Tag Archives: spiritual gifts

Spiritual Gifts, Part 2

Welcome back. To read Spiritual Gifts,  Part 1, click here.

Categories of Spiritual Gifts and Definitions

           Brandon Deibert defines the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as “unique skills and abilities given by the Holy Spirit to faithful followers of Christ to serve God for the common benefit of his people, the church.” The Bible lists multiple spiritual gifts. The Apostle Paul states that we have different gifts according to the grace given to us. We are to use them proportionately to our faith (Romans 12:6). Gifts are often categorized into groups depending on how God gives them to individuals. Below, three categories will be defined, while the fourth category, the “sign gifts,” will be explored in the Debated Issues section.

           Many scholars label gifts with various headings containing God-given abilities to help the Kingdom of God. While many gifts overlap, each believer possesses at least one gift, but many gain more as they mature in faith. Dr. Ryan Denison lists three gift categories, along with a brief explanation of what each gift represents. A suggested typical example follows each gift in the category by Denison.

The Public Gifts

Administration—Organizing people and ministries effectively. [Organizing a mission trip]

Apostleship—Adapting to a different culture to share the gospel or do ministry. [Being a missionary or having involvement with people from other cultures]

Leadership—Motivating and inspiriting others to serve Jesus fully.[People, including pastors, sharing their faith and encouraging others to live their life for Jesus]

Music—Sharing God’s truth and love through music with unusual effectiveness. [A worship leader teaching music to children or youth]

Prophecy—Proclaiming the word of God with personal passion and effectiveness. [Pastors and other spiritual leaders, Evangelist]

Teaching—Explaining God’s Word and truth with unusual effectiveness. [Bible study teacher, mentor]

The Personal Gifts

Discernment—Distinguishing truth from error or heresy. [Understand beyond what others see as a danger in the church]

Exhortation—Encouraging, comforting, and challenging others as they follow Jesus. [Encouraging someone to use their gifts and live up to their true calling for the Lord]

Knowledge—Understanding and sharing the deep truths of God’s word and will (understanding). [Bible study teachers, pastors, scholars, religion or seminary professors, writers]

Shepherding—Helping others grow spiritually. [Pastors and individuals in the church body who guide others and help them]

Wisdom—Relating biblical truth to practical life effectively (insights/applications). [Counselors, teachers, pastors, one-on-one friendships]

Paradigm Gifts

Sharing the gospel effectively and passionately. [Missionaries, sharing a testimony, writing notes to people, authoring books]

Faith—Seeing God’s plan and following it with a passion and commitment that inspires others to do the same. [a communicator, a writer, a creative person sharing Christ]

Giving—Investing with unusual sacrifice and joy in God’s kingdom. [Usually monetary giving, but also includes giving of oneself, giving of oneself.]

Hospitality [Hosting a Christian event in your home, letting someone stay with you if needed]

Mercy—Showing God’s grace to hurting people with unusual passion. [Visiting the sick at their home, hospital, or wherever they are; writing notes; 

Service [Serving at a church banquet, cutting the lawn at church, babysitting the pastor’s kids]

       As one can see, the examples can overlap, and there are many different ways to use one’s personality in coordination with one’s gifts. The numerous ways gifts can be used are incredibly vast. Sometimes people confuse their talents with their gifts. They are often separate entities, but God often uses one’s talents by combining the two, i.e., If you are gifted in teaching music, your talent of playing the piano helps utilize your gift. Billy Graham says, “It appears that God can take a talent and transform it by the power of the Holy Spirit and use it as a spiritual gift. In fact, the difference between a spiritual gift and a natural talent is frequently a cause for speculation by many people. I am not sure we can always draw a sharp line between spiritual gifts and natural abilities—both of which, remember, come ultimately from God.”

The Nature and Role of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit

           To understand the gifts of the Spirit, one must know how the Holy Spirit functions and who He is. The Holy Spirit is a person. When one speaks of the Holy Spirit, they are referring to the same Holy Spirit who led Jesus into His wilderness experience (Luke 4: 1, 13) and who fell upon Jesus at His baptism (Matthew 3:16Mark 1:10Luke 3:22John 1:32). Drawing people to salvation, teaching about Jesus and giving us confidence that one is a child of God happen to be some of the functions of the Holy Spirit. In John 14:16, Jesus says He will give his disciples another comforter to abide with them forever. That same comforter (the Spirit of truth) abides with those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. Brand states that the Holy Spirit “grants spiritual gifts to the churches so that all persons within the body of Christ are spiritually gifted.” When people accept Christ through confessing their sins and accepting Jesus Christ in their life, the Holy Spirit comes to reside in them, giving them the power and desire to use their spiritual gifts. It is through this process that one is filled with the Holy Spirit. 

