Spiritual Gifts Assessment

Please note -- this online spiritual gifts assessment has been seperated into two documents. The first is an online test that can be easily saved from the web and used off-line, and the second is this, the original version of the test that includes in-depth explanations of each of the spirtual gifts and scriptural references. Additionally, the word document which both files are based on is available.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section 1

Spiritual Gifts

All too often, in churches and groups within churches today, there is considerable twisting to get people involved or 90% of the work is being done by a weary 10%. Why does this happen? Partially due to ignorance and partially due to avoidance of spiritual gifts. First, we should discover what gift was given to us at our Spiritual birth, then we need to see where that gift fits into the functioning of the body.

Imagine you and some friends decide to put together a football team. But, somehow your team ends up in the stadium playing a professional team. You would not fare too well and probably would be seriously hurt. This is because of your lack of equipment, training, conditioning, experience, and skills at playing the positions required.

The same holds true for the church today. People become involved in a church without the proper understanding of the equipment; little training, conditioning, or basic skills; and practically no knowledge of positions on the playing field.

It is essential to understand how we all can minister together toward our common goal. We must know how God can use us, i.e. the position we should play on the team.

Christ’s strategy for reaching the World for himself was through the Church. (Ephesians 3:10-12) He has called each of us to contribute! (Ephesians 4:1) Everyone is expected to contribute in a unique way. (Ephesians 4:7)

But, how are you to contribute and in what unique way has God called you? After today, you will know what Spiritual Gift you have received and where your gift can be used in the Body of Christ. He has given you a special gift with which to serve him! Yet, there is confusion over what a spiritual gift is. Let’s begin by clearing up what isn’t a spiritual gift. Spiritual gifts should not be confused with Fruits of the Spirit, a talent or a calling. Each of which is defined as follows:

Definition of Fruits of the Spirit

Fruits of the Spirit can be defined as the result, product or consequence of an action. The action being: filling of the Holy Spirit. With the result, product or consequence being as told to us in Galatians 5:22, 23 -- God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways.

When the Holy Spirit enters our lives, at the time we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, He brings these attributes with Him. We must mature (by walking in the Spirit) in order to give these areas of our life to the Holy Spirit .In Philippians 4:11, 12, Paul states twice “I have learned patience, faithfulness and self-control.” It should be mentioned that EVERY Christian should exhibit these qualities (fruits). There are different levels depending on your spiritual maturity. If not, you are not allowing Him to work through you or the Holy Spirit is not inside you.

Definition Of A Talent

A talent is often mistaken for a spiritual gift. These abilities are independent of our accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Yet, due to the inadequacy of the English language, they are often called gifts; however, only in the sense that your sight and hearing are also gifts. Webster defines a talent as “any natural ability or power; natural endowment.” Music, art, organizing and athletics are examples of talents which can be used by not only Christians but non-Christians as well. Biblical examples of talents are found in I Samuel 16:18, 23 -- David’s talent was music (skillful at playing the harp). Judges 20:16 tells us the tribe of Benjamin were expert marksmen; could split a hair with a sling. II Samuel 18:22, 23 -- Ahimaaz was a better runner than most. Lastly, Exodus 28:3, 4: 31:3 -- Describes people as skillful at making garments (sewing) for Aaron. Talents can also be used to accomplish God’s will, both inside and outside of the church or for personal gain.

Definition Of A Calling

A calling is often associated with someone like a pastor or missionary who is being called to a life of servanthood. But throughout the Bible a calling is mostly associated with all of us who are followers of Christ. Any one of us who have a walk with Christ has been called to some sort of ministry and often thinks of a calling in all the wrong terms. A Biblical calling is really nothing but a spiritual gift and a passion. Now, we have spent time talking about spiritual gifts; however, before you are ready to assume God is calling you to use that gift in one context or another, I would suggest you evaluate the four components of a passion. Your passion is comprised of four components: first, your personality; second, your background; third, your life situations; and last, the maturity of your spiritual walk with Christ. Now, let’s look at each component. The first component is your personality. Your personality very much influences your calling. Two people with the same gift of teaching may manifest the way they use their calling in different ways, depending on their personality. If one is very timid, shy, and uncomfortable in large groups, then their calling probably has more to do with teaching in the context of a small group or even one to one. Whereas a person who is very comfortable upfront and enjoys being in the public eye could very well have a calling to teach in a larger context. The unique parts of your personality may influence the way you use your gift in your calling.

Background is the second component of passion. A person’s background also significantly impacts the way their gift is manifested in a calling. For instance, often people who are raised in an alcoholic home have a real passion or burden to work with alcoholics in their own lifetime or those who were raised around alcoholics. The unique attributes of your background may influence the way you use your gift in your calling.

The third component of a passion is your life situation. Often, how we sense God is calling us is limited by certain situations in our life. If one is a mother of young children, it is very unlikely she is being called to a foreign mission field if her children and husband vehemently don’t feel called in the same way. The situation you find yourself in life in many ways either hinders or clarifies your calling. As our situations in life change as we grow older, often God’s call upon us to serve Him in ways changes also.

The fourth and final component of a passion is the spiritual level of maturity in your walk with Christ. As one grows in their walk with Christ your sense of God’s calling on your life will change. As you grow closer and closer to Him sometimes He calls you to more significant levels of personal sacrifice in ways of serving Him.

