A spiritual gift is a special ability, given by the Holy Spirit to every believer at their conversion, to be used to minister to others and build up the Body of Christ.
One of the ways to begin to identify your spiritual gift, or gifts, is to do the Gifts Survey.
- Only believers have spiritual gifts. I Cor. 2:14
- Every Christian has at least one gift. I Cor. 7:7
- We don’t receive all the gifts. I Cor. 12:27-30
- Gift are distributed differently (we aren’t the same). I Cor. 12:29-30
- You can’t earn/work for a spiritual gift. Eph. 4:7
- The Holy Spirit decides what giftsare given and to whom. I Cor. 12:11
- Most of the gifts given are permanent. Rom. 11:29
- We are to develop the gifts God has given. I Tim. 4:14
- It is possible to miss the mark and waste the gifts God has given. I Cor. 4:1-2 Matt. 25:14-30
- Using my gifts glorifies God and grows us. John 15:8
THE PURPOSE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS:
Not For My Benefit, But For Others
“Each one of you, as a good manager of God’s different gifts, must use for the good of others, the spiritual gift he has received from God.” I Pet. 4:10 (GN)
“The Holy Spirit displays God’s power through each of us as a means of helping the entire church.” I Cor. 12:7 (LB)
To Produce Maturity And Stability In Our Church Family.
“It was He who ‘gave gifts to men’…to build up the Body of Christ so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith…and become mature…Then we shall no longer be children, carried by the waves and blown about by every shifting wind…” Eph. 4:11,13-14 (GN)
CAUTIONS ABOUT SPIRITUAL GIFTS:
- We would be well to avoid confusing or conflating gifts with natural talents.
- We are well advised to void confusing gifts with the fruit of the Spirit. Gal. 5:22-23
“Fruit” relates to my developing Maturity.
“Gifts” relate to my developing Ministry.
- We are best to avoid confusing gifts with Christian roles, responsibilities or offices.
- We know that expecting others to serve the way we do, with similar results, is problematic.
- Of course it can’t be right to feel superior or project superiority to others on basis of gift(s) God gives. I Cor. 12:21
- Of course our gifts exercised without love are worthless! (I Corinthians 13)
“I may be able to speak the languages of men and even of angels…I may have the gift of inspired preaching…I may have all knowledge…and all the faith to move mountains – but if I have not love, I am nothing…it does no good.” I Cor. 13:1-3 (GN)
- Recognize that I have both a Primary and a Secondary ministry in my church:
- My Primary Ministry commitment should be in the area where I am gifted.
- My Secondary Ministry includes serving in any other area of the Body where I am needed.
Spiritual Gifts List
Click on the gift title to read the description and some Bible verses connected with that gift.
The gift of administration is a God-given capacity to lead, manage and govern. The task of steering the Body toward the accomplishment of God-given goals and directives by planning, organizing, and supervising others entails standing before and with the people.
Those so gifted will support the agreed upon direction of the Body, with care and diligence. The Holy Spirit enables some persons to motivate, direct and inspire God’s people in such a way that they voluntarily and harmoniously work together to do the work of ministry. This gift involves being able to put things together, to tie up all the “loose ends,” to get things done and to set patterns for others to follow. Adeptness at finances, planning, organizing, delegating responsibilities and problem-solving can sometimes indicate this gift.
People who are mature in this gift are servant leaders. They are able to accomplish different tasks and objectives as they lead, but they will lead relationally and with a deep concern for the well-being of others. They are “visionary” and many are entrepreneurial and willing to take risks to see the kingdom of God advanced through the Church. People with this gift work with others to develop strategies to reach goals, create order out of chaos, and coordinate a variety of responsibilities to accomplish Kingdom tasks.
Scriptural texts related to definition, function or examples of this spiritual gift: 1 Cor 12:28-31; Rom 12:6-8; 1 Pt 5:1-11; Heb 13:7, 17; Ju 3:10; Ex 18:13-16; 1 Thess 5:12-13; 1 Tim 3:4-5, 12;5:17; Lk 14:28-30; Acts 6:1-7; Titus 1:5.
