Discovering Your Spiritual Gift: Part 1 Serving Gifts

Discovering Your Spiritual Gift: Part 1 Serving Gifts

Discovering Your Spiritual Gift: Part 1 Serving Gifts

    • As a child – learning 3 primary colors (red, yellow, blue) can make millions of colors
    • Spiritual Gifts like that – your basic gift(s) in degree/hue w/all of your Divine Design

= Not all XN called vocational ministry but all “work of ministry” (Eph. 4:12)

  1. Serving gifts (deeds) 2. Speaking gifts (words) 3. Supernatural gifts (signs)

Mercy (Romans 12:8)

Mercy is the capacity to feel and express unusual compassion, empathy, and sympathy for those in difficult or crisis situations and provide them with the necessary help and support to see them through tough times. People with the gift mercy and people who are hurting, struggling, broken and overwhelmed find one another so that loneliness can be reduced, a hurt can be healed, and a person at the end of their rope gets a knot to hang on to.


  1. Hear both sides (Prov. 18:17) or rush to conclusion & take up offense
  2. Don’t overlook reap-sow

General makeup:

  1. Empathy – “walk in another’s shoes” and to feel the pain and burdens they carry.
  2. Ministry of presence

Seen in Jesus’ ministry:

  1. Taught on mercy (Good Samaritan)
  2. Jesus wept & #1 emotion “compassion”
  3. Women (Samaritan) & children (Jairus daughter Lk. 8:40-56)

Do you have this gift?

  1. Are you drawn to people who are needy, hurting, sick, overwhelmed, disabled, or elderly?
  2. Do you see people who are hurting but often overlooked?
  3. Great compassion for people w/personal, spiritual, relational, and emotional problems?
  4. Do a lot of people choose you as their wise counsel or confidant to talk about life issues?
  5. Are you more of a “feeler” than other people you know who are more of a “thinker”?
  6. Do you see Jesus more as Tender Lamb than Tough Lion?

Illustrated Historically: Amy Carmichael was a missionary of the Dohnavur Fellowship with a compassionate heart for those in need. In India she witnessed many “child widows”, young girls who grew up to be temple prostitutes. In the 20th century, Amy fought this practice by rescuing many girls out of this situation and into the Christian community. She elevated the status of women, showing them that Jesus loved and had compassion for them as the God of all mercy.

Hospitality (Romans 12:13)

Hospitality is the ability to welcome strangers and entertain guests, often in your home, with great joy and kindness so that they become friends. Hospitality is supposed to include one’s family (1 Tim. 5:8), friends (Prov. 27:10), Christians (Gal. 6:10), and strangers who may not be Christians (Lev. 19:34).

General makeup:

  1. Often includes cooking, event planning, interior design, party planning
  2. Closed – Open – Random homes (what home you buy?)

Warning: – Not to bring wolves into your home (2 John 2:10-11)

Seen in Jesus’ ministry:

  1. Meals & holidays w/disciples, & lost people (drunkard, glutton, friend sinners)
  2. Enjoyed hospitality from Lazarus, Mary, Martha
  3. Heaven is a big party paid for by God

Do you have this gift?

  1. Do you enjoy having people in your home?
  2. Do you enjoy watching people meet and have fun at parties/events you plan and host?
  3. Is your home set up for guests?
  4. Do you plan for & go all in for parties, events, holidays, vacation?

Illustrated Historically:

  • 1960’s and 70’s, Francis & Edith Shaeffer Swiss Alps “L’Abri” – meaning “shelter”
  • 100 @ a time – meals, flowers, art, music, cookies “The Hidden Art of Homemaking”

Discernment (1 Corinthians 12:10)

Discernment is the ability to quickly perceive whether such things as people, events, or beliefs are from God or Satan.

General makeup: HS awareness true/false; God creates/Satan counterfeits

Warning: – in flesh become jaded, critical, judgmental, distrusting, & isolated/insubordinate

Seen in Jesus’ ministry: John 2:24-25 [NLT] says, “Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.”

Do you have this gift?

  1. Do you have a solid understanding of Scripture & a sensitivity to the leading of Holy Spirit?
  2. Can you read a book or hear a teacher and almost immediately uncover any false teaching?
  3. Awareness of demonic presence & how to help people free demonic oppression?
  4. Do you have a gut feeling about people or things that proves to be right most of the time?
  5. Do people who are confused about a doctrine/leader/teacher often ask you?

Illustrated Historically:

  1. Martin Luther – Wrote of Devil in Table Talk more than Bible, grace, prayer
  2. Wrote “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” – “the world with devils filled”
  3. Visited by Devil include Wartburg castle
  4. Wife Kathryn also discerning

Helps/Service (Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:28)

Helps/service is the ability to joyfully work alongside others and help them complete the task God has given them. People with this gift generally prefer to work behind the scenes. They also tend to find joy in helping alleviate the burdens and responsibilities of others. This gift is usually accompanied with an attitude of humility and sacrifice, as well as an ability to perceive the needs of others.

Warning: – learn to say “no”, watch for irresponsible people, keep your priorities

Seen in Jesus’ ministry: Jesus is Servant who said the greatest serve

Do you have this gift?