Definition Of A Spiritual Gift

A Spiritual Gift is a special ability given to us at our Spiritual birth. We know the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us (John 3:5; Romans 8:9) when we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior and we are told we are given the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. We are given a spiritual gift at the point of spiritual birth which the Holy Spirit has specifically chosen for us. Why do we receive a spiritual gift, you may wonder? I Corinthians 12:7 states “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” I Corinthians 14:12 -- “Seek that gifts may abound for the edification or the building up of the Body. Lastly, I Peter 4:10 -- “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

A great deal of confusion concerning spiritual gifts exists today, as it did in Paul’s day. Rather than the people ignoring spiritual gifts because of this problem, Paul tells the Church at Corinth he does not want them to be ignorant on the subject. (I Corinthians 12:1) He then dedicates the next three chapters to trying to clear up their confusion.

Let’s take a closer look at what the Bible says about our own spiritual gifts. They are explicitly addressed in Romans 12, I Corinthians 12-14, Ephesians 4, and I Peter 4. Responsible Bible study necessitates we understand the central thrust of each of these passages before we begin to look at the specific verses. The central thoughts of each passage are as follows:

I Corinthians 12-14

Everyone is given a spiritual gift, which is selected by God. There is a great difference between gifts, but all are needed and all are part of one body; that is, the body of Christ. Without love, they are useless in trying to minister for Christ and, in fact, can be divisive.

Romans 12

The supreme application of all doctrinal teaching is to give our entire lives to Christ in ministry. We must honestly evaluate who we are, and then use our gifts in service to God. He gives us gifts out of his grace, and it is love that keeps the service appropriate.

Ephesians 4

All of us are called to unity, maturity and ministry. As leadership gifts are exercised to equip and prepare others to use their gifts in ministry, then the entire body will grow in maturity, be stable and become one. Again, it is God’s grace that is emphasized, and love holds the body together through the process.

I Peter 4

We should live totally for God, even in suffering; in fact, it is suffering that allows us to keep everything in perspective. The end is near; therefore, we should act like and use our gifts to serve each other with the grace, which God has given us. It starts with love and ends with praise given to Christ.

Spiritual gifts allow us to fulfill different roles in the Church. We all function in a variety of ways, like the various positions on a football team. We may do different things, but the goal is always to build up the Body of Christ—the Church.

Paul uses the analogy of a human body with its many members to enable us to understand how, though having a variety of functions, we have a unity of purpose. In I Corinthians 12, he repeatedly emphasizes the variety of gifts and members of the body. But, he also emphasized there is one Spirit, God, Lord, and Body who we all serve. Unity with variety is Paul’s understanding of gifts.

Do you know what your gift is and are you using it? Few of us have presents sitting around our homes still wrapped up. Most often, when we receive a gift, we are excited and anxious to open it. We will do anything we can to help us guess what is inside. What about your spiritual gift? Have you opened it yet?

Answering the following eight questions and working through the “Determining Your Spiritual Gifts Survey” will help you begin to discover and deploy your spiritual gifts.


Notes

Eight Important Questions

1. Who gives spiritual gifts?

Spiritual gifts come from God. They are a gift, not something we earn. I Corinthians 12:16 clearly states that it is God who has given us gifts. I Corinthians 12:11 elaborates further, stating it is His Spirit which bestows these gifts. Finally, in Ephesians 4:11, we are told that Christ, as part of the Godhead, gives these gifts also.

2. Who receives these gifts?

All believers are given at least one gift. I Corinthians 12:7, 11, 18 tells us that “to each one” is given a gift. Therefore, all Christians can count on the fact that they have been given a gift.

3. When are we given these gifts?

At conversions, we receive our gift. At conversion, a believer is indwelt with the Holy Spirit according to Romans 8:9 and Galatians 3:2-5. I Corinthians 12:7 states that when He comes into our lives that He brings a gift or “manifestation of the Spirit”.

4. Which gifts does God give us?

God chooses the specific gift we need to function within the Body. I Corinthians 12:11, 18, tells us that we receive the gift “just as He determined them to be”. How exciting to know that God selected the gifts to give us!

5. What is the purpose of spiritual gifts?

It is to build up the Body of Christ such that it can fulfill its God-given Mission. I Corinthians 12:7 states that gifts are given for the “common good” of the body. I Corinthians 14:12 tells us that they are “to build up the Church”. I Peter 4:10 shares that they are “to serve others”. I Peter 4:11 continues to say “so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ”. Finally, Ephesians 4:12 tells us that they are for “works of service so that the Body of Christ may be built up”. Ray Stedman, in his book entitled Body Life, writes: “We must continually remember that the work of the ministry is to the world. The Church exists as God’s instrument to reach the world” (p. 94). Spiritual gifts buildup the church to be an effective instrument.

6. What are spiritual gifts?

They are abilities which enable Christians to effectively function in serving and building up the Body of Christ. However, spiritual gifts are different from talents. A talent is a naturally developed ability which is independent of one’s commitment to Christ. It may be used for any purpose. A spiritual gift, however, is given a spiritual birth and, its primary objective is to build up the church. Often gifts complement our talents. God in his infinite wisdom knows which gifts will be best for our talents, background, personality and situation in life.

