Finding Your Gifts and Talents for Service

September 23rd, 2013

What are your top spiritual gifts? Find out with Ministry Matters' exclusive Spiritual Gifts Inventory, based on Church of the Resurrection's Serving from the Heart study. 

See the descriptions of each gift below, and click the links to find articles, books, and other resources to help you grow stronger in your primary spiritual gifts.

Administration (Guidance)

The spiritual gift of Administration (or Guidance) is the God-given ability to organize and manage information, people, events, and resources to accomplish the objectives of a ministry. People with this gift handle details carefully and thoroughly. They are skilled in determining priorities, and in planning and directing the steps needed to achieve a goal. They feel frustrated when faced with disorder, and are uncomfortable with inefficiency. People with the gift of Administration often make it easier for others to use their own gifts, simply by keeping things organized and flowing smoothly. Find articles and resources to develop this gift.


The divine ability to build the foundation of new churches by preaching the word, teaching others to live by Christ’s commandments through the example of their own lives, and preparing the people to serve one another. Persons with the gift of Apostleship are not only eager to bring the gospel to those who have never heard it; they prepare those people to continue the work after they have left. They enthusiastically approach new ministries, churches, or settings, and realize the need to adapt methods of evangelism and service to widely different environments. People with this gift might envision themselves as missionaries, but some may not—they may instead accept and exercise leadership over a number of new churches or ministries. Find articles and resources to develop this gift.

Distinguishing of Spirits

The divine ability to recognize what is of God and what is not of God—to distinguish between good and evil, truth and error, and pure motives and impure motives. People with this gift usually can rely on instincts or first impressions to tell when a person or message is deceptive or inconsistent with biblical truths. They can sense the presence of evil, and they question motives, intentions, doctrine, deeds, and beliefs. These people must take care to use their gift in a way that brings good to the body of Christ—to judge with mercy and understanding rather than to condemn. It is unfortunate that people sometimes use this gift as a weapon against someone they disagree with, as opposed to seeking to understand whether their feeling is truly Spirit led. Find articles and resources to develop this gift.

The Gift of Encouragement

The God-given ability to encourage, help, intercede for, and be an advocate for others in a way that motivates others to grow in their faith and urges them to action. Encouragement (also referred to as Exhortation) takes many forms, and can be done through personal relationships, music, writings, intercessory prayer, and speaking, to name a few. People with this gift encourage others to remain faithful, even in the midst of struggles. They are sensitive and sympathetic toward another person's emotional state, and exhort selflessly, with affection, not contempt. They can see positive traits or aspects that other persons overlook, and often have more faith in other persons than they have in themselves. Find articles and resources to develop this gift.

The Gift of Evangelism

The divine ability to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ so that unknowing persons respond with faith and discipleship. Contrary to what you might think, people with the gift of evangelism do not all speak of their faith from a podium, or by taking their message door-to-door through a neighborhood, though some do. Most people with this gift simply speak comfortably about their faith; nonbelievers are drawn into this circle of comfort. These people enjoy many friendships outside of their Christian community. They enjoy helping others see how Christianity can fulfill their needs. They eagerly study questions that challenge Christianity. They respond clearly in ways that connect with individuals-meeting the individuals right where they are. Find articles and resources to develop this gift.

The Gift of Faith

The divine ability to recognize what God wants done, and to act when others fall back in doubt. Although as Christians we are all called to have faith, people with the spiritual gift of faith receive it in an extraordinary measure. Even in the face of barriers that overwhelm others, people with this gift simply have confidence that God will see God's will done. Believing deeply in the power of prayer, they also know that God is both present and active in their lives. People with this gift, by their works and by their words, show others that God is faithful to God's promises. Find articles and resources to develop this gift.

The Gift of Giving

The God-given ability to give material wealth freely and joyfully, knowing that spiritual wealth will abound as God's work is advanced. People with the gift of giving are not always affluent, but they are always generous with what they DO have. People with this gift usually manage their finances well, may have a special ability to make money, and tend to be frugal in their lifestyle. They use these skills to increase their support for God's work and trust that God will provide for their needs. They are often comfortable and successful in approaching others for contributions. Instead of asking, "How much of my money do I give to God?" they ask, "How much of God's money do I keep?" Find articles and resources to develop this gift.


The divine ability to bring wholeness—physical, emotional, or spiritual—to others. People with this gift listen skillfully as they seek God’s guidance to learn the needs of the sick and to determine the causes and nature of an illness. They believe that God can cure and that prayer can over- come any negative forces at work (but they also recognize that God might have a different plan). Their tools include prayer, touch, and spoken words. This gift shows God’s power; at the same time, it is to God’s glory. The goal of healing is not just healing itself, but spreading the gospel by pointing to the power of Jesus Christ and to show the glory of God. Find articles and resources to develop this gift.

The Gift of Helps (Serving)

The God-given ability to work alongside others in performing practical and often behind-the-scenes tasks to sustain and enhance the body of Christ. A person with this gift receives spiritual satisfaction from doing everyday necessary tasks; he or she may prefer to work quietly and without public recognition. When a need is seen, the helper frequently takes care of it without being asked. The helper's work often frees up other persons so that they may carry out their own ministries. Find articles and resources to develop this gift.