  1. Do you often say things like, “how can I help” or “what do you need me to do?”
  2. Do you prefer to labor behind the scenes?
  3. When someone doing a job poorly is your first instinct to help them instead of criticizing?
  4. Do you not much care what your role is as long as you are on a healthy team doing good?
  5. Do more lowly tasks that other people tend to delegate or avoid not bother you?

Illustrated Historically:

  1. Susannah Spurgeon “Susie”
  2. Surrey Music Hall “fire” – lifelong depression
  3. Both had health problems, she was bedridden, so he built & home
  4. “Mrs. Spurgeon’s Book Fund” – gave away 200,000 books & completed 4 vol Autobio


Administration (1 Corinthians 12:28)

Administration is giving direction and make decisions on behalf of others that result in efficient operation and accomplishment of goals. Administration includes the ability to organize people, things, information, finances, etc. Often the mark of an administrator is the ability to accomplish things in a “fitting and orderly way” (1 Corinthians14:40).

Warning: – if distrust leadership controlling policy, info, & lose sight of mission for details

Seen in Jesus’ ministry: Jesus organized His ministry by choosing his inner circle of three disciples (Mark 9:2), appointing the twelve (Mark 3:1314), and sending out the seventy two by two (Luke 10:1). Jesus is King & Lord ruling over ALL!

Do you have this gift?

  1. Do you gravitate toward people like Joseph and Nehemiah in the Bible?
  2. When things are poorly organized do you get frustrated and want to help fix things?
  3. Do you like to see resources best stewarded for maximum return?
  4. High risk radar looks at downside if things are not done well & safeguard “buttoned up”?
  5. Are you attracted to opportunities where someone needs to bring order out of chaos?
  6. Do you naturally organize your life, schedule, finances, priorities, etc.?

Illustrated Historically:

  1. Irish so pagan missionaries could not reach
  2. Saint Patrick not a saint, not Irish (Englishman)
  3. 16 taken as slave by pirates, rebellious XN kid, granpa pastor, dad church leader
  4. isolated, alone, saved, prayed, dream to escape 200 mile walk, prayed & herd pigs ran
  5. Seminary, pastor, dream to return to Ireland
  6. Lawless “barbarians” – no city centers, no national gov’t, 150 warring clans
  7. Second half of life converting, planting, training, & fighting slavery

Giving (Romans 12:8)

Giving is the ability to give money and other forms of wealth joyfully, wisely, and generously to meet the needs of others and help support ministries.

Warning: – say “no” & don’t let people use you. 1. Generosity & 2. Stewardship

Seen in Jesus’ ministry:

  1. 25 percent of Jesus’ words gospels stewarding resources
  2. Paid tithe to God & taxes to gov’t – fed multitudes, gave His life

Do you have this gift?

  1. Do you tend to see needs more than other people & seek to meet them?
  2. Do you easily see God as owner and you as manager?
  3. When you get something (e.g. a home or vacation home, car, etc.) 1st instinct to share?
  4. Do you live with a sense of deep awe at how generous God has been to you?
  5. Do you find yourself looking for opportunities to give your money—even when no one asks?

Illustrated Historically: R.G. LeTourneau was a successful businessman who created his own line of earth-moving equipment in addition to some 300 inventions and hundreds of patents. As a XN, every year he sought to increase his giving to the Lord. Eventually, after years of dedication to generosity and stewardship, his finances were a reverse tithe. Whereas most Christians live off of 90% and give 10% to God, he lived off of 10% and gave 90% TO GOD. He once humorously said, “I shovel out the money, and God shovels it back – but God has a bigger shovel. ” He did not start off wealthy – Jesus’ principle Luke 16:10 (NLT), “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” Start with what you have & see what God does!

Faith (1 Corinthians 12:9)

Faith is the ability to envision what needs to be done and to trust God to accomplish it even though it seems impossible to most people.

Warning: Not excuse to be irresponsible

Seen in Jesus’ ministry: Whole life on earth was in faith. Romans 14:23 says, “whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” Jesus’ mother Mary & father Joseph also full of faith.

Do you have this gift?

  1. Do you view obstacles as opportunities and trust God for the impossible?
  2. Do you find yourself telling stories about the power of God and what you have seen Him do?
  3. Do you get motivated by new ministries and new opportunities?
  4. Do you find others coming to you for hope when they face overwhelming trial or task?
  5. Do you get frustrated when you see people & ministries stuck, w/o vision & plans?
  6. Do you tend to be less emotionally up and down trusting God to show up?
  7. Do you have an effective prayer ministry with many wonderful supernatural answers?

Illustrated Historically:

George Mueller (1805-1895) said, “God delights to increase the faith of his children.” Mueller was a man who lived by faith and prayer alone. Charles Dickens “Oliver Twist” motivated Mueller to open the United Kingdoms first orphanage for orphaned boys and girls. He began without finances and throughout his life never asked anyone for financial support. His first orphanage began with 30 children. He would often pray with the children before meals, trusting God to somehow bring the meal they were to eat within a few minutes. Over his lifetime he cared for over 10,000 orphans and printed Bibles and books, supported over 130 missionaries, and opened a Bible college. He taught in over 30 countries on faith and prayer and died in poverty having never kept anything for himself over the course of his life.

Band Up

God serves you by working 1. For you 2. In you 3. Through you!

Mark Driscoll
[email protected]

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