7. How many gifts are there?

There is not agreement on the exact number, but Paul gives us four lists in three different letters. Each list is different from the others, which may indicate that Paul was not overly concerned with a predetermined exact number. We find the following listings in Scripture:

Romans 12:6-8
  1. Prophecy
  2. Service
  3. Teaching
  4. Encouragement
  5. giving
  6. Leadership
  7. Mercy
I Corinthians 12:8-10 12:28-30
  1. Wisdom / Apostles
  2. Knowledge / Prophets
  3. Faith / Teachers
  4. Healing / Miracles
  5. Miracles / Healings
  6. Prophecy / Helps
  7. Discernment / Administration
  8. Tongues / Tongues
  9. Interpretation
Ephesians 4:11
  1. Prophets 
  2. Evangelists
  3. Apostles
  4. Pastors/Teachers

8. How do I confirm which gifts I may have?

God gives us gifts to build up the Body of Christ. We should see the Body being built up as a result of us using our gifts. As a Christian, you too are part of the Body of Christ. Therefore, you will also be built up through your gifts’ use. If you are not encouraged through your service in an area, it is probably not your gift. Through exercising your gift, you should see fruit and receive a deep satisfaction of knowing God is using your life.

It is important for you to recognize your gifts, as this step is one part of finding your true calling. The other part is recognizing and understanding your burden. Your burden is the combination of your personality, background, life situation, and walk with God. While it is easy to describe your burden, pinpointing your gifts may be more difficult. The following survey is to help you begin the process of identifying your gifts.


Determining Your Spiritual Gifts Survey

The ultimate way to determine your spiritual gift is through using it and evaluating the fruit in light of the purpose for gifts. Therefore, the answers to the following questions will greatly aid you in narrowing the list. Answer the questions as you like to without coercion or trying to please others. Several examples show how to use each of these categories and questions. Feel free to add any additional answers and corresponding gifts in the spaces provided.


Category Question

Possible Answers

Corresponding Gift

Relationship:

--Warm and empathic

--Mercy

How do I relate to people?

--Encouraging

--Helps


--Instructive

--Encouragement


--Challenging

--Teaching


--Assertively

--Prophecy


__________________________

--Discernment


__________________________

--Leadership



______________________



______________________

Personality:

--Outgoing

--Teaching

How do people perceive me?

--Encouraging

--Leadership


--Task oriented

--Encouragement


--Visionary

--Leadership


--Giving of yourself

--Faith


--Analytical

--Helps


--Caring

--Service


--Mercy

--Giving


--Good communicator

--Administration


--Abrupt

--Knowledge


__________________________

--Pastor


__________________________

--Teaching



--Prophecy



___________________________



___________________________


Believers:

How do I build up believers?

--Love them in spite of their

problems

--Mercy

--Helps


--Serve them

--Encouragement


--Help them financially

--Service


--Encourage them through

difficult times

--Giving

--Wisdom


--Guide and care for them

--Pastor


--Train and Instruct

--Prophecy


___________________________

--Pastor


___________________________

--Teaching



___________________________


Burden:

What am I motivated to do?

--See the needs of others before

most people do

--Helps

--Service


--See what God can do through

others

--Mercy

--Giving


--Help others organize

--Leadership


--See others grow

--Faith


--Understand how principles fit

together

--Administration

--Teaching


--Care for the well being of

others

--Wisdom

--Knowledge


___________________________

--Pastor


___________________________

__________________________

__________________________

Unbelievers:

--Pointing out sin

--Prophecy

How do I find it most natural to evangelize?

--Using logical arguments

--Helping them financially

--Wisdom

--Giving


--Using apologetics

--Teaching


--Anyway possible

--Knowledge


--Loving and meeting their needs

--Evangelism


--Encouraging them through

difficult times

--Mercy

--Helps


--Encouragement


__________________________

--Encouragement


___________________________

___________________________



___________________________

Background:

--Sheltered past

--Helps

Which best describes my background

--Been through many experiences

--Seen God do great things

--Service

--Wisdom


--Been in many varied learning

--Encouragement


environments

--Faith


___________________________

___________________________


___________________________

___________________________



___________________________

Prayer Life:

What do I most often pray for?

--Specific hurts and needs of

others

--Mercy

--Helps


--Overcoming obstacles

--Service


--Communicating truth

--Giving


--Applying truth

--Faith


--Understanding truth

--Teaching


--People under your care

--Wisdom


--People of foreign cultures

--Knowledge


___________________________

--Pastor


___________________________

--Apostle



___________________________



___________________________


Bible Study:

--Doctrinal passages

--Knowledge

How do I most enjoy studying the Bible?

--Character studies and historical

studies

--Administration

--Service


--Epistles

--Wisdom


--Topical studies

--Teaching


--Gospels

--Pastor


___________________________

--Leadership


___________________________

--Faith



--Encouragement



--Mercy



--Helps



___________________________



___________________________


Life Situations:

--Surrounded by unbelievers

--Evangelism

Where am I at this point in my life?

--I make wise financial decisions

--Surrounded by people

--Helps

--Giving


--People often follow me

--Service


--Surrounded by people

--Leadership


___________________________

___________________________


___________________________

___________________________



As we conclude our discussion of gifts, we must be careful not to project our gift onto others. It is easy to expect everyone else to minister like we do. This is gift projection. Another danger is not appreciating our own gifts. We want the gifts we see in others. This is gift devaluation.

Both of these tendencies can be avoided by realizing that God has given us the gift he chose for us. He also gave others their gifts.

