Discipleship Essentials: Spiritual Gift Assessment

The Apostle Paul assures us that “to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good”. (1 Corinthians 12:7, NIV, 2011). We experience these “manifestations” as “spiritual gifts”, powers and abilities that God gives us to extend His work into the world.

We have designed this assessment to help you to identify the “gifts” that God has given you to serve. While no assessment tool can provide all the answers, we hope that we can get you thinking in a productive direction. We encourage you to start here, by completing the assessment. Then you can pray over it and discuss it with someone you trust. Together this process will enable the role that God has designed for you in His kingdom-building work.

Note: for a printable version of this worksheet, click HERE.

1 Consider Gifts in the New Testament

1.1 Reviewing the List

In a few places, both Peter and Paul provide lists of spiritual gifts that are active in the church. These are not meant to be exhaustive lists, but they can get us started. We list each of these gifts below, and we ask you to consider whether you may have them. Maybe you have observed them in yourself, or someone has noticed this gift in you. In either case, just check the “Yes” box.

And, don’t worry if none of them describes you exactly. Again, this is not meant to be an exhaustive list. As we work through the remainder of the assessment, it will become clear that you too have been given a “manifestation” of the Spirit!

1. Administrating and Guiding

1 Corinthians 12:28

The same term is translated differently in various English versions, but essentially it refers to the ability to “steer,” in other words, to organize people and manage activity.

Are you able to organize people and lead projects to accomplish as shared objective?
______ Yes _______ Maybe _______ No

2. Apostle

1 Corinthians 12:28, 29; Ephesians 4:11

The term, “apostle,” technically refers to one who is “sent”. Most of the apostles mentioned in the New Testament were personally appointed by Jesus Himself, including the Apostle Paul whom Jesus called in a powerful way (see Acts 9, 23, 26). Barnabas is also explicitly called an apostle. (Acts 14:14) So are Andronicus and Junia (Romans 16:7). A few others are called “messengers” or “representative” in many English translations, but the text is using the original word for “apostle”; for example: Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25), and unnamed “brothers” (2 Corinthians 8:23). Apollos (1 Corinthians 3:21; 4:6-9) and James, the brother of Jesus (Galatians 1:19) were probably also considered to be apostles. All these apostles or leaders had responsibilities beyond the local congregations.

Do you feel as though God is calling you to establish His kingdom in new areas of the world? Do you feel as though He has gifted you to lead these mission efforts?
______ Yes _______ Maybe _______ No

3. Distinguishing spirits

1 Corinthians 12:10

The New Testament assumes that there are spiritual forces as work in our world, some which support and others that oppose the healing work of God.

Do you sense that God has given you the ability to sense whether there are good or evil spirits at work in a situation?
______ Yes _______ Maybe _______ No

4. Encouraging

Romans 12:8

While we are all called to encourage people, some people are especially good at it. Are you naturally an encourager, a coach who inspires people to keep moving toward their goals?

Are you constantly encouraging others? Do you sense the need in people to be encouraged? Does encouraging come naturally for you?
______ Yes _______ Maybe _______ No

5. Evangelizing

Ephesians 4:11

“Evangelizing” is sharing the gospel with others.  It is literally the word, “gospelizing.”  While every disciple is called to “make disciples”, some people seem wired to do this more easily.

Do you easily share your faith with others?  Does it seem to come naturally for you?
______ Yes _______ Maybe _______ No

6. Faith

1 Corinthians 12:9

While we all of us are called to faith, some people seem to “see” what God is doing in a challenging environment. They easily look past the obstacles to see the work that God is doing.

Are you able to look beyond the obstacles and see the possibilities? Are you more positive than negative because you know that God is at work, even in challenging circumstances?
______ Yes _______ Maybe _______ No

7. Giving

Romans 12:8

While we are all called to time, talent and treasure to God’s work, God has blessed some people to be able to give in extraordinary, sacrificial ways.