The gift of apostleship represents a God-given capacity to be sent into new or difficult places with the Gospel, providing leadership over Church congregations and maintaining authority over spiritual matters pertaining to the Church. This gift is often exercised by those able to effectively minister in and across other cultures.
Often Apostles are able to perceive and accept God’s call to compassionately lead others in their spiritual journeys and to train others in spiritual matters. The gift is a combination of wisdom, discernment, leadership and teaching. Apostles tend to be influencers and are typically entrepreneurial; sometimes taking risks and performing difficult tasks. Those with this gift have a strong desire to be a part of the fulfillment of the Great Commission and an intense spirit of unease at the thought of all the unreached and neglected people in the world.
Scriptural texts related to definition, function or examples of this spiritual gift: 1 Cor 9:1, 19-23; 12:28-31; 15:5, 7; Eph 2:20; 3:6-8; 4:7-16; Mt 4:18-22; 10:1-8; Mk 3:13-19; 16:15; Rom 1:1; 10:14-15; 16:7; Acts 1:8, 21-22; 2:42-44; 13:2-5; 14:4, 14, 21-23; 22:21; 12:28; Gal 1:1, 19; Jn 14:26, 2 Pt 3:15-16, 2 Cor 8:23; 11:13; 12:12; Phil 2:25; 1 Thes 1:1; 2:6.
The gift of discernment is the God-given capacity to clearly distinguish truth from error by judging whether the behaviour or teaching is from God, Satan, human error, or human flesh. The spiritual gift of discernment is also known as the gift of “discernment of spirits” or “distinguishing between spirits.” The ability to distinguish, judge or appraise a person, statement, situation, or environment.
The church needs those with this gift to warn believers in times of danger or keep them from being led astray by false teaching. A person with this gift can identify deception in others with accuracy and recognizes inconsistencies in a teaching, prophetic message, or interpretation.
This gift is a practical gift. Christians with this gift can recognize the motives of people and know when a person is distorting the truth or communicating error. To distinguish between truth and error, to discern the spirits, differentiating between good and evil, right and wrong, and between pure motives and impure are important to Christians and to the Church.
Scriptural texts related to definition, function or examples of this spiritual gift: 1 Cor 2:9-16; 12:7-11; Heb 5:14; Acts 5:1-11; 16:16-18; 17:11-16; 1 Jn 4:1-6; Matt 16:21-23; 2 Chron 2:12;Ps119:125; Prov 3:21; 1 Ki 3:9.
This is a God-given capacity to be a messenger of the good news of the Gospel with an extra measure of faith, conviction and effectiveness. The person with this gift seeks opportunities to purposefully build relationships with unbelievers. A person so enabled will readily share the Good News and their own personal faith-journey in such a way that others come to know God.
This is person who is constrained to “bring the Good News” in a clear and effective manner to all types of people. A person with this gift is particularly burdened for those without Christ and without hope. They will go out of their way to share the truth and find ways to overcome the normal fear of rejection so as to engage in meaningful conversations about Jesus Christ with non-believers.
Some with this gift have an unusual sensitivity to when someone is ready to accept Christ, and may have greater success in leading people to Christ and encouraging new believers towards a life of discipleship.
Scriptural texts related to definition, function or examples of this spiritual gift: Eph. 4:11-14; 2 Tim 4:5; Acts 8: 5-6; 26-40; 14:21; 21:8; 2 Cor 4:7; Is 52:7; Matt 28:16-20.
The gift of exhortation is a God-given capacity to come along side of someone with words of encouragement, comfort, consolation, and counsel to help them be all God wants them to be. Such a gift may involve enabling others to engage more fully in worship or service. The gift of exhortation may involve exercising hospitality, with a knack for making people feel at ease, enjoying the presence of strangers and welcoming others.
