June 16, 2009

Use Me God: Finding Your Spiritual Gifts Week 3

This past Sunday (6/14) was Week 3 of our ongoing study around the topic of spiritual gifts. Much of our discussion in class focused on how we might define a 'spiritual gift' while also listing the gifts listed in a few passages of Scripture (which you can checkout here). Bill Hybels describes spiritual gifts as, "...divine enablements -- special God-given abilities -- that he entrusts to each of his people in order to involve them in the task of advancing his purposes. Simply put, God has made you a specialist in some area of ministry."

Some thoughts from our discussion:
How would you describe a 'spiritual gift'?
-it comes easily or is easy to do for an individual
-it is a part of who you are
-it is for God's purposes
-it is the part of you that reflects Christ

What comes to mind when you hear the word priest (1 Peter 2:9-10)?
-out of reach, select, special, separation
-connection to God
-dedicated life

From the passages we spent time studying and talking about we came up with this list of gifts mentioned and instructions given:

Gifts: serving // teaching // encouraging // prophesying (here Paul is speaking in regards to the ability to speak prophetically about upcoming events) // generosity // leadership // serving // showing mercy // evangelism // administration // healing // wisdom // knowledge // miracles // speaking in tongues // interpreting tongues // distinguishing between spirits // faith

Instructions: use them to serve God and others // God supplies the power // everyone has at least one spiritual gift // each of us are unique in the combination of spiritual gifts we have // we must be patient // we must be unified // we must use them cheerfully // we have a common purpose

Take some time to go through this list of Spiritual Gifts (this list is not exhaustive) and make a note about the ones you know you have and the ones you think you might have. Feel free to ask questions or leave a comment to generate discussion. Here are a couple things to think about when considering your spiritual gifts...

1. Have there been times while serving God that felt like you were using the gift(s) He had given you exactly as they needed to be used?
2. It is possible to overlook a gift you may have or to think you have a gift you don't. One of the best ways to help figure this out is by listening to the feedback of others. Another way is by putting those gifts to practice to see how it goes. Would a trial-and-error approach to ministry be beneficial for you?

*this study has been adapted from the book Gifts: the joy of serving God by John Ortberg, Laurie Pederson & Judson Poling*