I’m a firm believer that it is important for us to know how the Holy Spirit has gifted us and called us to serve God and the Church. So over the past few weeks, I’ve asked everyone to take a spiritual gifts survey to identify what our spiritual gifts might be.
The test was kind of long. Some of the questions were pretty tough. When we finished the test, the computer spewed out our results. It listed the top three scoring gifts, as well as our overall scores for the various gift areas. Then, if you were like me when I first took one of these tests, you sat there and stared at the results, and wondered something like, “I have WHAT gift?” Really?
Remember, spiritual gifts are those talents and ability that GOD gives to US to use to glorify Him and serve the Church. So, those results you got, you’ve been gifted in that area for a reason. And something else to remember, God knew what He was doing when He gave you that gift! It wasn’t by accident. You didn’t win some supernatural lottery. You were given this gift for a purpose. And your job is to figure out how to use it the best you can.
If you remember, 2014 is our Year of Discipleship- we are focusing on becoming better followers of Jesus Christ, and I, and your church, are seeking to give you every possible resource we can to make you a better disciple. Part of that is in discovering, strengthening, and using your spiritual gifts. If you haven’t taken the spiritual gifts test yet, go do it. It is a great way to start this process of figuring out how you’ve been gifted by God to serve.
Once you have your results, here’s what I want you to do with them this week:
- Take your top two gift areas and write them down on a piece of paper and put them somewhere you can see them throughout the week. It’s important to remind yourself of what your gifts are.
- Pray about them. Ask God to show you what these mean for you, and how He wants you to use them.
- Read about those gifts. Do some research to figure out what it means and what it looks like. Check out the document: Spiritual Gifts Descriptions. In it are definitions, examples of the gift in scripture, and questions for digging deeper into that gift.
- Read and re-read the definitions
- Look up the biblical references to see how these gifts are spoke of and used
- Talk to someone you trust about these gifts: do they see them in you, do they have any insight to offer you about how you can use them?
- Jot down some ideas for how to use them to benefit the Church and serve God. Make sure to stretch yourself, thinking of ways you haven’t tried before. Look at our church’s list of ministries if you need some ideas
- When you have your list, start doing one of them this week. The best way to grow your gifts is to start using them. Don’t wait for a better time. Right now is the best time!
You need to start using your gifts to serve God and the church. That’s why we have these gifts. So start using yours today, even if you aren’t too sure what the best way to do that is. Just try. I guarantee that when you do, God’s going to do some pretty amazing things in and through you! And this church will not be the same!
Sermon Notes for “Spiritual Gifts: I Have WHAT Gift?” from Mar 30, 2014
Spiritual Gifts are those talents and abilities that come from God
They differ from our natural talents- those things we are good at from birth
Spiritual gifts come to us at our New Birth- when we receive the Holy Spirit
They are given according to what we can handle
They are meant to be used to glorify God and benefit the church
Scripture passages about the purpose of spiritual gifts
Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:7; 1 Peter 4:10; Ephesians 4:12
As believers, we have been given these gifts, and it is important to know what they are, and to use them!
There are various gifts, and various levels of gifting:
Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, 27-28; Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Peter 4:10-11
Some of the most widely accepted and spoke of are these:
Administration, discernment, evangelism, exhortation/encouragement, faith, giving, healing, hospitality, knowledge, leadership, mercy, miracles, prophecy, pastor, serving, teacher, tongues, wisdom
It’s important to know our gifts
That’s why we have been taking the spiritual gifts surveys
If you haven’t taken it, please do (spiritualgiftstest.com)
Remember that these surveys don’t test for gifts of tongues, healing, or miracles because they are not easy to discover with just a bunch of questions
These gifts are often seen and verified by others
If you feel you may be gifted in these areas, make sure you talk with someone about it
What do we do now that we have an idea what our gifts are?
Pray about them
Need to seek God’s guidance and help in knowing and using our gifts
Because it is the Holy Spirit that gives these gifts and enables us to use them, we need to seek out God and His will through prayer
Seek counsel of others
Ask others what they see as your gifts
Seek affirmation for what you see, and how you could best use your gifts
Serve in lots of places; serve in ways you never thought of before
You may be surprised to find a ministry you never thought of may be the perfect place for your gifts
Be willing to grow in strong and weak areas
Just like any skill, you need to develop and strengthen your gifts
You will be called on to serve in areas that you are not very gifted in
Remember that your gifts are for you to serve God and others, not to serve yourself
Don’t be afraid of your gifts
Even when we are scared of our gifts or how we are called to use them, we have them for a reason
Remember the Parable of the Talents from Matthew 25: talents are given to us as we can handle them to be used to serve our Master
the servants who used their talents to produce more for their master were rewarded and given more; the servant who chose to hide his talent in the ground out of fear was punished by losing even that talent and was cast away from his master as lazy and wicked
So what are your gifts?
How are you being called to use them?
When you use your gifts to glorify God and benefit the church, you too will hear from God, “Well done!”
Cori Cypret is the pastor of The United Methodist Church of Coopersville.