This gift represents an ability to stand beside other people who are in need and call forth the best in them. Exhortation may involve bolstering or uplifting faith and guiding the life choices of others. This is the spiritual gift of encouragement, wherein the gifted one is able to effectively remind the hearer to not waver in their faith but to take hold of the powerful and amazing work of God in Christ.
Scriptural texts related to definition, function or examples of this spiritual gift: Rom. 12:8; 1 Cor 14:26; Ps 98: 1, 3-6; 150:3-6; Heb 3:13, 22; 10:25; 13:1-2; Gen 18:1-8; Titus 1:9; 2:11-15; 2 Tim 4:2; Acts 11:23-24; 14:21-22; 15:32; 1 Tim 4:12; 5:1-2; 1 Thess 5:14; Lk 3:16-18.
Some have a God-given capacity to be firmly persuaded of God’s power and promises and to display confidence in Him and His Word. Having confidence in God through intercessory prayer, being patient and persistent even when change is not evident and having a continuing sense of responsibility to pray for people and situations such as encourages the faith of others are evidences of this gift of faith.
Trust and firm persuasion of God’s presence and assurance come through a close relationship with the Saviour who allows people with this gift to live boldly for Him and to manifest that faith in Christ, often in quiet ways. They may be able to discern, with extraordinary confidence, the will and purposes of God for His work. Those with the gift of faith take Him at His Word and put the full weight of their lives, and those of others, into His hands. They expect God to move and are not surprised when He answers prayer.
Scriptural texts related to definition, function or examples of this spiritual gift: 1 Cor 12:7-11; 13:2; 1 Thess 3:10-13; 1 Tim 2:1-2; Eph 2:8-9; Matt 17:20; 21:21; Heb 11:1-40; Acts 3:1-10; 11:22-24; 27:21-25; Rom 4:18-21; Mk 5:25-34.
God-given enablement to share what material resources you have with liberality and cheerfulness, without thought of return, pretense or hypocrisy. This gift is a practical gift.
The spiritual gift of giving enables a disciple of Jesus Christ to offer energies, time, abilities, and material resources for the Kingdom work of God in the world, with exceptional willingness, passion, cheerfulness and generosity. The Christian with this gift will operate out of a spirit of self-sacrifice, requiring no recognition or reward for their giving. Some with this gift may have a special ability to make money to further God’s work.
The Holy Spirit gives this gift to some in the church to meet the various needs of the Church. The goal of gift is to encourage and provide through God’s provision. Those with this gift love to share with others from the overflow of blessings God has given them and are likely to be excellent stewards. Such persons often adjust their lifestyles in order to give to Gospel ministries, including the care of the needy.
Scriptural texts related to definition, function or examples of this spiritual gift: 2 Cor 8:1-7;9:6-15; Matt 6:1-4; Rom 12:6-8, 13, 28; Acts 4:32-37; Gal 4:15; Phil 4:10-19; Mk 12:41-44; 1 Cor 13:3.
Healing is a God-given capacity to be used as a means through which God makes people whole, physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. God uses people with this gift of healing to restore people who are sick and to pray for God’s help for those who suffer.
The gift bearer has a prayerful confidence in God’s power to provide in times of suffering, despite condition of body and mind. This gift is given to reveal the God of heaven to the sick and tormented. The spiritual gift of healing reveals the heart and compassion of God and Jesus as the Great Healer and Physician. Healings draw people to God through His Son Jesus Christ.
Those with this gift are compassionate toward the sick and pray with great faith and trust that God can and will heal some and are not deterred when He chooses not to do so. Certain members of the Body of Christ are gifted to be human intermediaries through whom God cures illness and restores health apart from the complementary use of medical or natural means.
Scriptural texts related to definition, function or examples of this spiritual gift: Ja 5:13-16; Lk 9:1-2; 17:15-19; 2 Kg 5:1-3, 9-14; 1 Cor. 12:7-11, 28–31; 2 Cor 12:7-10; Matt 4:23-24; 8:16; 9:35,Mk 1:34; 5:18-20; Acts 3:1-10; 5:12-16; 9:32-35; 14:8-10; 28:7-10.
