Lesson 10

CHAPTER TEN

DISCOVERING YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFT

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

C Explain why it is important for a believer to discover his spiritual gift.

C Explain how a believer can discover his spiritual gift.

C Discover your own spiritual gift.

KEY VERSE:

Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. (II Timothy 1:6)

INTRODUCTION

In previous chapters you learned that each believer has at least one spiritual gift. This chapter explains how to discover and begin to use your spiritual gift.

THE IMPORTANCE OF DISCOVERY

It is important to discover your spiritual gift in order to :

ACCOMPLISH SPIRITUAL PURPOSES AND OBJECTIVES:

You will recall the purposes and objectives of gifts of the Holy Spirit given in Ephesians 4: 12-15:

Purposes:

-Perfect the saints.

-Promote the work of the ministry.
-Edify Christ and the church.

Objectives:

-We will become united in the faith.

-We will develop our knowledge of Christ.

-We will develop in perfection , with Christ as our model. -We will become stable, not deceived by false doctrines. -We will mature spiritually in Christ.

If these purposes and objectives are to be accomplished in the church then it is necessary that each believer discover and use his spiritual gift.

CONDUCT SPIRITUAL WARFARE:

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are also given to the church as weapons of spiritual warfare to fight the spiritual forces of Satan :

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)

It is important to discover and use your spiritual gift in order to effectively fight your spiritual enemy, Satan .

AVOID ABUSES:

In previous chapters you learned there are three ways spiritual gifts can be abused:

1. Not using those gifts given to you.

2. Attempting to use gifts not given to you .

3. Not using the gifts properly.

It is important to discover your spiritual gift in order to avoid these abuses.

AVOID FRUSTRATION:

Many new believers often plunge into ministry without knowing their spiritual gifts,

experiencing frustration and defeat as they try to work for the Lord. You, too, will be

frustrated if you do not discover your own spiritual gift. You will be ineffective if you try to serve in positions for which God has not given you a gift to minister.

You may be busy in ministry, but you will not be accomplishing anything for the

Kingdom of God. For example, one person tried to imitate the gift of a great evangelist named Billy Graham . He preached just like Rev. Graham but no one responded to his

messages. He was very frustrated in the ministry until he discovered that his spiritual gift was not the gift of evangelism. His gift was teaching. When he began to use his own gift of teaching he saw great results in his ministry.

Discovering your spiritual gift will not only keep you from being frustrated with yourself, it will also keep you from being frustrated with other Christians . For example, you will
understand if your pastor is a good teacher but a poor administrator. You will recognize that he has the gift of teaching but does not have the gift of administration. Instead of
criticism , he needs the help of someone who does have this gift in order for the church to operate more efficiently.

ASSUME YOUR RESPONSIBILITY:

It is important to discover your spiritual gift because you have a responsibility to "stir up" and use it. The Apostle Paul wrote Timothy:

Neglect not the gift that is in thee…(I Timothy 4:14)

Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. (II Timothy 1:6)

You must discover your spiritual gift in order to fulfill your responsibility to develop it.

You must know your gift in order to set priorities which permit you to use it productively.

DISCOVERING YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFT

The following guidelines will help you discover your spiritual gift or gifts:

STEP ONE – Be Born Again:

You must be born again. Spiritual gifts come through the new birth just as natural talents come through natural physical birth. If you are never born in the natural world you will not have natural talents. If you are not born again in the spiritual world you cannot be
given spiritual gifts:

Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38)

STEP TWO – Receive The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit:

Guidelines for how to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit were given in Chapter Four of this manual.

STEP THREE – Know The Spiritual Gifts:

If you do not know what spiritual gifts exist, you will not be able to recognize the one(s) God has given you. The lessons you studied in this course have equipped you to identify the various gifts available to believers.

STEP FOUR – Observe Models Of The Gifts:

As you are considering what gifts you might have, it is helpful to observe mature models of the various gifts. A "mature model" of a spiritual gift is a believer who has been
effectively using a gift for an extended period of time.