Spiritual gifts are the means that God has chosen to build up his Church to reach the world. They are only the “position” on the football field and are useless without the skill, conditioning, training, and proper equipment given to us by God. Let us seek to know, develop and use our gifts to serve our Lord in the way that He has gifted us.

Common Gifts Clustering


Dominant Gift

Possible Support Gifts

1. Helps/Service

Mercy, Encouragement, Discernment, Administration

2. Giving

Discernment, Mercy, Administration

3. Mercy

Pastor, Helps/Service, Encouragement

4. Encouragement

Pastor, Mercy, Discernment, Wisdom

5. Faith

Leadership, Wisdom, Knowledge

6. Wisdom

Teaching, Discernment, Encouragement, Leadership

7. Knowledge

Teaching, Faith, Leadership

8. Discernment

Wisdom, Leadership, Prophecy, Encouragement

9. Evangelism

Discernment, Prophecy, Wisdom

10. Leadership

Faith, Wisdom, Teaching, Knowledge

11. Administration

Helps/Service, Giving, Wisdom

12. Teaching

Wisdom, Prophecy, Evangelism, Faith

13. Prophecy

Discernment, Wisdom, Knowledge

14. Hospitality

Helps/Service, Mercy, Encouragement

15. Pastor

Mercy, Encouragement, Discernment

16. Apostleship

Wisdom, Prophecy, Evangelism, Faith

17. Pastor-Teacher

Pastor, Teaching, Wisdom, Encouragement, Leadership

18. Miracles

Tongues, Interpretation, Faith, Discernment

19. Healing

Mercy, Miracles, Tongues, Faith

20. Tongues

Miracles, Interpretation, Faith, Discernment

21. Interpretation

Tongues, Faith, Discernment, Miracles

Master List of Gifts and Definitions

Gift of Helps/Service (I Corinthians 12:28, Romans 12:7)

This gift is the ability to unselfishly meet the needs of other people through practical service. It may be either ministering to the person himself or doing things to enable him to be free to do other ministries.

Gift of Giving (Romans 12:8)

This gift is the ability to give liberally to meet the needs of others and support God’s ministry with that which God has entrusted to you.


Gift of Mercy (Romans 12:8)


This gift is the ability to empathize with those in need (especially those suffering and miserable) and to manifest this empathy in such a way as to encourage those that are in need.


Gift of Encouragement (Romans 12:8)


This gift is the ability to counsel, model, and encourage people through your personal testimony, life, and scripture so that people are comforted and encouraged to action. If you have the gift of encouragement, you:


Gift of Faith (I Corinthians 12:9)


This gift is the ability to envision with clarity and confidence God’s future direction and goals for the Body of Christ.

Gift of Wisdom (I Corinthians 12:8)


This gift is the ability to gain insight on how knowledge may best be applied to specific needs in the Body of Christ. This involves applying Biblical truths to everyday situations. It also involves special insight into the profundity and implications of how God is working in the world, especially to further the gospel. Compare Romans 11:33-35 with I Corinthians 2:6-10.


Gift of Knowledge (I Corinthians 12:8)


This gift is the ability to discover, analyze, accumulate, systematize, and articulate ideas that are essential for growth and edification of the Body of Christ. This especially involves the ability to concretely expound upon Old and New Testament history as well as the history of the Church.


Gift of Discernment of Spirits (I Corinthians 12:10)


This gift is the ability to perceive the motives of others and the sincerity within relationships concerning the Body of Christ. Or in other words, it is the ability to know if something is from God, a demonic source, or if it simply reflects human opinion.





Gift of Evangelism (Ephesians 4:11)


This gift is the ability to share the gospel of Christ publicly or privately with unbelievers in such a way that men and women respond to become disciples of Jesus Christ.


Gift of Leadership (Ruling - Romans 12:8)


This gift is the ability to set Godly goals, make decisions, and then communicate them to the Body of Christ, such that others will voluntarily follow and joyously work to accomplish these goals.


Gift of Administration (I Corinthians 12:28)


This gift is the ability to develop, articulate, and execute effective and specific plans in the accomplishment of the long and short range goals of the Body of Christ.


Gift of Teaching (Romans 12:7, I Corinthians 12:28)


This gift is the ability to communicate information in such a way that members of the Body of Christ understand how to apply spiritual principles to their own lives and ministries.

Gift of Prophecy (Romans 2:6; I Corinthians 12:10, 28-29; Ephesians 4:11)

This gift is the ability to publicly or privately proclaim God’s word such that people are convicted, consoled, encouraged, challenged or strengthened. Another angle also involves knowing and speaking God’s mind intuitively rather than, as with the teacher, deductively from scripture alone. Scripture is to always check this intuition.


Gift of Hospitality (I Peter 4:9)


This gift is the ability to reach out to others and welcome them into your home and life in a loving, warm manner, while providing food and lodging, such that the guests feel “at home” in your presence.


Gift of Pastor-Shepherd (I Peter 5:1-4; Ephesians 4:11)


This gift is the ability to minister to an established group of people (believers) by caring for their spiritual welfare holistically on a long-term basis.


Gift of Apostleship (Ephesians 4:11)


This gift is the ability and calling of God to be sent as a messenger to bring the Gospel to places where it has previously not been acculturated.


