DISCOVERING YOUR GIFTS
This weekend we focused on the “S” in the SHAPE acronym—which stands for Spiritual Gifts. We learned that—unlike natural giftings—spiritual gifts are given to us directly from the Holy Spirit to build up the church. They are truly a gift—not something we’ve earned. We also learned that in the body of Christ, all gifts are vital for the function and health of the church.
This week we will continue to explore this topic of spiritual gifts. If you are struggling to know where to get started with spiritual gifts, this week’s study should give you some direction and things to consider. If you’ve already discovered your gifts, this week’s study should confirm those gifts and perhaps even begin to reveal some new gifts you didn’t know you have! Let’s get started.
This week we will . . .
• READ: 1 Corinthians 12:12-30
• EXPLORE: An online spiritual gifts assessment
• REFLECT: On how to discover and use your spiritual gifts
1) Begin by reading the following paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 12:12-30. Circle or underline any key words, phrases, or sentences that stand out to you.
12-13 As the human body, which has many parts, is a unity, and those parts, despite their multiplicity, constitute one single body, so it is with the body of Christ. For we were all baptised by the Spirit into one body, whether we were Jews, Gentiles, slaves or free men, and we have all had experience of the same Spirit.
14-26 Now the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand I don’t belong to the body,” does that alter the fact that the foot is a part of the body? Of if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye I don’t belong to the body,” does that mean that the ear really is no part of the body? After all, if the body were all one eye, for example, where would be the sense of hearing? Or if it were all one ear, where would be the sense of smell?
But God has arranged all the parts in the one body according to his design. For if everything were concentrated in one part, how could there be a body at all? The fact is there are many parts, but only one body. So that the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” nor, again, can the head say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body which have no obvious function are the more essential to health: and to those parts of the body which seem to us to be less deserving of notice we have to allow the highest honour of function. The parts which do not look beautiful have a deeper beauty in the work they do, while the parts which look beautiful may not be at all essential to life! But God has harmonised the whole body by giving importance of function to the parts which lack apparent importance, that the body should work together as a whole with all the members in sympathetic relationship with one another.
So it happens that if one member suffers all the other members suffer with it, and if one member is honoured all the members share a common joy.
27-28 Now you are together the body of Christ, and individually you are members of him. And in his Church God has appointed first some to be his messengers, secondly, some to be preachers of power, thirdly teachers. After them he has appointed workers of spiritual power, members with the gift of healing, helpers, organisers and those with the gift of speaking in “tongues”.
29-30 As we look at the body of Christ do we find all are his messengers, all are preachers, or all teachers? Do we find all wielders of spiritual power, all able to heal, all able to speak with tongues, or all able to interpret the tongues? No, we find God’s distribution of gifts is on the same principles of harmony that he has shown in the human body.
-1 Corinthians 12:12-30, J.B. Phillips New Testament
1) What words, phrases or sentences did you circle or underline in this passage? Why?
2) How would you summarize Paul’s main points in this passage in just a few sentences?
3) How does this passage speak to the issue of pride when it comes to spiritual gifts? How does it speak to the issue of church unity?
4) This weekend Pastor Michael described two easy mistakes to make when it comes to spiritual gifts. The first is to overvalue our gifts and the second is to undervalue them. Have you found yourself making either of these mistakes in your own life? Do you ever find yourself comparing your gifts to others? If so, explain.
Now it’s your turn! This week, you will be taking a spiritual gifts test to help you get a sense of where your giftings may be. This will probably take you between 10-20 minutes to complete. Go to spiritualgiftstest.com and follow these instructions:
• In the menu at the top of the page, under Spiritual Gifts Test, select Take the Test. If you are on mobile, you will need to tap the three lines in the upper right hand corner.
• Select Take the FREE Test Today.
• Create an account by following the prompts on the screen. (There is no charge for this.) When you finish, select Spiritual Gifts Test at the bottom of the page. (Note: If you have taken this test before, you can either delete your account, recreate your profile and retake it, or you can simply select Click Here and review your results from the last time you took it.)
BEFORE YOU START:
Be sure to read the instructions (under the heading “Spiritual Gifts Test”) on how to take the test. They are important! If you are not sure how to answer certain questions, don’t stress over it! Remember, this test is simply a tool to help you discover, discuss, and identify potential gifts. It is not the final word on the subject, but more of a jumping off point.
WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED:
• Read the “Spiritual Gifts and Personality Profile.”
• Read the “Quick Summary” (your top three gifts).
• Then click the Spiritual Gifts Test Results to see a breakdown of your rankings for each and every gift. Keep scrolling to see the definitions of your top three gifts.
• Finally, read the “Next Steps” to get a sense of what you can do with these results as you review them and evaluate their accuracy.
• If you want to read more descriptions of specific spiritual gifts, click on the Resources tab on the home page, and then on Definitions and Descriptions. (Remember, the Bible does not specifically define each spiritual gift, so different spiritual gifts tests will define gifts slightly differently.)
• Write down or print off your results and bring them to your Life Group this week.
1) Did you resonate with the results of your spiritual gifts test? Were there any surprises? Discuss with your Life Group.
2) Have you seen God use any of these gifts in your life? If so, when, where and how?
3) This weekend we learned that the best way to discover your gifts is to experiment. What are some practical ways you could practice implementing your gifts?
4) Before you take action, spend some time in prayer and journaling. Ask God how He wants to use you and your gifts. If you sense the Holy Spirit giving you any specific insight or direction, jot it down in your journal and share it with your Life Group this week.