Do you know what your spiritual gifts are? Are you using them to serve others?
In 2 Timothy 1:1-7, Paul tells Timothy to “fan into flame” the spiritual gift God had given him, using it to impact others more and more. Spiritual gifts are God-given, God-empowered abilities that the Holy Spirit gives to Christians for the building up of others both inside and outside the church (1 Corinthians 12:4-7, Romans 12:3-8). Every Christian has at least one spiritual gift, and God calls us to use our gifts to be good stewards of what God has given us (1 Peter 4:10-11). These aren’t the same as natural talents or learned skills. Spiritual gifts are special ways God works directly through believers to impact others.
But how do you determine your spiritual gifts?
Step Up and Serve
Ultimately, the best way to determine your spiritual gifts is to serve. As you place yourself in more service opportunities, you'll start to notice the ways you're especially passionate about serving. You'll discover how you serve most effectively. And most importantly, you'll notice the venues and opportunities in which God Himself seems to work through you the most clearly. Spiritual gifts are more about how God tends to work through us than they are about how He has made us.
So, while it’s true that serving is the best way to determine your spiritual gifts, it’s really the only way! If spiritual gifts remain only things you’re thinking about – not things you’re using – then it’s all theoretical. Seeing our gifts in action is truly the only way to claim them as our own.
Consult Your Crew
Your community group is also an excellent resource for helping you pinpoint your spiritual gifts. You can also talk to friends, family, and coworkers – ask those who know you well what gifts they see in you. They may see a gifting in you that you don’t even realize! Involving those close to you is a great way to answer God’s call for us to encourage and spur each other on to good works (Hebrews 10:24-25). And now you can be on the lookout for ways God has gifted them, too.
Try a Test
Another helpful resource is a spiritual gifts assessment, a test that helps Christ-followers think through possible giftings. But don’t worry: this is a test you can’t fail! These assessments look at how God uses us most and best, which often lines up with the abilities He’s given us and the passions He has put inside us. Watermark offers one such assessment, which you can do alone or with community.
Assessments don’t tell us our spiritual gifts, but they do give us some good leads to follow. An assessment will highlight a few spiritual gifts that might apply to you. It is your job to pray about those possibilities, note whether you see them as you serve, and talk with others.
Grow in Your Gifts
As we steward our lives for God’s Kingdom and the good of others, we should also consider the other kinds of gifts God has given us. These include our experiences, our natural abilities, skills we have learned, and even our interests or passions. As we let God direct our lives, our gifts will likely play a big part in the “good works” He has prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10).
Since we have been given all these gifts, God expects us to steward them well. That includes both using them and developing them. God wants us to grow our raw talents into more mature strengths – most useful to others and most glorifying to the Lord. If your spiritual gifts, passions, abilities, and other gifts are no more useful than they were when you started following Christ, it is time to grow in your gifts!
We would love to let you know when opportunities arise to use your specific abilities, experiences, and passions. If you haven’t already, please fill out our Shape Survey. This lets us know more about you and how you’d like to use your many gifts if opportunities arise!