Find Your Place

Personal Ministry Profile Part 1:

Spiritual Gifts

This portion of your PMP is designed to assist you in identifying your strengths as specifically relating to ministry and service in the local church. The primary purpose is to enable you to pinpoint areas of ministry for which you are most likely gifted. There are many other resources available that can assist you in exploring your gifts and strengths.

The following spiritual gifts inventory, Gifted2Serve, was developed for the purpose of helping Christians know their own spiritual gifts and how each of the gifts is used within the local church. Keep in mind when you score yourself that most of these are desirable traits for a Christian to have. Giving yourself a 0 or 1 on a particular trait does not mean that you are unspiritual, but rather that it is not a primary motivating factor for you as an individual. Included at the end of the inventory are detailed definitions for each of the spiritual gifts.

Also keep in mind that the church will not be looking at your individual answers to particular questions, but rather using the overall information to highlight areas in which you are especially gifted and motivated. Once your primary areas of ministry strength are identified, you can use this information to identify specific service opportunities which may be of interest to you.

As you discover your spiritual gifts, realize that God has called you to use your gifts for the edification of the Body of Christ. Begin to think about how God would have you use your spiritual gifts within the local body.

Theology of Spiritual Gifts

A Biblical Basis for Spiritual Gifts
  • 1 Corinthians 12 and 14
    • 12:1 – Do not be ignorant
    • 12:4-11
      • “different kinds,”
      • “each one,”
      • “to one,”
      • “to another”
      • Every Christian does not have every gift
    • 12:11a – Empowerment by the Holy Spirit
    • 12:11b – God-determined (not man or self-determined, you can not choose your own)
    • 12:13 – Received at Salvation
    • 14:26Purpose: for the strengthening of the church
  • Romans 12:3-8
  • Ephesians 4:1-16
    • 4:4 – One Body and One Spirit
    • 4:7 – Given to each one according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
    • 4:11-12
      • He gave gifts of leadership to equip believers for ministry
      • Believers are to be active in ministry to build up the body of Christ
    • 4:13-16Purpose: unity, maturity, and growth in the church
  • 1 Peter 4:10-11
    • 4:10 – To serve one another
    • 4:10 – Demonstrates good stewardship of God’s grace
    • 4:11 – Ability provided by God: “oracles of God,” “by the strength that God supplies,”
    • 4:11 – Purpose: God’s glory.
Spiritual Gifts and the Traditional Church
  • The current reality:
    • The 80/20 rule: 20% of the people do 80% of the work (at best).
    • Super-servant mentality – “Whatever/Wherever the church needs me.”
    • Indispensability complex – “If I don’t do it, it won’t get done.”
  • The effects on seeking biblical understanding:
    • God’s call is lost in Church’s needs or desires
    • Satisfaction diminishes and burn-out occurs
    • Individuality is lost-when you are not functioning in your position in the body, you become like a piece of a machine, rather than an organ in a body.
  • Overcoming the effects:
    • Crisis motivation–pre-thought reactions.
    • Consider what draws you-the things that attract your attention are either your motivations or the direct opposite of your motivations.
    • Joy factor-consider the satisfaction you get from a ministry-how it energizes you, or drains your energy.
The “Sign” (Supernatural) Gifts and the Traditional Church
  • The cessationist viewpoint:
    • 1 Corinthians 13:8-12-“they will cease, . . . be stilled, . . . pass away.”
      • Tradition points to the completion of the canon of Scripture
        • Argument is weak at best
      • Passage seems to point to the return of Christ
    • History of the Church
      • Gifts seemed to disappear around 300AD, not to be prominent again until late 1800’s
      • Spiritual gifts as a whole were lost in the hierarchy of the church-state.
      • With spiritual gifts, priesthood of believers and ministry of believers were lost.
        • Priesthood was rediscovered with Martin Luther at the Reformation
        • Ministry was not rediscovered until 20th century with the rise of Pentecostalism
    • Conclusion
  • Anti-Supernatural Bias
    • Common arguments:
      • There’s a rational explanation for everything
      • I’ve never seen or experienced anything truly supernatural
    • Biblical arguments:
      • Jesus believed in the supernatural
        • Satan
        • Demons
        • Healings
        • Miracles
      • Your salvation and regeneration is a supernatural event.
      • Denial of supernatural denies God’s existence and essence.

Classifications of Spiritual Gifts

The gifts included in the Gifted2Serve inventory can be classified into 4 basic categories. These categories do not have a biblical basis, but are provided to help communicate an understanding of the gifts. These 4 classifications are:

For more detailed definitions of the gifts, see the Gifted2Serve Spiritual Gifts Inventory – Gift Definitions.

Communication Gifts
  • Exhortation – Focusses on practical application of the message given. Characterized by the sentence, “Here is what you can do with the message.”
  • Prophecy – Focusses on delivering the message itself, often with little regard for the listener’s understanding or application. Characterized in extreme form by the sentence, “Here is the Word of the Lord, take it or leave it.”
  • Teaching – Focusses on making sure the message is fully understood by the listener–often detail conscious. Characterized by the sentence, “Now, I want you to make sure you understand this message and all it entails.”
Leadership Gifts
  • Administration – The person who catches the vision of the leader and works out the details and delegates tasks to get the goals accomplished.
  • Apostle – In Scripture, the same as the missionary gift, but is separated for clarification. This gift focusses on the expansion of the local church.
  • Leadership – This person is the one who is the visionary and sets the direction for the group. People naturally seem to follow his/her leading. Leaders are generally not worried about details.
  • Missionary – In Scripture, the same as the apostle gift, but is separated for clarification. This gift focusses on the expansion of the church in a cross-cultural setting.
  • Shepherd – Often called “pastor,” but is actually a weakness in the office of pastor, as it limits the size of a church. A shepherd invests in a small group of people over a long period of time and feels responsible for every aspect of the individual group-members’ lives. Greatly needed in care-group leaders within Sunday School departments.
Sign Gifts
  • Ekballism – Casting out demonic spiritual forces
  • Healing – Physical healing
  • Miracles – Changing of the natural course of things
  • Tongues – Speaking in a language never learned
  • Interpretation of Tongues – Interpreting a tongue spoken
Practical Gifts