For example, talk with someone who has the gift of teaching. Question them as to how
they knew they had the gift, how they began to use it, and ways they are continuing to
develop their gift. Do the same for the other gifts. Learning how others discovered their
gifts and observing mature models of the gifts in action will help you identify your own
gift.

STEP FIVE – Seek A Spiritual Gift:

Desire a gift and fast and pray for it. The Bible tells us to seek spiritual gifts:

But covet [desire, seek] earnestly the best gifts… (I Corinthians 12:31)

We each have at least one gift, but this verse implies we can also seek a gift which we do not now possess.

STEP SIX – Laying On Of Hands:

Have your spiritual leader lay hands on you and pray for God to reveal your spiritual gift:

Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. (I Timothy 4:14)

Note : As a result of Steps One through Six God may reveal your spiritual gift. If this does not happen, proceed with the following steps.

STEP SEVEN – Analyze Your Spiritual Interests:

The areas in which you find great joy in serving God are often those for which He has

gifted you. Just as a gift you receive in the natural world brings joy, so do spiritual gifts. You must have a "passion" or "burden" [great interest or desire] for a certain ministry in order to serve God effectively.

For example, a person with the gift of administration can use it to organize and direct

anything. He could administer a church, a Christian school, a drug rehabilitation center, etc . But he must have a burden or passion for the ministry where he uses his gift. If he has no interest in a Christian school, he will not last long even though he has the gift of administration .

Answer the following questions to help determine your spiritual interest or burden: 1. What kind or group of people do you feel most attracted to?

(If you are called to a particular group of people, your spiritual gift will relate to their need. For example, if you feel a call to children and want to see them learn about God, you may have the gift of teaching ).

2. What areas of need cause a strong emotional stirring in you?

(When God calls you to meet a specific need, you will often feel a strong emotional stirring within).

3. If you could not fail, what would you desire to do for the Lord?

(God honors personal desires).

4. Complete this sentence: "I have a growing restless conviction from within that I

should get involved in…"

(Such convictions are often God speaking to your spirit about an area in which He wants you to serve).

5. I am certain God has definitely called me to a specific area of ministry. It is …

(If you know the specific area of ministry to which God has called you, it will be easy to determine your spiritual gift. God always provides the necessary gifts to enable you to fulfill the call. The "For Further Study" section of this lesson will assist you in
recognizing your spiritual calling).

6. What gifts bring you the most joy in thinking about them or using them? (For

example, do you enjoy teaching? Do you enjoy being hospitable and having people into your home? Are you often moved to give large sums of money to God’s work?)

STEP EIGHT – Analysis By A Christian Leader:

Have a Christian leader analyze your spiritual abilities. Ask the following questions and record the answers:

1. In what areas of Christian service have you observed me to be effective?

2. Based upon this observation of my effectiveness, what spiritual gifts do you

believe I might have?

STEP NINE – Analyze Your Past Christian Service:

Analyze your past ministry. Answer these questions:

1. In what areas of Christian service have you ministered in the past?

2. In which of these were you effective?

3. In which of these did you experience great joy in serving?

4. In which of these did your spiritual leader and/or others note your effectiveness?

STEP TEN – Complete The Spiritual Gift Questionnaires:

The final part of this lesson contains two spiritual gift questionnaires. Your answers to these questions will help you identify spiritual gifts which you may have .

STEP ELEVEN – Identify Gifts You Think You Might Have:

Identify the gifts you think you might have based on:

1. The knowledge of gifts you have obtained through study.

2. What God has revealed to you through prayer.

3. hat you have analyzed in yourself.

4. What a key Christian leader has observed in your life.

5. Analysis of your effectiveness in areas of ministry in which you have previously

served.

6. Completion of the Spiritual Gifts Questionnaires.

A list of the gifts is provided in "Step Thirteen" which follows. Put an x by the gift(s) you believe you might have.

STEP TWELVE – Identify Spiritual Needs:

Analyze the spiritual needs of your neighborhood, community, and church . Review this list of needs:

Visitation: Sick, newcomers to church, members of church, hospital, widows, prisons, bereaved, home for aged.

