Find Your Place

Personal Ministry Profile – Part 3:

Natural Talents and Learned Skills

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24

God gave each of us natural talents. Some of us have a talent for music, others for carpentry, and still others have other natural talents. Natural talents are different from spiritual gifts in that every person, whether they are Christians or not, have natural talents. God gave us these natural talents for the distinct purpose of bringing Him glory. While we may use these talents for things that seem “secular,” or apart from the church, everything we do should be a ministry unto God. Also, we should try to use our natural talents within the Body of Christ.

This concept of our “secular” activities extending into our ministry includes more than natural talents. The vocational and other learned skills that we have accumulated over the course of our lifetime should also be considered a part of our PMP. We should realize that our ministry is not limited to the church building, but should extend to every aspect of our lives at every moment.

Perhaps the strongest example of how natural talents and learned skills can be used in determining your place in ministry is in the life of the apostle Paul. Paul’s two primary skill elements surrounded his trade as a tentmaker (or worker with leather, Acts 18:3) and his training as a Pharisee (Philippians 3:5-6). In several cities, such as Athens and Thessalonica, Paul used his vocation as a tentmaker as an “excuse” to be in the marketplace. While in the marketplace, his superior training as a Pharisee gave him authority and ability in debate and preaching (Acts 17:17, 1 Thes 2:9).

Evaluation Exercise:

On a piece of paper, prayerfully think through the natural talents and learned skills that God has given you. As you consider these various skills, begin to consider possible ways that God wants you to use these talents and skills in ministry within His body, so that He might receive the glory for the use of those talents and skills.

Make a chart with a list of natural talents and learned skills down the left-hand column. Then, in the right-hand column, prayerfully consider some ways that God may be asking you to use those talents and skills in ministry, both within the church and as a way to bring glory to Himself in the “secular” world.

For help in filling in this chart, consider your spiritual gifts. Are any of these gifts the product of a “God-empowered talent”? Sometimes (but not always) God chooses to take the talents He has already given us and glorifying them into spiritual gifts.

Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?

Benjamin Franklin
Natural Talents
  • Everyone has natural talents.
    • Music? Carpentry? Cooking? Sewing? Cleaning? Artwork? Writing? Etc.?
    • Understanding how your natural talents equip you for ministry takes careful, prayerful brain-storming. To aid in the process, realize that sometimes natural talents overlap with spiritual gifts. Other times, God chooses to keep them separate.
Learned Skills
  • Colossians 3:23-24. Whatever we do, we should consider it an opportunity to be in ministry for God. This not only includes the actual tasks we are to do in our work, but also the opportunities for outreach within these vocational situations.
  • Vocational
    • Educational background
    • On-the-job Training
  • Hobbies
    • Hunting/Fishing?
    • Model Building?
    • Flower Arranging?

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