In the early days of doing this role, I spent some time investigating the different ways available for people to discover their spiritual gifts. What I came across was a wealth of different questionnaires; some free, some expensive; some stand alone, some part of a course; some listing 19 gifts, others 30; but most looking exceedingly similar to each other. I confess to completing quite a few myself, being intrigued to discover whether they came out with the same results…which they generally did.
So many ways exist to explore what your spiritual gifts might be, but once you have filled in a form and identified some gifts, what then?
1 Peter 4:10 says ‘Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.’
So we’re called to use our gifts to serve others. But who? And How?
We often lack imagination when we think about how our gifts can be used. We look at the tasks that need doing in church and the gaps on the rota and try to fit ourselves into the spaces that exist. However, we have a God who is much more creative than that! What if He has a plan for you that looks different to what you expected? Let’s be brave and willing to explore with Him.
We often lack imagination when we think about how our gifts can be used
I suggest you start by thinking about the following questions:
- What are you passionate about?
- What frustrates you?
- What do you long to see change in your church or community?
- What brings you joy?
The answers to these questions will begin to uncover some people and causes which God has put on your heart. Spend time reflecting on your answers and allow God to identify an area or group of people to whom he is calling you.
Next, consider what other abilities and life experience you have.
- Name the things you’re good at.
- What do you know a lot about?
- What comes naturally to you?
- What have you learned from experiences in your past (good or bad) that enables you to help others in a special way?
This will help you explore how you could use your gifts to serve the areas you identified and begin to address some of the changes you want to see.
When you are exploring these questions, it is helpful to involve others in the conversation who know you well and can support you as you move into your ministry. I encourage you to talk with your vicar, small group leader or a friend. Not only will they be able to pray with you and offer insight, they will often be in a position to open doors for you and create opportunities for you to develop.
If you want to find out more about discovering your Spiritual Gifts and exploring how you are called to use them to join in with God’s mission, you can get in touch with me here.