Gift of Pastor-Teacher (Ephesians 4:11)


This gift is the ability to instruct, guide, and care for a local expression of the Body of Christ, such that the members are prepared to reach out in ministry to others, both inside and outside the Body.

Gift of Miracles (I Corinthians 12:10, 29, 39)


This gift involves an event where a physical law is superseded (supernaturally) in such a way that it is perceived by the senses and draws the observers’ consciences to their relationship with God. This especially involved exorcisms in the New Testament.


Gift of Healing (I Corinthians 12:9, 28 & 30)


These are presumably of various kinds since this gift is described in the plural form. These gifts result in the restoration to wholeness of a person who is physically, emotionally, or spiritually broken, so that they may serve Christ or as a witness for Him.


Gift of Tongues (I Corinthians 12:10, 28, 30)

Gift of Interpretation (I Corinthians 12:10, 30)

The gift of tongues is the ability to speak to God in an utterance not understood by the speaker (unless it is explained by one with the gift of interpretation).


Section II

Spiritual Gifts Definitions

Gift of Helps/Service (I Corinthians 12:28, Romans 12:7)

This gift is the ability to unselfishly meet the needs of other people through practical service. It may be either ministering to the person himself or doing things to enable him to be free to do other ministries.

This is the behind the scenes worker.

These people enjoy such tasks as:

This is one of the more important gifts and often the least practiced. Without it, all other gifts must perform functions out of their own gift mix, inhibiting their effectiveness. Therefore, the people with the gift of helps/service free others up to use their own gifts.

We all should exemplify this gift as characterized by Christ. But a person who truly has this gift personifies it to the extreme and is recharged by exercising it.

Biblical examples:

Probable characteristics of this gift:

Sometimes you feel guilty or envious because you do not have one of the more “obvious” gifts that others seem to possess.

Gift of Giving (Romans 12:8)


This gift is the ability to give liberally to meet the needs of others and support God’s ministry with that which God has entrusted to you.


This gift is not to be associated only with wealthy people. (II Corinthians 8:1,2)

This gift is to be exercised with “liberality”. The work means “simplicity” or “sincerity” or “purity”. (Romans 12:8)

The purposes for which this gift is to be used are:

The use of this gift will many times be used at considerable cost to the giver. (Luke 21:1-4)

The gift should be used in secret as much as possible. (Matthew 6:2-4)

Probable characteristics of this gift:

Gift of Mercy (Romans 12:8)

This gift is the ability to empathize with those in need (especially those suffering and miserable) and to manifest this empathy in such a way as to encourage those that are in need.


The gift is to be used with cheerfulness; that is, joyousness which is ready to do anything. (Romans 12:8).

We see this gift in Dorcas as well as Helps/Services.. (Acts 9:36)

This mercy will be manifested in good deeds. (James 2:15,16)

All believers are commanded to have mercy. (Matthew 9:13; Luke 10:37)

Probable characteristics (often latent):


Gift of Encouragement (Romans 12:8)


This gift is the ability to counsel, model, and encourage people through your personal testimony, life, and scripture so that people are comforted and encouraged to action. If you have the gift of encouragement, you:


Admonish people to pursue some specific course in the future. (I Thessalonians 4:1)

Comfort someone who is experiencing some trial or difficulty, often in areas of your life where you have been through a lot and have already been helped by God.

Are able to encourage someone for something they are going to face in the future.

The gift of encouragement is the major way through which God works in the Body to encourage each of us to live practical Christian lives.

Biblical example: Barnabas - “Son of Encouragement:”

Probable characteristics of this gift:


Gift of Faith (I Corinthians 12:9)

This gift is the ability to envision with clarity and confidence God’s future direction and goals for the Body of Christ.

Everyone should manifest faith in their daily living. (Colossians 2:6; II Corinthians 5:7)

This gift involves seeing both short and long term goals which will enable the Body of Christ to accomplish its divine purpose. (Philippians 3:12-17)

The visionary nature of this gift requires a significant number of supporting gifts (helps/service, administration, giving, encouragement, etc.) to actually accomplish the envisioned goals. (II Timothy 4:9-13, 21-22)

The few with this gift face the danger of expecting others to see with similar clarity and confidence what God wants the Body to accomplish and having little empathy when they don’t. (Galatians 3:1; Acts 15:38)

Biblical examples include Acts 27: 13-44 -- Paul and the shipwreck.

This also is one of the primary gifts needed by the leadership in large growing churches.

Probable characteristics of this gift:

Gift of Wisdom (I Corinthians 12:8)

This gift is the ability to gain insight on how knowledge may best be applied to specific needs in the Body of Christ. This involves applying Biblical truths to everyday situations. It also involves special insight into the profundity and implications of how God is working in the world, especially to further the gospel. Compare Romans 11:33-35 with I Corinthians 2:6-10.


This wisdom is intended to be communicated. This is why it is called the “message of wisdom”. (I Corinthians 12:8)

All believers should exemplify some wisdom. (Colossians 1: 9-12)

This wisdom involves revelation from God. It may be direct or unwritten revelation. (I Corinthians 2:6-16)

Use of this gift will be accompanied by: (James 3:13-18)

  1. Purity
  2. Peace-lovingness 
  3. Consideration 
  4. Submission
  5. Fullness of mercy
  6. Fullness of the Fruit of the Spirit
  7. Impartiality
  8. Sincerity

This gift can be used to:

Biblical examples:

Probable characteristics of this gift:


Gift of Knowledge (I Corinthians 12:8)


This gift is the ability to discover, analyze, accumulate, systematize, and articulate ideas that are essential for growth and edification of the Body of Christ. This especially involves the ability to concretely expound upon Old and New Testament history as well as the history of the Church.