ALL of these gifts are also spiritual disciplines. Those who are gifted in these areas have a mark for ministry and should be active in training others in the particular spiritual discipline. Christians not gifted in a spiritual discipline should be actively learning from those who are gifted in the area, in order to mature in their spiritual walk.

  • Discerning of Spirits – ability to know if behavior/speaking is truly of God, or of some other origin
  • Evangelism – ability to share Christ with unbelievers in a way to see greater response than others
  • Faith – extraordinary confidence in the will and purposes of God for His work
  • Giving – ability to contribute personal resources with liberality and cheerfulness
  • Helps – ability to invest their talents and abilities into others in such a way as to enable them to increase their effectiveness in their own ministries.
  • Hospitality – ability to make someone feel welcome and “at home”
  • Intercession – ability to pray longer, more intently, and with a greater degree of tangible answers than others
  • Knowledge – ability to to discover, accumulate, analyze, and clarify information and ideas which are pertinent to the well-being of the Body.
  • Mercy – ability to feel greater empathy and compassion for suffering people, and to translate that into meaningful deeds leading to healing
  • Service – ability to find unmet needs and to make use of resources available to meet those needs.
  • Voluntary Poverty – ability to live at a significantly lower standard of living than otherwise could in order to serve God more effectively.
  • Wisdom – ability to know how given knowledge may best be applied to specific needs arising in the Body of Christ

Gifts, Disciplines, & Ministry Motivators

Ministry Focus vs. Spiritual Disciplines
  • Working Definitions:
    • Spiritual gifts are the particular ability given to individual Christians to accomplish a specific role or task within the ministry of the body.
    • Spiritual disciplines are those activities that every Christian should be involved with in order to be in a place to mature in faith and bear spiritual fruit.
  • Many spiritual gifts are also spiritual disciplines
    • Examples: evangelism, giving, intercession, hospitality, showing mercy, service, etc.
  • Lack of giftedness in a discipline is not an excuse!
    • Spiritual disciplines are for every Christian.
    • Lack of giftedness in a discipline is not an excuse to ignore the discipline.
    • Look for those who are gifted in the discipline to help you become more effective.
  • Giftedness in a discipline is a mark for ministry.
    • Those with a spiritual gift that is also a spiritual discipline should be active in using their spiritual gift in such a way that it helps other Christians more effectively practice the discipline.
Levels of Giftedness: Ministry Motivators

This section can help you evaluate your results from the Gifted2Serve Spiritual Gifts Inventory in a meaningful way for discovering a specific ministry God may have for you.

Some observe that some gifts seems to lie dormant for many years and then become more prominent at certain seasons of life. If the believer is given his/her spiritual gifts at salvation, but is not given every gift, how can this occur?

In our understanding, each Christian is not given every spiritual gift, for the Spirit “gives them to each one, just as He determines” (1 Cor 12:11 NIV). We believe that there are different levels of giftedness within the spiritual gifts each person is given. Understanding the various “levels of giftedness” will help the Christian narrow down the possibilities for ministry in such a way as to more specifically know their place in the local Body.

These levels can be broken into 4 major categories:
  1. Primary Ministry Motivators – These are the dominant spiritual gift(s) that the particular Christian will function best in, and will find the most satisfaction from. The Christian’s primary ministry should revolve around these gifts, as they are the primary function for this Christian in the Body.
  2. Directional Ministry Motivators – These could also be termed “secondary spiritual gifts.” These are gifts that the Christian often finds influencing the way in which they use their primary gift(s). Certain gifts in this bracket may increase or decrease in prominence based on life experiences or needs within the local body. Functioning primarily in these areas of ministry will reap some satisfaction for the believer, but will drain energy and possibly lead to frustration and burn-out.
  3. Functional only – NOT Ministry Motivators – These are the spiritual gifts that the particular Christian may or may not be gifted with, but can function in the given area if needed. In the case of non-giftedness, the function is merely a talent or skill. These functions should not be considered marks for ministry, but should be used merely as “hole-fillers” when a person that is gifted in this area has refused to serve or is currently unavailable. Those who are gifted with “equipping” gifts may function in these areas long enough to train those who are gifted in the area of ministry. Functioning too much or too long in these areas leads to ministry burn-out.
  4. Non-functional – NOT Ministry Motivators – These are the spiritual gifts that the particular Christian is not gifted with, and has a difficult time functioning in. Functioning in these areas of ministry without constant supervision by someone gifted in this area will undoubtedly lead to burn-out. Even with supervision, dissatisfaction and a sense of futility may result. In the case of spiritual disciplines: perseverance, education, and gifted supervision are the key. These ministry areas should not be considered for the Christian’s primary ministry focus.

Find Your Place is ©2001, 2021 Andrew P. Kulp – adapted from the Find Your Place curriculum developed for Lakeview Baptist Church, Auburn, AL.