do we have in abundance at st. A’s? Which are we lacking? No gift is more important than another.
Last Sunday June 5, we reflected on these gifts and explored these questions:
- At first glance, what are your top three gifts?
- _____________ _____________ _____________
- Gifts are authenticated in community. Who might give you an outside perspective to help you be more confident in your estimation?
- Put a name next to some of the other gifts you recognize at st. A’s. Is there anyone you would like to encourage in their gifting? You might want to tell them what you see in them.
- What is a ‘next thing’ you might do in the church to further build up the body of Christ in this Parish by expressing your gifts?