This gift is intended to be communicated. This is why it is called the “message of knowledge”. (I Corinthians 12:8)

This gift sometimes “puffs up” if kept to yourself. (I Corinthians 8:1)

All believers should exemplify some knowledge. (Colossians 1:9-12)

Sometimes this gift requires a person to set aside human knowledge. (I Corinthians 1:19-20; 2:14-16)

Biblical examples include much of Jesus’ teachings.

Probable characteristics of this gift:



Gift of Discernment of Spirits (I Corinthians 12:10)


This gift is the ability to perceive the motives of others and the sincerity within relationships concerning the Body of Christ. Or in other words, it is the ability to know if something is from God, a demonic source, or if it simply reflects human opinion.


All Christians should be able to distinguish between right and wrong. (Hebrews 5:14; I John 4:1)

This gift involves insight into circumstances which ordinarily could not be known, so that motives may be ascertained. (Acts 5:1-10)

At times, this gift will reveal a person’s sincerity in the course of a conversation. (Acts 8:23)

This gift is easily counterfeited by Satan. (Luke 4:33, 34: Acts 16:17)

Biblical examples include Matthew 9:4.

Probable characteristics of this gift:

Gift of Evangelism (Ephesians 4:11)


This gift is the ability to share the gospel of Christ publicly or privately with unbelievers in such a way that men and women respond to become disciples of Jesus Christ.


All Christians are called to evangelize. (Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 5:42; II Timothy 4:5)

It is an office of the New Testament church. (Acts 21:8)

This gift not only evangelizes but also equips others to do it as well. (Ephesians 4:11)

There are two aspects of this gift:

It provides growth for existing churches and helps establish newly-planted churches. (II Timothy 4:5; Acts 17:10-15)

It normally does not include cross-cultural evangelism.

Biblical examples:

Probable characteristics of this gift:


Gift of Leadership (Ruling - Romans 12:8)


This gift is the ability to set Godly goals, make decisions, and then communicate them to the Body of Christ, such that others will voluntarily follow and joyously work to accomplish these goals.


This gift is to be used diligently. (Romans 12:8)

This gift is in part exercised by the Elders Board. (I Timothy 5:17)

Those using this gift must first exemplify spiritual maturity and ministry fruit. (I Timothy 3; Titus 1)

Age is not a determining factor in using this gift. (I Timothy 4:12)

One should be tested before assuming such a position (I Timothy 3:10)

Biblical examples:

Probable characteristics of this gift:


Gift of Administration (I Corinthians 12:28)


This gift is the ability to develop, articulate, and execute effective and specific plans in the accomplishment of the long and short range goals of the Body of Christ.


The word for this gift is derived from “captain” or “pilot” of a ship. (Acts 27:11, Revelations 18:17). It implies keeping the ship on a predetermined course, not determining the course).

This gift is implementing plans and programs consistent with the purpose and goal of the Body.

This gift is not necessary for leaders, but they must have someone with this gift close by to execute plans. (Acts 15:40)

This gift if often used to continue ministries started by others. (Acts 17:15)

Biblical examples:

Probable characteristics of this gift:



Gift of Teaching (Romans 12:7, I Corinthians 12:28)


This gift is the ability to communicate information in such a way that members of the Body of Christ understand how to apply spiritual principles to their own lives and ministries.

There were positions in the New Testament church for some who had this gift. (Acts 13:1)

As a result of the use of this gift, people will not just know more, but their behavior will actually change. (Acts 11:25, 26)

Some may use this gift in a:

Everyone is called to teach. (Matthew 19, 20)

Exercising this gift carries with it a greater accountability for the teacher (James 3:1)

The goal of this gift is spiritual maturity. (Colossians 1:28-29; II Timothy 3:16-17)

Biblical examples:

Probable characteristics of this gift are:

Gift of Prophecy (Romans 2:6; I Corinthians 12:10, 28-29; Ephesians 4:11)

This gift is the ability to publicly or privately proclaim God’s word such that people are convicted, consoled, encouraged, challenged or strengthened. Another angle also involves knowing and speaking God’s mind intuitively rather than, as with the teacher, deductively from scripture alone. Scripture is to always check this intuition.


The primary function of this gift in the Old and New Testament is not to foretell the future but to tell forth the Word of God.

“Less than two percent of Old Testament prophecy is Messianic. Less than five percent specifically describe the New Covenant Age (from New Testament on). Less than one percent concerns events yet to come.” Page 150, Fee & Stuart’s How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth.

As a result of the use of this gift, people are often strengthened and encouraged. (Acts 15:32)

They are able to speak accurately with regard to the future (Acts 1:27-28); although they are not always correct. (Acts 21:10)

What they say should be weighed by other prophets and the Word of God. (I Corinthians 14:29-32)

The New Testament church had an office for this gift.

Biblical examples:

Probable characteristics of this gift:

Gift of Hospitality (I Peter 4:9)


This gift is the ability to reach out to others and welcome them into your home and life in a loving, warm manner, while providing food and lodging, such that the guests feel “at home” in your presence.