           However, the gifts of the Spirit must not be separated from the giver of the gifts—God. This combination makes us understand that the Trinity (three-in-one identity of God) participates in our spiritual giftedness. Brian DeVries says, “All three Persons of the Trinity are actively involved in spiritually gifting each believer for ministry in the church.” He continues to say that God the Father is the one who makes each gift effectual, and God the Son distributes gifts in the church by His Spirit. God the Spirit emboldens all believers with various abilities by working within and through them mightily. It is not in one’s strength or courage that gifts are given and used but through the three-fold work of the Trinity.

           The age-old question is, “What is the purpose of spiritual gifts?” An answer can be found in 1 Corinthians 12: 4-7 when it says, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. Our gifts are to be used for the common good—that is, the common good for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12). People should use their gifts genuinely for unity within the body. 

           Two terms frequently used in connection with spiritual gifts or listings of the gifts are charisma and pneuma. Regarding charisma, 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the multifaceted grace of God. Thus, charisma refers to the gift itself. While there are multip definitions of pneuma, it is often defined as the Holy Spirit — the vital principle by which the body is animated and the rational spirit, the power by which the human being feels, thinks, decides; the soul.”

The Body of Christ (Church)

         Brand says “spiritually gifted” Christians use their gifts for the common good so that all church members receive the ministries from one another that enable the church to mature (1 Cor. 12:7, Eph 4:11, 16).  Some scholars, including Brian DeVries believe God always produces the fruit of the Spirit and gifts of the Spirit simultaneously. The fruit of the Spirit consists of the qualities of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). Combining these two aspects of the Spirit makes for sweet unity and maturity in the body of Christ.

           All believers, especially those in spiritual offices in the church and congregants, should use their spiritual gifts to strengthen the body of Christ. Pastors need humility and trust in the people in their church to allow them to use their giftedness. DeVries says, “church leaders are responsible for developing the spiritual giftedness of all members under their care so that these believers will be used by the Spirit to develop the church.”

         Many Christians leave one church to attend another where their gifts can be utilized. When the gifts of believers are not appreciated or used in the body, the body suffers. Churches vary in programs, spirituality, and growth because gifts are underutilized, causing a lack of church care and unity. In many instances, this underutilization can cause pastor burnout by leaving all that others could do in the church staff’s hands. DeVries states, “the Spirit has gifted each member of the body in different ways so that the holistic use of these gifts will function in unity to provide mutual care to all members.” An example would be if a member has the gift of teaching and is told repeatedly that there are no positions for them to teach. That member may go where there are positions—to another church, to a ministry outside their church, or they could become frustrated and not recover from a lack of the church’s attention to their giftedness and give up on the body. Both ministry staff and congregants must understand that the purpose of the gifts is primarily to build up the church. Hence, the pastoral staff and the congregants are responsible for building ministry.

To be continued. . .Part 3:  Distribution of Gifts; / To read Spiritual Gifts,  Part 1, click here.

Sources not included.

God bless.

Spiritual Gifts, Part 3 – Coming Next: 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, as I learn more about spiritual gifts, please open my eyes to see what you have given me to be used for your glory. I want to honor and serve you.  Thank you. Me


This article may not be reproduced except for written permission from the author. .




Sacred Snippet: Watching a Former Church Online

FBC-O’Fallon, Missouri by Patti Greene

Since COVID-19, my usual Sunday morning consists of watching my own church Bear Creek Church, Katy online, then watching Southcrest Baptist Church, Lubbock, and then an “extra church” for variety.

Today, my “extra church” was our former church, First Baptist Church-O’Fallon, Missouri. We left there 24 years ago when we moved back to Houston.

