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Spiritual Gifts 23rd May, 2011

Posted by Scotty in Leadership, Life, Musings, Spirituality.

Spiritual Gifts is one of my favourite topics!  I guess part of the reason for this is that God created me with a passion for equipping people.  And I believe developing these gifts is extremely important in being effective for His Kingdom

When Jesus was on the earth he explained that it was good for us that He would return to heaven, because then he would send us His Spirit (John 16:7).  Why would this be better for us?  Because Jesus could only affect us from outside of us… but the Spirit can work from inside us.  The Spirit is a better teacher, comforter and equipper.

One of the Spirit’s roles is to equip us with the gifts necessary to perform our role within the Church.  The Church (empowered by the Spirit) is God’s chosen vehicle for reestablishing His Kingdom on the earth.  And the effectiveness of the church requires each of us to play the part God created us for (Rom 12:1-8 ;1 Cor 12:14-20).  Our value and sense of fulfillment are tied up in us doing what we were created to do.

God’s Spirit is the Greatest teacher and many times He has trained, developed and powerfully used people without them ever labeling the gifts they have.  However, by taking the time seek God and figure out how He has gifted us, we can partner with Him in developing those gifts and use this knowledge to help make decisions about the how and where to serve.

There is no hard fast rule on how figuring out how God has gifted you and there is no perfect tool to make the process easy, but there are some tools out there that, when coupled with prayer and input from people around us, can be extremely helpful in leading us to the right results.

Spiritual Gift Inventories

Spiritual Gift inventories are great tools for pointing us in the right direction.  There are two that I use regularly that are online:

  • Gifted2Serve:  I use this one the most.  I like the definitions it works from.  It includes the miraculous gifts but not the more skilled-based gifts (like music, craftmanship, writing, etc)
  • Kodachrome: This is my second choice.  The way it asks the questions can force greater clarity.  It measures for ‘every’ gift.

These tools make suggestions about your gifts and should not be taken as God’s Word.  (I use them to get the conversation going).   When you get the results the next step is to read and pray through all the definitions, and then to experiment and test the findings.  (A simple way is to ask friends/leaders how accurate they think they are).

Spiritual Gift tests are flawed.  The results of the tests vary because of a number of factors:

  • Answering based on what you want to have, or what you feel you ought to have.
  • Whether the test is questioning your passions, inner motivations, perceptions or past experience
  • The number of gifts included in the test
  • How each gift is defined.  (The same gift can be defined differently in each test)
  • The creator’s knowledge/bias (most likely, the test will more accurately define and check for the gifts the test-maker has that the ones the test-maker scores low on)

Gift Identifaction Patterns

In his book the Making of a Leader Dr Robert J. Clinton lists two patterns he has consistently seen over his years studying leadership emergence theory:

  1. Like Attracts Like – Potential Leaders are intuitively attracted to leadders who have the same spiritual gifts.
  2. Giftedness Drift – Potential leaders respond intuitively to ministry assignments and challenges that call for their spiritual gift, even if not explicitly known.

    A third pattern I am aware of is:

  3.  Giftedness Attack – Potential leaders’ brokenness and struggles directly attack the administration of their gifts.

Spiritual Warfare is real!  If our value and effectiveness is tied in to our ability to use our spiritual gifts then it makes sense that the Enemy of our Souls would attack those gifts.  Eg.  If I grow up in a family that instills fear and anxiety into me, it will paralyze my ability to exercise the gift of faith.  If I am a prideful/arrogant person, then my character flaws will ush people to reject my knowledge/teacher.  Being judgemental will lead me to question discernment…) So often, the various wounds, sins, and doubts that we fight have been strategically caused by the Enemy to hinder our effectivenessin the role God created us for.



1. Don Crook - 24th May, 2011

Hi Scotty: I appreciate your keen interest and insight in spiritual gifts and their critical importance in building up Christ’s body.
I ‘woke up’ to gifts when I was in the midst of running a large Bible camp in Wisconsin. I began to more clearly identify that I was not well positioned for maximum impact in lives. My job was too much ‘paper’administration and short in deep people connection.
I started looking elsewhere and landed here in Washington state where I led another Bible camp for a half dozen years but this time in program, leadership training, mentoring, etc. Others did the administrative stuff. Gift discernment through reading, praying, reviewing personal history, and getting counsel from others shaped my future ministry choices.
Maybe we can talk more about this when we connect next week.

Scotty - 24th May, 2011

Hey Don,
It’s so cool that you’ll be here “next week”. I’d love to talk more about this. It’s one of my favourite topics and I’m sure you have a lot of insight that I can learn from.

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