Interpretation of Tongues
This is a self-evident God-given capacity to understand a language that neither the hearer-interpreter nor the speaker have learned by natural means. The gift of interpreting tongues is the ability to translate a foreign language into the language of the hearers.
While the gift of interpreting tongues is a separate gift, it is used in conjunction with the gift of speaking in tongues. The one with this gift will explain, or expound the message that is uttered in an unknown language. This is a revelatory gift as God “reveals” the meaning of the words or message being spoken and enables the interpreter to communicate the meaning such that the Church is encouraged to love and serve God more deeply and effectively and God is glorified.
Scriptural texts related to definition, function or examples of this spiritual gift: 1 Cor 12:7-30; 28-31; 14:1-40, 12; Acts 2:4-12; Ps 104:2b-35.
This gift entails a God-given capacity to enjoy learning, gain and retain knowledge of facts and relationships pertaining to Scripture, together with a strong desire to find ways to gracefully share these understandings.
The work of discovering, accumulating, analyzing, and clarifying information and ideas which are pertinent to the well-being of the Body are taken up by a person with this gift. They seek to learn as much as possible and relevant through the gathering, sifting and analyzing of information. The knowledge may come without effort, in God’s timing. This spiritual gift of knowledge is also known as the “word of knowledge” or “utterance of knowledge.” The emphasis is on the ability to speak this knowledge to others in a given situation.
The Holy Spirit gives this spiritual gift to some believers to bring about understanding and to inform the Church or individual believers. Those with this gift are usually well-versed in the Scriptures and can retain the truth and communicate it effectively at the appropriate times. The gift of knowledge allows a believer to relate the Scriptures to all aspects of life in ways that inform decisions. The Spirit enables certain Christians to understand, in an exceptional ways, the great truths of God’s Word and to make them relevant to specific situations in the church. This is a divine enablement to bring truth to the Body through a revelation or Biblical insight.
Scriptural texts related to definition, function or examples of this spiritual gift: Eph 3:14-19; Hos 6:6; 1 Cor 1:4-7, 18-31; 2:14; 12:7-11 Rom 15:14; Lk 1:1-4; Acts 5:1-11; 2 Cor 11:6; Col 1:10; 2:2-3; 1 Tim 2:15. 2 Chron 1:7-12; Col 2:2-3; Dan 2:20-21; Prov 2:6; 9:10; Ps 119:66; Jer 3:15.
The gift of mercy is a God-given capacity to be sensitive toward those who are suffering or struggling, whether physically, socially, spiritually, mentally, or emotionally, so as to genuinely feel their pain, to speak words of exceptional empathy and compassion.
Those with this gift care with deeds of love and help to alleviate distress. People with this gift express love, grace, and dignity to those facing hardships and crisis find themselves visiting and assisting those in need, and often feel the pain of the person they are helping. This gift involves continual readiness to forgive those who have erred, comfort the bereaved, help those who face a crisis, minister to the sick, provide practical relief, become a peacemaker or offer assistance to those in need.
Scriptural texts related to definition, function or examples of this spiritual gift: Rom 12:6-8, 15; Lk 7:12-15; 10:30-37; Micah 6:8; Mt 5:7; 18:33; 20:29-34; 25:34-40; Acts 6:2-4; 11:28-30; 16:33-34; Eph 2:4-6; Gal 6:2; Jas 3:17; Mk 9:41; Jude 22-23.
The gift of miracles is a God-given enablement used as a vehicle through whom God performs mighty deeds or “workings of power.” Those with this gift serve as human intermediaries to alter the ordinary course of nature.
