Imagine baking your favorite cake. The warm aroma fills your kitchen as you take it out of the oven. You cut into your creation, take a big bite, but the sweet satisfaction you anticipated is quickly disrupted. It’s salty! You left out the sugar.
Now, imagine the body of Christ. Could you imagine it without people, churches, pastors, or creators? It wouldn’t be the same. Similar to the sugar in that cake, we are each a key ingredient to the Church. We all bring a unique set of talents, gifts, and qualities to the table that elevate and expand the kingdom.
While some are called to a formal title in the church, we all share the responsibility in participating in the mission. The uniform goal of furthering the kingdom expands beyond the bounds of the physical church building.
Recognize that you are a key player in this larger mission, and God wants to use you and your gifts. Let’s take a deeper look at discovering and unlocking your spiritual gifts.
Through Christ, you are given a spiritual gift, or gifts. There are a variety of gifts, but all from the same Spirit, you don’t get to choose. There is no amount of hard work or effort you can make to earn them. They are manifestations of the Holy Spirit chosen by God. They are a way to serve others, and ultimately, bring glory to God.
Much like our natural bodies, the body of Christ is made of many parts that function differently, each having a different purpose. Spiritual gifts aid these functions and help us walk in purpose. Further, they are a way to confirm the power of the gospel for both strengthening the body of Christ and drawing in non-believers. They are kingdom building tools. Among the body of believers, gifts may look different, but are all important in advancing the kingdom.
There are key differences between a spiritual gift and talent. While talents are for both believers and non-believers, Paul shares that spiritual gifts are given according to grace. We are to humbly serve in accordance with our faith.
Your spiritual gift is something you may already be acutely aware of, or something you may be in the process of discovering. The identity of each is derived from scripture and include:
Administration, apostleship, craftsmanship, discernment, evangelism, exhortation, faith, giving, healing, helpers, hospitality, intercession, knowledge, leadership, mercy, miracles, missionary, music/worship, pastoral/shepherding, prophecy, service, teaching, tongues, and wisdom.
Do any of these resonate with you? Do any of these particularly capture a gift you have? Spend time seeking the Lord and asking God to reveal your gift to you through him. Ask him to give you desires that are his. Talk to people around you. Perhaps others have observed qualities or identified skills in you that you may not even notice because they come so naturally.
For further guidance, check out VOUS Church’s Growth Track, a 4 week course designed to not only inform you about VOUS, but awaken you to the very gifts you can offer to the body of Christ.
This special role is for you! In Romana, the Apostle Paul explains that no matter your gift, you are important to the body and are called to use your gift accordingly. Once you have an idea of your strengths, prayerfully discern how best to use them in your local church or larger community. In Ephesians, we are informed that some gifts function as roles, such as teachers and pastors. So certain gifts may even help inform you of your calling!
Let the Holy Spirit guide how you use your gift to serve others. If you have the gift of exhortation, encourage those around you! If you have the gift of creativity, seek out how you can create for your church. When we lean into our spiritual gifts, we accomplish more by the Holy Spirit than we could imagine.
Sometimes exercising your gift might involve stepping out of your comfort zone. Maybe your gift is clear, but still needs development and practice. You may have to step out in faith or act in obedience in a way that makes you totally dependent on God. Reaching your full potential is something you can do only when marked by God himself.
These gifts are not meant to burden you, they’re meant to bless you. But if you’re not careful, it’s easy to get lost in the trap of comparison. Be reminded that your gift may not look like your neighbor’s. Also, be reminded that you have the ultimate gift of salvation when you accept Jesus as your savior — and that is greater than any other gift. When you fix your eyes on the Heavenly Father rather than on a gift, you will be guided in the right direction to fulfill your calling.