Thursday, May 20, 2010

Are You Burying Your Talents? Or Do You Even Know What They Are?

I am surprised by the number of Christians who have no idea what their spiritual gifts are! (This is coming from a girl who LOVES to fill out quizzes, personality tests, and so on. I mean, don't we all love to do those? Or is it just me?) We all seem to be aware that God gives us certain gifts when we accept Christ, but many believers (even many long-time believers) don't seem to be too interested in finding out what they are. Or perhaps we are interested, but no one has given us the tools to figure it out!

I believe that it is vital for us to try to understand our gifts (to the best that we can in our limited human knowledge), so that we can ensure we are using them to serve in Kingdom purposes.

To that end, I have a link to a spiritual gifts inventory for you. :) As far as I can tell, this online one seems to be the most similar to the paper one that is typically used in evangelical churches. If you do go complete this inventory (whether to discover some of your gifts for the first time, or to re-evaluate after a few years and see which ones are showing up stronger over time), I'd love for you to post your top few (or several) in the comments.

In fitting with my series on Building Your Ministry, I would also strongly recommend you have everyone on your team do a spiritual gifts inventory of some sort! You will find that your team will be empowered by the knowledge of their gifts, and both you and they will be able to evaluate if they are serving in the right area. Nothing is worse than working outside of your area of gifting - that kind of experience makes a girl feel utterly discouraged and worn down by her ministry. Wait, one thing is worse - that would be not using those gifts for the glory of God at all!

Before you complete the survey, here are a few things to think about:

- In school, how did you BEST complete multiple choice exams? Did you do best going quickly and with your gut instinct, or slowly and thoughtfully? It’s best to view this in the same way. (I told one friend to go with her gut – like I tend to – and her results were fairly skewed, but when she went back and did it her way – methodically – the results made much more sense for her!)

- Are you an “all or nothing” girl? Or do you tend to be more “middle of the road?” (Some of us will have a few gifts that we score VERY high on and a few that are VERY low, while others will see less of a range between the top and bottom numbers. For example, if I recall correctly my top score was 29 or something ridiculous! My best friend’s top score was 15. The score does not measure the strength or intensity of the gift! The actual number does not matter as it compares to others; only use the numbers to gauge which of your gifts appears to be strongest and which are weakest. What matters is – which gifts come in the top half of your scoring?)

- Over time, our spiritual gifts may appear to change. The truth is that God imparts every spiritual gift He intends for us the moment we accept Christ. Our gifts remain for our lifetime. BUT, we may not discover some of our gifts at first. It is through relationship with God and serving Him that we grow spiritually and develop the gifts He has given to us. (An example from my life: Six years ago I completed a spiritual gifts inventory and found exhortation and pastoring to be smack dab in the middle. This led me to think I wasn’t really gifted in those areas. Now, they are among my top few. I believe that God gave those gifts to me, but until I spent some time in ministry using those gifts and developing them, they didn’t show up as strongly. You might find that evangelism sits in the middle for you, and if you’re like me you’ll breathe a sigh of relief! LOL! But then God may put a few people in your path who need to know God… Do the questionnaire again in a few years and you may find that evangelism is higher.)

Well, go ahead! What are you waiting for? I assure you, reading the list of spiritual gifts beside your name will be encouraging, inspiring, and FUN!

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ~James 1:17


  1. My top bunch are:
    - administration
    - leadership
    - wisdom
    - writing
    - exhortation
    - pastoring

    My zeros are:
    - tongues
    - celibacy
    - craftsmanship

    Not many surprises there! I'm bossy and crafts hate me. ;-)

  2. I have done several of these over the years and they have changed with time! I used to do the slow-methodical approach, but then noticed that I could actually make it say certain gifts (the ones I wanted! ha!). Now I just go with my gut so that I'm not trying to control the outcome!

    My top ones on this test:

    My zeros and ones:

    You can probably tell, I like tests too! ;) No surprises for me either, those are always the top two for me. And I don't care for crafts either!

  3. Highest:


  4. I haven't done this for several years and mine have changed a bit:

    Top 6:
    Poverty (need to figure out what that means)

    Bottoms 6:
    Tongues Speaking
    Tongues Interpreting

  5. I think poverty means you are supposed to go sell everything you have, give all the money to charity, and move your family to a third world country while subsisting on goat’s milk from your pet goat and eggs from your free-range chickens. Or something like that! ;)

  6. Mine our:

    No gifts:


  7. Here are my top ten:

    Mercy Music Helps Missionary Faith Healing Poverty Craftsmanship Hospital Writing

    These are the ones that I had zeros on
    TonguesSpeaking TonguesInterpreting

    Not sure how accurate this was, maybe some of my friends would know?


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