The questionnaire is only the beginning point for identifying one’s gifts. Here are some tips for further exploration:
- Read each of the descriptions for the top scoring gifts identified by the questionnaire.
- Be sure to prayerfully read the Scripture references for each gift as this will provide an opportunity for an inner, Spirit given confirmation or correction.
- Some gifts are closely related but distinct. It may be that the questionnaire has indicated one gift but further reflection and prayer on the related group of gifts will reveal a different one.
Clarity about the differences between gifts is critical. It is not uncommon for those with the gift of Organization to not have the gift of Leadership, or vice versa, and yet both are needed for a project to succeed. Knowing what gifts one does not have will help you to know who you must find to work with in order to accomplish your goals.
Related groups of gifts are:
Practical, Personal, Hands-on, Behind-the-Scenes Gifts
- Assisting – is focussed on assisting one or more individuals who are leaders, organizers, teachers, etc.
- Crafting – is focussed on using skills such as gardening, property maintenance, professional, technical or trade.
- Creativity – is focussed on all forms of artistic creativity and expression.
- Mercy – is focussed on personally helping those in need.
- Service – is focussed on helping groups or projects around the church.
Nurturing, Caring, People Oriented Gifts
- Encouragement – is focussed on short-term, as needed, moral encouragement of others.
- Faith – is focussed on having personal trust in God, which may or may not lead to helping and supporting others in direct ways.
- Hospitality – is focussed on being comfortable meeting new people and providing a warm welcome and inviting space.
- Mentoring – is focussed on longer-term support for faith development.
- Multiculturalism – is focussed on being comfortable in a different culture.
- Knowledge – is focussed on the ability to gather and organize information and ideas. This may be done for others to use.
- Leadership – is focussed on the quality of communications and relationships so that groups work for a common purpose.
- Organization – is focussed on the ability to coordinate all the details for a program or project to be successfully accomplished.
- Teaching – is focussed on the ability to help others learn and understand.
- Vision – is focussed on clarifying the goals, outcomes or purposes for a group, program or project.
- Wisdom – is focussed on the ability to provide insightful yet practical solutions to complex, conflicted or puzzling situations.
Personal Faith Gifts
- Discernment – is focussed on an above average ability to sense personal motives and hidden agendas.
- Evangelism – is focussed on being comfortable talking with others about one’s faith.
- Faith – is focussed on having an above average trust in God in all circumstances.
- Giving – is focussed on an above average generosity with one’s money.
- Healing – is focussed on improving or restoring health. It may or may not involve prayer, but is focussed exclusively on healing.
- Justice – is focussed on an above average ability to see underlying causes and connections for social, economic, political and environmental relationships.
- Prayer – is focussed on an above average time spent in prayer. It may include prayers for healing, but will not be focussed exclusively on healing.
Once you have identified your gifts, the next steps are to identify where and how you can best use your gifts. This is best done in conversation with your Minister or Spirit Given Gifts Counsellor. You could begin by reflecting on some of these points:
- Age & Stage of Life – At what age and stage of life am I at? Should I seek an opportunity to learn, deepen and grow? Am I ready to be given major responsibility without close supervision? Could I offer wisdom and nurture to others? What are my personal needs? What are my family responsibilities? How much time and energy do I have available?
- Past Experience – As I reflect on my past experience, what has worked; what has given me energy and excitement; what feels unfinished?
- Personality – Am I outgoing? Do I prefer to work with one or two others? Am I comfortable with strangers or prefer people I know? With what age groups do I connect? Am I comfortable with people from different backgrounds than my own? What level of stress, noise, and energy can I cope with? Can I keep commitments without supervision?
- Personal Maturity – What level of self-awareness do I have about my emotions and needs? How do I handle my own, and other people’s, anxiety? Can I stay connected and continue to problem solve in the midst of heated conflict?
- Faith Maturity – What is the level of my personal relationship with God, and of my daily discipleship?
- Cooperation & Evaluation – Can I accept evaluation of my gifts and how I am using them? Can I work constructively with others? Can I admit my limitations? Can I work for goals that others may have set?
Questionnaires are always only beginning points for further exploration and discussion. After the questionnaire is completed and scored, the relevant Scripture passages should be read as well as the descriptions of other gifts to find those that best fit your sense of how God has indeed gifted you. You also might check the results with those who know you well. What have they seen in you?
I pray this material has helped you identify your Spirit Given Gift(s) and find your place in God’s work.
(c) 2004, 2006, 2008 David Ewart, www.davidewart.ca
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