Witnesses will acknowledge the results as being supernatural. This gift involves a firm relationship with God and a willingness to hear from God, to trust in the power and will of God. Those with this gift listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Miracles reveal the presence and glory of God and create a sense of wonder, Godly awe and reverence. Of course God is Sovereign and He can work when and how He desires.
Those with the spiritual gift of miracles may have an enhanced sensitivity to the workings of the Holy Spirit. Those with this gift point others to Jesus as the miracle worker.
Scriptural texts related to definition, function or examples of this spiritual gift: 1 Cor. 1:22-25; 12:7-11, 28-29; Jn 14:11-14; Micah 3:8; 2 Tim 1:5-7; Jn 20:30-31; Acts 1:8; 2:22; 2:43; 3:1-10; 4:29-31; 5:1-16; 6:8; 8:4-8, 13; 9:35, 36-43 9:36-43; 13:4-12; 19:11-20; 20:7-12; Gal 3:5.; Rom 15:17-19; 2 Cor 12:12. Mk 16:17-18; Heb 2:4.
God the Holy Spirit gives some the capacity to interpret and apply God’s revelation in given situations with a sense of timing and knowledge of Scripture. This is the ability to receive divinely inspired message and deliver the messages to others in the Church.
These messages can take the form of exhortation, correction, disclosure of secret sins, prediction of future events, comfort, inspiration, or other revelations given to equip and edify the Body of Christ. Those with this gift are sensitive to both the prompting of the Holy Spirit and the needs of the church Body. This is a communication gift and those with the gift of prophecy will often feel as though they have a direct word from God that will comfort, encourage, guide, warn, or rebuke the Body of Christ.
Prophets often have a great sense of urgency to their bearing a message. Prophets have a special ability from God to proclaim the Word of God with clarity and to apply the Word fearlessly to given situations with a view to the strengthening, encouraging, and comforting believers and convincing unbelievers.
Scriptural texts related to definition, function or examples of this spiritual gift: 1 Cor 12:7-11, 28; 28-31; 14:1-5, 22-40; 1 Thess 5:20-21; 1 Jn 4:1-3; 1 Pt 4:10-11. Lk 7:26; Acts 15:32; 21:9-11; Rom 12:6-8; Eph 4:11-14; Deut 18:18-22.
This gift entails a God-given capacity to render support or assistance to others in the Body of Christ so as to free them up for ministry. This gift of service allows its bearer to identify closely with the needs and problems of others; sometimes not providing answers or solutions, but simply being willing to work with them, no matter how small or how big the task may be.
This gift involves a willingness to “pitch in” and do whatever is needed, no matter how detailed or tedious the task may seem to others. Acts of service done in genuine love for the edification of the community characterize the behaviour of people exercising this gift. They serve in ways that benefit others with different gifts and more public ministries. They have hearts fully devoted to Jesus and a desire to follow His command in the background, without seeking the “spotlight.” They just love to help you.
Scriptural texts related to definition, function or examples of this spiritual gift: Gal 6:1-2, 9-10; Phil 2:3-8, 19-23; Acts 6:1-7; 9:36; 20:35; 16:15-16; Matt 20:25-28; Mk 10:42-45; 15: 40-41;Rom 12:7; 12:6-8; 16:1-2; 1 Cor 12:4-7, 28-31; Rev 2:19; Jn 12:26; 13:24; 2 Tim 1:16-18; 4:11; Titus 3:14; 1 Pt 4:11; Lk 22:24-27.
This shepherding gift is a God-given capacity to shepherd, to oversee, to protect, to care for the wounded and sick and to rescue the lost or trapped. Those with this gift guide others them to nourishment and rest through building trust and strong interpersonal relationships.
Those with this gift are called and gifted to care for the spiritual well-being of a local Body of God’s people. They are servants of God and His Church. The goal of the pastor-shepherd is to reveal the glory of God in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit to a people who need God’s grace for life. Pastors exercise their gift by direct care and by teaching the Word of God. The shepherd loves the Gospel of Jesus Christ and keeps this message at the center of life and ministry as long-term personal responsibility for the welfare and spiritual maturity of a group of believers is assumed.