Do you thoroughly enjoy seeing the kingdom of God grow as you stretch yourself to give as much as possible of your time, talent, and treasure? Do you consider it a blessing to push yourself to give as much as possible?
______ Yes _______ Maybe _______ No

8. Healing

1 Corinthians 12:9, 28, 30

In the New Testament, God often demonstrated His power by healing people physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

Do you have a healing effect on people? Do you enjoy bringing the healing power of God into broken bodies, broken relationships, and broken lives?
______ Yes _______ Maybe _______ No

9. Helping

1 Corinthians 12:28

While we are all called to help one another, some people genuinely enjoy becoming part of a team and filling in wherever it is necessary. Do you enjoy being part of a larger team, doing whatever it takes to meet whatever needs are presented to you?
______ Yes _______ Maybe _______ No

10. Leading

Romans 12:8

In the New Testament, disciples are both followers and leaders. As they follow and serve Jesus, they always serve one another. And they also lead others to Jesus and lead one another in serving. Yet some people seem uniquely gifted to unite people around a common vision and mobilize people toward a shared goal.

Are you able to inspire, unite and mobilize people toward a shared goal?
______ Yes _______ Maybe _______ No

11. Miracles

1 Corinthians 12:10, 28, 29

In the New Testament, miracles flowed in abundance as signs of God’s presence and His power in the new, growing church. The same God is active today. Sometimes He still works through “miracles” that science and login cannot easily explain.

Does God frequently work through you to do extraordinary things as signs of His presence and power? Can you remain humble as God works His miracles through you?
______ Yes _______ Maybe _______ No

12. Pastoring

Ephesians 4:11

“Pastoring” comes from the shepherding world. “Pastors” see the need to care for those entrusted to them, to ensure that they receive what they need to survive and thrive in a hostile world.

Do you feel called to care for a group of people, to ensure that their physical, spiritual, and emotional needs are met?
______ Yes _______ Maybe _______ No

13. Prophecy

Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12: 10, 28, 29; Ephesians 4:11

Prophets are called to courageously speak God’s word, often into a hostile environment. Sometimes, God gives prophets a view of the future to make His larger points, already recorded in scripture.

Do you feel burdened to take God’s word into a broken and hostile world? Are you willing to speak this truth, even when people disapprove and disagree? Are you humble enough to yield to God’s authority, no matter the cost, so that His word is made known? Are you passionate about preaching and teaching His word?
______ Yes _______ Maybe _______ No

14. Serving

Romans 12:7; 1 Peter 4:11

While we are called to serve one another, some people are especially filled up when they are serving others.

Are you happiest when you can serve others? Are you inspired when you see others happier and healthier because you have invested your time and talent into them?
______ Yes _______ Maybe _______ No

15. Showing Mercy

Romans 12:8

While we are all called to show mercy, some people are more able than others to minister to the truly broken, who often have huge needs that cannot be easily met. These people have a keen sense of their dependence upon God to address these deep needs.

Are you comfortable working with truly broken people, like those with mental illness, in hospice care, or even in prison? Are you able to transfer their burden upon Christ, rather than keeping it upon yourself?
______ Yes _______ Maybe _______ No

16. Speaking

1 Peter 4:11

The Apostle Peter in this passage speaks generally of speaking and serving. On one side, we can talk about God’s word, and, on the other, we can demonstrate the truth of the word by living it out. Both gifts are necessary.

Are you comfortable talking about God’s word publicly?
______ Yes _______ Maybe _______ No

17. Speaking or Interpreting other “Tongues”

1 Corinthians 12:10, 28, 30

In Acts 2, God reveals a new phase of His kingdom to a whole new group of people. People from all over the Roman world were present in Jerusalem to celebrate a Jewish festival, people who spoke many different languages. God shows His desire to welcome all people into His kingdom by speaking to them in their own languages. The apostles were given the ability to speak God’s word in these other languages, even though they were not trained to speak them. Later, as the story of the Church unfolds, God continues to spread His mission by gifting certain people to speak in these languages.

Over time, however, this become something of a problem. People were speaking in these other languages, but most people in the congregation could not understand what they were saying. Paul therefore talks about the need for someone to interpret these languages.
In our day, some people still believe that God speaks to us in other languages, sometimes in spiritual rather than earthly languages. Not everyone is agreed on this point.

In any case, language continues to be challenge in our culture, both speaking it and understanding it. God therefore gifts certain people in the church to make this translation from one language into another.