The Gift of Hospitality

The divine ability to make others feel welcome and comfortable. People with the gift of hospitality often love to entertain. Sometimes, however, their gift is simply demonstrated by a warm handshake or hug, a bright smile, and a tendency to greet new people and help them get acclimated to a new place or situation. People are drawn to persons with this gift-they often have many acquaintances or friends and help others make connections, too. Find articles and resources to develop this gift.

The Gift of Leadership

The divine ability to motivate, coordinate, and direct people doing God's work. People with this gift are visionaries who inspire others to work together to make the vision a reality. They take responsibility for setting and achieving goals; they step in where there is a lack of direction. They build a team of talented persons, and then they empower them. These persons are called to be servant-leaders. Held to a high moral standard, they lead by the example of their own lives. Find articles and resources to develop this gift.

The Gift of Mercy

The God-given ability to see and feel the suffering of others and to minister to them with love and understanding. More simply, this gift is "compassion in action." People with this gift are called to reach out to someone who is hurt or rejected, easing their suffering. They feel fulfilled when they can show others that God loves them. They are skilled at gaining the trust of those in need and enjoy finding ways to comfort them. Find articles and resources to develop this gift.

The Gift of Message of Knowledge

The God-given ability to understand, organize, and effectively use or communicate information to advance God's purposes. The information may come either from the Holy Spirit or from sources around us. People with this gift enjoy studying the Bible and other sources to gain facts, insights, and truths. The term "message of knowledge" is intentional. This gift is not knowledge for one's own benefit-it must be communicated and shared with others. People with this gift use their knowledge for projects, ministries, or teaching. They organize it in order to pass it to other persons for their use and benefit. The Holy Spirit appears to be at work when these people show unusual insight or understanding. Find articles and resources to develop this gift.

The Gift of Message of Wisdom

The God-given ability to understand and apply biblical and spiritual knowledge to complex, contradictory, or other difficult situations. People with the gift of Message of Wisdom have an ability to understand and live God's will. They share their wisdom with others through teaching and admonition. As with the gift of Message of Knowledge, the term "message of wisdom" is intentional. The wisdom is not for one's own benefit, but must be shared. People with this gift speak God's truth as found in Scripture, in order to provide clarity and direction to people who are struggling with which way they should go. They make practical application of biblical truths. They are, in effect, a "compass" for the body of Christ. Find articles and resources to develop this gift.

The Gift of Pastor-Teacher

The divine ability to guide, protect, and care for other Christians as they experience spiritual growth. People with this gift enjoy working with groups of people and nurturing their growth over an extended period of time. Because of these long-term relationships, they establish trust and confidence, and are able to take the time to care for the "whole person." They can assess where a person is spiritually, and then develop or find places where that person can continue his or her journey of faith. They model compassion. Find articles and resources to develop this gift.


The God-given ability, out of love for God’s people, to proclaim God’s truth in a way that makes it relevant to current situations in today’s culture and guides others to more faith-informed decisions and actions. The goal is not to condemn, but to bring about change or enlightenment. People with this gift listen carefully to God so their words will be God-honoring. They see inconsistencies between people’s words/actions and biblical teaching others overlook or may not catch. Prophets speak to the people, bringing edification, encouragement, and consolation. They warn people of the immediate or future consequences of continuing their current course of action. Sometimes we perceive that prophets bring a message of doom and gloom. In reality, prophets speak a message of challenge for wrong direction or action, yet always end with a message of hope and restoration if the message is heeded. Find articles and resources to develop this gift.

The Gift of Teaching

The divine ability to understand and clearly explain God's truths, and to show how we can apply these in our lives. People with this gift enjoy studying the Bible and inspire listeners to greater obedience to God's Word. They prepare through study and reflection, and pay close attention to detail. In addition to communicating facts, they are careful to show that the Scriptures have practical applications. They can adapt their presentation in order to communicate God's message to a particular audience effectively. Find articles and resources to develop this gift.


The following three gifts are self-evident, charismatic gifts of the Spirit that point to God and/or are signs of God’s power. Find articles and resources about these self-evident gifts.

Speaking in Tongues

The divine ability to speak a message from God to the people in a language one has not naturally learned. The gift of tongues is a sign to unbelievers showing the power and glory of God. There seem to be three types of tongues: speaking in a language the speaker does not know, but the listener does; speaking in a language neither the speaker nor the listeners understand, which requires an interpreter; and a private prayer language. The first two build up the body of Christ. The third edifies the speaker and is used in private prayer to commune with God.

Interpretation of Tongues

The divine ability to translate the message of someone speaking in tongues. People who use this gift may or may not also have the gift of speaking in tongues, and they may or may not remember the message they interpret when they have finished doing so. People with this gift enable the gift of tongues to build up the church, by interpreting God’s message for the people.

Miraculous Powers

The divine ability to perform miracles that testify to the truth of the gospel. People with this gift perform miracles (also referred to as “signs” and “wonders”) among the people for the purpose of getting their atten- tion, so as to point to the mighty works of God, testifying to the truth of the gospel in order to lead people to faith. The performance of these miracles leads to listening, following, and believing in the message by those who witness them.

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