Scriptural texts related to definition, function or examples of this spiritual gift: Eph 4:11-15; 1 Tim 3:1-7; 4:11-16; Tit 1:6-9; Jer 3:15; Acts 20:28; Jn 10:1-18; 1 Pt 5:1-4; 2 Tim 4:1-2.
The gift of teaching entails the God-given capacity to communicate so that others learn. To exercise the gift of teaching one effectively imparts information or proclaims precepts of faith orally, visually or by example.
Teachers have been entrusted with the task of effectively communicating what the Bible says, what it means, and how followers of Jesus Christ are to apply the Word to their lives. The bearer of the gift is to teach, instruct, instill doctrine, explain, and expound. Those with this gift take great joy and satisfaction in seeing others learn and apply the truth of God’s Word to their lives. They love to see how the Gospel is woven throughout the Scriptures and how it glorifies and magnifies Jesus Christ in the hearts and lives of those who love Him by grace.
This gift is a communication gift and those with it find they are able to organize information in such a way as to make it understood, remembered and applied. The focus of the teaching gift is on seeing lives changed by helping others understand the revelation and councils of God who is both Author and Creator.
Scriptural texts related to definition, function or examples of this spiritual gift: Heb 5:12-14; Is 28:9-10; Jam 3:1; 1 Tim 3:15; Eph 4:11-16; 1 Cor 12:10, 28-31; Rom 12:6-8; Matt 7:28-29; 28:19-20; Acts 15:32; 18:24-28.
The gift of tongues is a God-given capacity to communicate beyond ordinary means. Speaking in tongues is the utterance of prayer or of a message glorifying God, typically in a language that is unknown to the one speaking it or spoken as a message from God.
The intention of the spiritual gift of tongues is to glorify God. People with this gift may receive from God to be made known to His Body through a person with the gift of interpretation of tongues. The special ability to speak in a language not previously learned may be for unbelievers to hear God’s message in their own language. The receiver of this gift may experience an intimacy with God, inspiring them to serve Him more dearly. This gift may be used to edify others or to speak in tongues with a private prayer language.
Scriptural texts related to definition, function or examples of this spiritual gift: Acts 2:1-13; 10:44-46; 19:1-17; Ps 104:2b-35; 1 Cor 12:7-11, 28-31; 13:1, 8-10; 14:1-40; Rev 7:9-12; Mk 16:17; Rom 8:26-27.
God gives some people the capacity to understand His will and to discern how life works in God’s ways. This gift involves knowledge of God and of Scripture, discernment of God’s will and skill in analyzing the problems and dilemmas of life. The capacity to distinguish between truth and error, to identify whether something is of God.
The spiritual gift of wisdom is sometimes referred to as the “word of wisdom” or “utterance of wisdom” and refers to the intimate understanding of God’s Word and His commandments in particular circumstances. It is to speak into the life of a person or to a specific situation with great understanding and insight. Those with the gift of wisdom have a deep understanding of the holiness and love of God. The gift of wisdom enables a person to see through confusion to give direction to help an individual or group pursue a God-glorifying goal. This gift is a practical gift.
This gift that allows the believer to sort through opinions, facts, and thoughts in order to determine what solution would be best for an individual believer or a community of believers. People with this gift are able to provide divinely given solutions in the midst of conflict and confusion as they hear the Spirit provide direction.
Scriptural texts related to definition, function or examples of this spiritual gift: Ja 1:5-8; 3:13-18; Eccl 9:13-18; Prov 4:5-8; 17:24; Hos 14:8-9; Acts 5:3-6; 6:3-10; 15:13-20; 20:20-21; 1 Cor 1:17-31; 2:1-16; 12:7-11, 28; Ps 111:10; Col 1:9-10, 28; 2:1-3; Rom 12:17; Eph 4:11-14; 2 Chron 1:7-11; 1 Ki 3:16-28.