Has God gifted you with the ability to speak and understand languages that the people around you do not understand? Are you delighted to help others to understand the message conveyed in these other languages?
______ Yes _______ Maybe _______ No

18. Teaching

Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:28, 29; Ephesians 4:11

Teaching is related in many ways to preaching and prophecy. However, it is usually includes the idea of an ongoing process, a relationship and a dialog designed to make a permanent change in a person’s worldview. These people will go into detail in an effort to establish truth firmly within someone’s mind.

Do you enjoy watching the light go on in someone’s eyes when they discover a new truth? Are you thrilled with the new truths that you discover along the way?
______ Yes _______ Maybe _______ No

19. Sharing Wisdom or Knowledge

1 Corinthians 12:8

While everyone is called to read God’s word, some people are uniquely able to explain how these truths apply to our lives. How does God’s Story inform our everyday decisions and actions? God gifts some people to deliver this sort of wisdom and knowledge in a unique and powerful way.

Are you easily able to see how scripture applies to life? Does God seem to give you this sort of insight in ways that others do not typically see?
______ Yes _______ Maybe _______ No

1.2 My Potential List of Spiritual Gifts

1.2.1 My ‘Yes’ Gifts

In your journal or on a separate sheet of paper, list all the gifts to which you answered “Yes”. Again, don’t worry if you not answered yes to anything in this list. This list is not exhaustive.

1.2.2 My ‘Maybe’ Gifts

In your journal or on a separate sheet of paper, list all the gifts to which you answered “Maybe”. Again, don’t worry if you not answered yes to anything in this list. This list is not exhaustive.

2 My Passions

Throughout our entire Essentials series, we have seen how passionately God loves and cares for His people. As His children, He pours a part of that passion into each of us. We all see different needs, different hurts, and different possibilities. So, ask yourself what keeps you up at night?

  • Lost Souls?
  • Victims of oppression?
  • Those trapped in addiction?
  • The errors and lies in our culture?
  • The beauty of God’s story?
  • Some other concern?

These are all God-given passions that He will fill with His Spirit. Those passions are a clue to your spiritual gifting.

2.1 My Passion List

In your journal or on a separate sheet of paper, write out the concerns that God has placed on your heart, as part of His passion to heal and restore this world.

2.2 My Response to these God-given passions

In your journal or on a separate sheet of paper, write out how you are responding, or how you would like to respond to these God-given passions.

3 Life Experiences

All of us have had a unique life, filled with a rich, diversity of experiences, some more pleasant than others. And all these experiences can inform our part in God’s plans, even the painful experiences. In God’s power, even our failures are redeemed and used for His glory.

So, maybe:

  • Your recovery can inspire someone else to recover.
  • Your marriage or parenting adventure can help someone navigate their own difficult journey.
  • Your business background can help a well-meaning body of Christ get organized.
  • Your own period of doubt and questions can help some other seeking soul.

Whatever circumstances you have worked through in your lives, God can use those experiences to encourage others.

3.1 My Life Experiences

In your journal or on a separate sheet of paper, list the experiences, both positive and negative, that have taught you how to survive and thrive in this world.

3.2 How God Can Use My Experiences

In your journal or on a separate sheet of paper, list some ways that God may want you to use these experiences and the lessons learned from them to help someone else.

4 Prayer and Conversation with Others

4.1 Dialog with God

As you reflect on your passions and your experiences, make sure that you dialog with God about them. As we learned in our Essential Disciplines series, the Holy Spirit is at work in our prayers. As we pray, He forms our desires in accordance with God’s desires. (Romans 8:26-27)

In your journal or on a separate sheet of paper, describe whether you have prayed about your spiritual gifts, and what you may have learned through those times of prayer.

4.2 Dialog with Others

Be sure to pray about this with others. Listen to their advice and counsel as you pray together regarding your role in God’s kingdom. God listens and responds to these cries of the heart.

In your journal or on a separate sheet of paper, describe whether you have spoken and prayed with others about your spiritual gifts, and what you may have learned through those conversations.

Conclusion – Action Plan

To conclude this assessment, review your responses, the parts that you have written. Then schedule a time with your pastor or someone else that you trust to review these responses. Together, develop an action plan to put these spiritual gifts into action.

□ I have reviewed and prayed about my responses to this assessment.

□ I have discussed my responses with a pastor or someone else that I trust.

What are your next steps to discover or use your God-given spiritual gifts in ministry?

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Dirk's Corner

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