It was an awesome feeling. I felt like I was back in time. Memories of areas the Lord privileged me to serve filled my being — the apartment ministries, the Christmas tree gifts ministry, the library ministry, and the fun times like when a lady leading a group I was in just got up, closed her eyes and laid down on the floor for 5+ minutes. Everyone else seemed to know what she was doing but for me! Turns out it was a menopause attack! I learned a lot at that church about God and life.

Of course, all the pastors have changed, but the music and “being in the sanctuary” was like being right there with my old friends and church family!

I even imagined my former and now late pastor Gary Taylor at the helm preaching. I was brought back to the day we all poured out our love to him when he rolled himself onto the platform shortly after his devastating car accident. He couldn’t wait to preach to us. And we couldn’t wait to love and pray him through his crisis time. He trusted us to love him through his difficulty because we were family-we really were.

The sermon today by the current pastor Dr. Michael Atherton was on “Spiritual Giftedness” in the church and I only took six pages of notes! I typed them up; and even distributed my notes. Okay, to be honest, I only emailed them to one person so far.

I say all this to encourage you to think back to a church that gave you great satisfaction and joy and join them online sometime. It will make you so grateful for all the experiences and love you have received from God.

At least it did for me🎚

Spiritual Gifts: I’m NOT gifted in that!

Have you ever taken a spiritual gifts inventory survey? They are surveys that help define where you are best-suited to serve in the body of Christ. Whenever I take these surveys – and I have taken plenty of them – I find myself scoring consistently high in certain areas and scoring consistently low in other areas. Through my survey results, I have come to understand that God has fashioned and knit me together just how He wants me to be by the gifts He has bestowed upon me.

But, I have also learned that just because I score low in some areas, God may still choose to use me in those areas that I just don’t feel comfortable, capable, or even care to be involved in.

While the main thrust of this blog is not to teach about specific spiritual gifts, I want to show you how we can operate and be used by the Lord outside of our high-scoring spiritual gifts.

But, what are the spiritual gifts? The major spiritual gifts mentioned in the Bible that can be used effectively by believers within the church are:


If you would like more information about discovering your spiritual gifts; what specific gifts encompass; and take a spiritual gift survey, please click on the link below by Lifeway Christian Resource. There is nothing like knowing what your spiritual gift(s) are. Knowing creates peace: It creates confidence: And it creates the knowledge that God knows exactly what He is doing in our lives.


Sharing the truth about our gifting is tough. We don’t want to sound proud and righteous if we possess certain gifts. On the other hand, we hate to admit that we have a very hard time working within the reins of other gifts. In school, most of us want to score high in every subject, but spiritual gifts don’t work that way. In a true confession, I share that I am consistently low in the gift of the Service/Helps ministry.  Maybe that is because I don’t particularly like to cook. So if you are sick, please be happy I have given you a McDonald’s gift card instead of trying to make you a gourmet meal! Or maybe it is because I live in a state of fatigue and serving requires energy. I just don’t know.

But, even though I score low in this area, I recognize that God still wants me to serve and help my friends, family, and the body of Christ. It is important to understand God can and will use you outside of the realm of your spiritual gifts. You are not required to operate only in your high scoring gifts.

Periodically, we are asked to step out of our comfort zone. I like animals, but I am not a huge animal lover. But one day, I was truly impressed to take a friend to the vet to comfort her as she experienced the tough decision to put her dog down. Not my comfort zone, but God used me. And, I was totally blessed being with her during this sad time in her life.

When God leads you or I on a mission outside of your gifting, think of it as the Lord stretching us through the Holy Spirit. When God sets us apart for a mission, He can use any gift or personality trait to fulfill His purposes. The Lord will walk beside us empowering us to fulfill His goal. I find it so exciting and adventurous to see the new and sometimes bizarre ways God might use me, like the time I witnessed to a Buddhist only to be told they could not except the Lord because their relatives were on the mantle (in a jar)! Let’s approach our life with the attitude that we are ready to be used by the Lord in whatever area He wants to use us.

Sometimes we are on receiving end of gracious acts of service or help from others. Sometimes we aren’t. I have experienced both and benefited from both. I was once in a position where I was ostracized without a real or tangible explanation of why. I went through speculation, hurt feelings, anger, and loneliness. I was particularly hurt because the criticism came from fellow believers. It was a tough time and it stayed with me for a long time. Even today, 20 years later, I think about it. At the time, I remember wishing someone (a real human being, besides my husband) was walking this road with me. However, God allowed me to walk through this experience alone. I was alone with my feelings and emotions – with only God to talk to. I didn’t like going thorough those emotions by myself. None of us like suffering alone. But, that experience has made me more sensitive to the sufferings and ill-treatment of others. It has given me a little more “Discerning Smarts” to recognize someone who is inwardly suffering or needs some help.