This gift is not clearly delineated with other gifts and may be a specific application of the Helps/Service. (I Peter 4:9-11)

All believers are to exhibit hospitality. (Hebrews 13:2)

Hospitality in general is a qualification for spiritual leadership (I Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8) and for widows who are supported by the church (I Timothy 5:10)

This gift is to be used to provide for itinerant ministers (missionaries, etc.). (III John 5-8)

The people with this gift need to see themselves as an extension of their guest’s ministry and, therefore, as accountable for their guest’s teachings.

Biblical examples:

Probable characteristics of this gift are:


Gift of Pastor-Shepherd (I Peter 5:1-4; Ephesians 4:11)


This gift is the ability to minister to an established group of people (believers) by caring for their spiritual welfare holistically on a long-term basis.


The word “pastor” is based on the caring for animals (sheep), and its function is not well understood today.

Jesus is the Good and Ultimate Shepherd of all believers. (Psalms 23:1; John 10:11, 14; I Peter 2:25)

Jesus has gifted some as under-shepherds to care for His followers. (I Peter 5:2)

This gift is concerned with serving and caring for the needs of a small group of people. (I Peter 5:2-4)

This gift is concerned with protecting the believers from attacks, both from within and from the outside. (Acts 20:29-31)

This is not a passive or docile gift, but must always be alert. (Acts 20:29-31)

This gift is often combined with other gifts. (Ephesians 4:11)

This is not the dominant gift of the Senior Pastor for a large growing church.

Biblical examples:

Probable characteristics of this gift are:


Gift of Apostleship (Ephesians 4:11)

This gift is the ability and calling of God to be sent as a messenger to bring the Gospel to places where it has previously not been acculturated.


Jesus was the ultimate apostle. (Hebrews 3:1)

“Apostles” included the original 12 disciples (minus Judas).

Other Apostles:

Apostles were impersonated. (II Corinthians 11:13; Revelations 2:2)

This gift is Biblically applied to many people over a long period of time; therefore, we continue to see it applied today in a broader sense to cross-cultural missionaries. (Romans 15:20 - see the attitude of Apostle)

Probable characteristics of this gift are:


Gift of Pastor-Teacher (Ephesians 4:11)


This gift is the ability to instruct, guide, and care for a local expression of the Body of Christ, such that the members are prepared to reach out in ministry to others, both inside and outside the Body.


This gift is a combination of Pastoring (Shepherding and Teaching. (Ephesians 4:11)

The primary responsibility of this gift is preparing the members of the Body for ministry. (Ephesians 4:12) Only as others use their gift is the Body built up. (Ephesians 4:12,13)

The offices of Apostles, Prophets, and Evangelists also include preparing others for works of ministry.

The teaching should correct, rebuke, encourage, and contain careful instruction, and considerable effort and time will be spent accordingly.

The gift should not neglect evangelism. (II Timothy 4:5)

This position may be supported financially to facilitate preaching and teaching. (I Timothy 5:17-18)

Biblical example:

Probable characteristics of this gift are:

Gift of Miracles (I Corinthians 12:10, 29, 39)


This gift involves an event where a physical law is superseded (supernaturally) in such a way that it is perceived by the senses and draws the observers’ consciences to their relationship with God. This especially involved exorcisms in the New Testament.


Jesus Christ performed more miracles than anyone else in the New Testament. He had power over:

Miracles were used to confirm a message or messenger from God. (Romans 15:17-19; II Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:4)

Miracles did not occur every time they were needed. (Acts 6:8 - Stephen)

People who were not apostles performed miracles. (Acts 6:8 - Stephen)

Great people in the New Testament did not perform miracles. (John 10:41, - John the Baptist: “…though he did no miracles…”

Miracles were used evangelistically and almost always brought conviction and conversion to non-believers. (Acts 5:12-16; 6:7-15; 9:40-43; 19:13-18; 28:3-6)

Seldom were miracles done for believers’ sake. (Acts 9:32-43 - Dorcas; 12:6-10 - Peter 20:7-12 - Paul)

Followers were criticized for seeking miracles for their own sake. (Luke 11:29; Acts 8:20-23)

All physical healing miracles for everyone from the New Testament era eventually died.

Satan empowers some to perform miracles. (Acts 8:9-11, 13:8-10) Not all who even used Jesus’ name are authentic. (Matthew 7:22,23)

Miracles in our contemporary context:


Gift of Healing (I Corinthians 12:9, 28 & 30)


These are presumably of various kinds since this gift is described in the plural form. These gifts result in the restoration to wholeness of a person who is physically, emotionally, or spiritually broken, so that they may serve Christ or as a witness for Him.


Jesus is the Ultimate Healer. (Matthew 9:35)

The word literally is plural (gifts) which may indicate several types of cures: physical, emotional, spiritual, etc. (I Corinthians 12:9). One also realizes that all these areas are related.

Healing was primarily used to bring people to Christ or to allow them to serve Christ as they had in the past. (Acts 8:5-7; 9:32-43; 14:8-13; 28:7-10)

Not every sick person in the New Testament was miraculously healed:

A person’s illness is not directly related to their faith. (II Corinthians 12:7-10; Acts 14:9)

A person’s illness is not always a result of their own sin. (John 9:1-3; Luke 13:1-5; I Corinthians 11:30)

All physical healing is temporary; even those healed by Jesus eventually died.