Evangelism: House-to-house, evangelistic services, crusades, open air services. Follow Up Ministry: To new converts.

Counseling: General counseling or to specific groups; telephone counseling.

Office/administrative Support: Typing, drawing [art], filing, assembling, reproducing materials, mailings, telephones, records.

Hospitality: Cooking meals and lodging for those in need or for visiting ministers, evangelists, Christians.

Ministry To Poor: Providing food, clothing, shelter.

Maintenance Of Church Buildings: Landscaping , painting, carpentry, electrical,

plumbing, cleaning.

Music: Choir, instruments, song leader, special music groups, soloist, writing music. Religious Dramatic Productions. Writing or producing Christian dramas.
Financial: Fund raising, accounting, financial planning for ministries.
Writing: Christian books, newsletters, tracts, news and magazine articles, poetry. Multi-media: Audio and video tapes, radio, television, satellite.

Ministry To Special Groups: Deaf, blind, mentally ill, narcotic addicts, alcoholics,

migrant workers, gangs, unwed mothers, homosexuals, Jews, minority groups, women, men, families, married couples, abused children, runaways, school dropouts, illiterate, prisoners, military , children , youth , aged.

Church Offices: Elder, deacon/deaconness, Sunday school teacher, usher, committees such as building, finance, etc.

Translation: Bible and Christian literature.

Christian Education: Sunday school, vacation Bible school, Christian preschool,

elementary, high school, college; training for laymen using CmdssInternational Institute courses, home Bible studies.

Missionary/Church Planting: To unreached peoples in your region/nation.

Literature: Christian library, bookstore, Bible and Christian literature distribution. Camps And Retreats.

Now, answer these questions:

1. What needs are not being met in your neighborhood?

2. What needs are not being met in your community?

3. What needs are not being met in your church?

STEP THIRTEEN – Fill A Spiritual Need:

The analysis you have completed will be of no benefit unless you apply it to your life and
ministry. To "apply" something means to use it effectively, to actually do something with
it.

Compare the list of spiritual needs you made in "Step Twelve" to the list of gifts you believe God has given you. Identify a spiritual need that corresponds with the gift you believe you have, then make a commitment to fill this need. For example, if there is a need for teachers in your church and you believe you have the gift of teaching, volunteer to meet this need. Use the form provided on the following page:

Matching Spiritual Gifts With Needs


I believe I have the

spiritual gift(s)

marked below :

___Apostle

___Prophet

___Evangelist

___Pastor

___Teacher

___Prophecy

___Teaching

___Exhortation

___Word of Wisdom

___Word of Knowledge

___Serving

I believe I have the

spiritual gift(s)

marked below :

___Helps

___Leadership

___Administration

___Giving

___Showing Mercy
___Discerning of Spirits

___Faith

___Hospitality

___Tongues

___Interpretation

___Miracles

___Healings



Needs This Gift Can Meet

In My

Neighborhood Community Church

Needs This Gift Can Meet

In My

Neighborhood Community Church




STEP FOURTEEN – Evaluate Your Ministry:

After serving awhile in this area with your gift, evaluate your ministry. You have discovered and are showing proper stewardship of your spiritual gift…

-When you are fruitful in the area in which you are serving. This means you will see positive results of your ministry.

-When you are fulfilled…you are enjoying your ministry. If you are frustrated , you may not be serving in an area for which you are gifted.

-When the feedback [comments you receive from your spiritual leaders] indicate you are effective in the position in which you are serving .

If the ministry you are filling does not fit your spiritual capabilities and you are

ineffective , review your list of possible gifts and ask God to show you another area in which to minister.

Do not be discouraged…Remember the man who thought he was an evangelist but later

discovered he was a teacher! It is just as important to know what gifts you do not have as to discover the gift you do have. This prevents you from wasting your life in ministry where you will not be effective . By combining prayer and these practical steps you will soon discover that special place of ministry God has for you. As you begin to serve, you will quickly discover your giftedness.