We all need encouragement at times in our lives: Some more than others.

While serving and helping is tough for me, I need reminders on how to do it. As I share some tips on how we can help others, think of the people you know. Maybe you are desperately in need of help from others right now. Or maybe it’s time for you to help someone else.

How to Serve and Help Others

  • Be practical.

Ask yourself what you can practically do to help others. Can you bring a meal? Can you take their child to soccer practice? Can you make some calls? Usually, people don’t want to be an imposition on others, but use your judgment and try to put yourself in their shoes to see what you can do or offer. I have found rather than saying, “Call me if you need anything,” it is better to say, “I’m stopping by the grocery store and I can pick up some groceries for you. What do you need?”

  • Be there.

Maybe a person just needs someone to listen to them. It is amazing how we can help by just listening. We don’t even have to respond. I think Job’s friends would have been a lot better off in the “Service/Helps Department” if they just listened to Job instead of feeling they had to point out his failures and inconsistences.

  • Be kind and patient.

Recently my husband broke 6 ribs (in 2 places each) – OUCH! Believe me, there is a reason I am not a nurse. Just being in the hospital made me nauseous a few times. The smells, sounds, and sights in the hospital were not my cup of tea and a few gags occurred in my system!

While recuperating, I had to put my husband socks on his feet. I had to pick up everything he dropped. I had to help him put his arm in his shirt and jacket. But, I didn’t mind, because I love him!

You may encounter similar events like this. If so, give your time, love, kindness, and patience to the needed recipient.

Remember also that it takes time to heal – whether healing is in the area of physical, emotional, or spiritual healing.

  • Be an encouragement.

Encouragement can come in many forms. It can be a timely note or a phone call. It can be giving hope or security. Just ask the Lord how you can encourage those He brings in your path. He will show you. To use an old cliché, “You may be the only Jesus someone sees.” Think about how Jesus would encourage those in need, then as Nike says, “Just do it.”
God may not call you to help in every situation you encounter. But, if God is giving you the ‘holy hunch’ to be involved in a person’s life, take the role with enthusiasm and thankfulness! And see where God leads it.

You may not be called to use your top level gifts in every situation, but go with His leading. Whatever it is, let Him have His way with you. Let’s praise God for whatever He chooses to do with our lives.
Like vocalist Darlene Zschech sings in I give you my Life, let’s give the Lord all of our life without limiting our service to Him and see what He can do.

I give you my Life by Darlene Zschech

This is my desire, to honor You
Lord, with all my heart I worship You
All I have within me, I give You praise
All that I adore is in You

Lord, I give You my heart
I give You my soul, I live for You alone
Every breath that I take, every moment I’m awake
Lord have Your way in me

Lord, I give You my heart

I give You my soul, I live for You alone
Every breath that I take, every moment I’m awake
Lord have Your way in me

Bible Verses:

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10 ESV

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:  whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV

Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’
Matthew 25:44-45 ESV

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Romans 12:6-8 ESV


Thank you Lord for creating me exactly how you wanted me to be. Thank you for using me for Your glory. Lord, show me areas where I can grow. Lead me to people I can help. Let me recognize your leadership in my life. Allow me to always give glory and honor to your Name. Amen.

God Bless You.
Patti Greene

*The gift of tongues is excluded from this blog as we are concentrating on the major gifts used within the church body.

And don’t forget COMMENTS are always welcome!

Books by Patti Londa Greene Awaken Me: a devotional prayer journal and God, It’s Me: 181 Days for Young Adults to Become Passionate about Prayer and Bible Study


Fischer, Sharon. “What to do when you don’t know what to do.” Worldwide Challenge, June 1983.“Spiritual Gifts Survey.” Lifeway Christian Resources. (2003). Web 5 July 2015.


Zscheck, Darlene. “I give you my heart.” <http://www.songlyrics.com/darlene-zschech/i-give-you-my-heart-lyrics. 3 July 2015>.

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