Some will heal and use Jesus’ name, yet not even know Him. (Matthew 7:22,23). This gift is easily counterfeited by Satan.

Those who were not apostles healed. (Acts 8:6,7)

People were healed through various methods. (Acts 5:12-16; 9:40; 14:9-10; 16:18; 20:10; 28:8)

The epistles never commanded us to heal anyone but to pray for their healing. (James 5:14-16)

Healing in our contemporary context:



Gift of Tongues (I Corinthians 12:10, 28, 30)

Gift of Interpretation (I Corinthians 12:10, 30)

The gift of tongues is the ability to speak to God in an utterance not understood by the speaker (unless it is explained by one with the gift of interpretation) in such a way that it is a sign for unbelievers.

The gift of tongues is often confused with the Pentecostal experience in the Book of Acts:

In I Corinthians 12:14, Paul deals with the public use of the gift of tongues which was being abused at the church of Corinth..

The private use of the gift of tongues is not explicitly addressed anywhere in the New Testament.

Possible Ministries

Helps/Service

Assistant to leadership community leader, cleanup work, lighting, sound, recording, setup crew, office clerical work, prayer partner.

Giving

Giving to the church, to mercy teams, to other individuals in the church, to outreach and missions teams, financial counselor, financing special projects, supporting Christian workers, buying food and paying bills for the poor, purchasing equipment for the church, donating funds to the church.

Mercy

Mercy teams involved in literacy, visiting the sick at home or in the hospital, alcoholic and drug problems, educational programs, prison work, 12 step groups, working with the mentally or emotionally ill, teaching the disabled, helping the terminally ill, contributing time to ministries working with the poor.

Encouragement

Lay counseling teams, phone counseling, visiting the sick, elderly, letter writing, 12 step groups, ministry groups of all kinds, frequently meet one on one with people.

Faith

Faith team that launches new ventures, all ministry.

Wisdom

Ministry teams, one on one, leadership groups, counseling teams.

Knowledge

Ministry teams, one on one, leadership groups, counseling teams.

Discernment

In all teaching situations with all kinds of groups, evaluation and advisory teams, communications team, worship team, counseling and prayer teams, assistant to a leader.

Evangelism

Lead a “Who is Jesus?” group, create bridge events into the community, mingle with seekers on and during the Sunday Morning service, link with those with helps and service gifts and spend time with the people they are serving, church planting team, target ministries, communications - public relations team, mercy teams, one on one with seekers.

Leadership

Small group leader of any type. See leadership positions in Leadership Community.

Administration

Assistant to leadership community leaders, secretary, accountant, retreat or seminar assistant.

Teaching

Understanding the Bible, Seminar Trainer for Community Groups, Children’s Sunday School teacher, one on one discipler, any ministry team, retreat teacher.

Prophecy

Speak at specially called large group meetings, speak during worship times, ministry teams, one on one and small groups.

Pastor

Care for a group and be in mutual submission to other pastors.

Apostle

Church planting team, catalyze new outreach to some people under authority of the church.

Miracles

Prayer teams, counseling teams for intense times of ministering breakthroughs in peoples’ lives or situations.

Healing

Prayer and counseling teams for physical, emotional and spiritual restoration of wholeness to people.


Various Ministry Opportunities

Assimilation

Small Group Leaders, TeleCare Director and Team, Hospitality, Care Ministry, Prayer Team, Community Involvement, Greeters, Tape Ministry

Sunday Auditorium

Vocal Team, Band, Drama, Lighting, Sound and Stage Technicians, Maintenance

Children’s Care

Children’s Director, Grade Level Coordinator, Teachers, Teaching Assistants, Nursery Director, Nursery Assistant, Nursery Helpers

Facilities

Grounds Maintenance, Custodian Coordinator, Office Custodian, Set Up, Hospitality

Outreach/Social Events

Social Events Coordinator and Workers, Fund Raising, Artist to Promote Outreaches

Church Office

Library, Newsletter, Sunday Morning Programs, Typing, Phone Support, Filing

Media

Writers of Press Releases, Cost and Opportunity Monitors, Designers of Advertisement, Photographer, Videotaping

Woman’s Ministry

Women's Retreat Coordinator, Women's Retreat Committee

Men’s Ministry

Administration, Evangelism.

Youth Ministry

Middle School, High School, Sunday Evenings


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Reverend Donald Loomer who first taught me the importance of Spiritual Gifts. The work here is based on what he has taught, his notes, and thoughts early in my life.

Also, to my son Jordan for his tireless effort in turning this into an online document and even going so far as to put words in my mouth in the acknolwedgement section.  Thanks, son.  

Gregory A. Wiens, Ed. D.


BIBLIOGRAPHY:

  1. Peter Wagner; Your Spiritual Gift Can Help Your Church Grow
  2. Tim Blanchard; A Practical Guide To Finding Your Spiritual Gift
  3. Leslie B. Flynn; 19 Gifts of the Spirit
  4. Rich Yohn; Discover your Spiritual Gift and Use It!
  5. Donald Bridge/David Phypers; Spiritual Gifts And The Church
  6. Walter A. Henrickson/William N. Garrison; Layman, Look Up! God Has A Place For You
  7. John Koenig; Charismata: God’s Gifts For God’s People
  8. Edward F. Murphy; Spiritual Gifts And The Great Commission.