There is nothing quite like it. When Jesus ascended, he gave gifts to his people (Ephesians 4:8). Spiritual gifts are the dynamo of the community of Christ followers. When each person finds their role and gifts to match – Boom – people get better, stronger – everybody wins.
The best way to discover your spiritual gift is to get your life engaged in the lives of others. When we get moving, we'll find two things: 1. We begin to get pulled toward stuff we love to do, and that brings us joy. 2. We'll also have other people recognize and affirm those things we excel at doing.
Gift discovery is this 1-2 punch: self-discovery and affirmation. God can and will direct you into your sweet spot when you move into the community of Christ followers and witness God indeed using your life to lift others. And on this note of lifting others, that's exactly how your gift is confirmed. Gifts are to edify. They are given by God to build up the broader body of Christ. That's the ultimate test of hitting your unique design and role in the church. Gifts tests are a great place to begin, but they're not the end all. The best way I've seen people discover gifts is engaging in the life and lives of the body of Christ.
Here's a couple of quick additional thoughts. Explore and push the boundaries of conventional wisdom. Sometimes the gift you have is outside the box of what you might have imagined. Also, don't let people shift you or promote you out of your gifting. You can be crushing it in one area and slide into a role that is not your gift or your joy. Example: Some pastors are great teachers or mercy givers but get lulled into thinking, or urged to take the role of leader. Their joy dries up and in those, they now lead.
Now find your gift and use it – we all need you!
A spiritual gift is an expression of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers which empowers them to serve the body of Christ, the church.
Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28-30; Ephesians 4:11; and 1 Peter 4:9-11 contain representative lists of gifts and roles God has given to the church. A definition of these gifts follows...
Leadership - Leadership aids the body by leading and directing members to accomplish the goals and purposes of the church. Leadership motivates people to work together in unity toward common goals
Administration - Persons with the gift of administration lead the body by steering others to remain on task. Administration enables the body to organize according to God-given purposes and long-term goals
(1 Cor. 12:28).
Teaching - Teaching is instructing members in the truths and doctrines of God’s Word for the purposes of building up, unifying, and maturing the body (1 Cor. 12:28; Rom. 12:7; Eph. 4:11).
Knowledge - The gift of knowledge manifests itself in teaching and training in discipleship. It is the God-given ability to learn, know, and explain the precious truths of God’s Word. A word of knowledge is a Spirit-revealed truth (1 Cor. 12:28).
Wisdom - Wisdom is the gift that discerns the work of the Holy Spirit in the body and applies His teachings and actions to the needs of the body (1 Cor. 12:28).
Prophecy - The gift of prophecy is proclaiming the Word of God boldly. This builds up the body and leads to conviction of sin. Prophecy manifests itself in preaching and teaching (1 Cor. 12:10; Rom.12:6).
Discernment - Discernment aids the body by recognizing the true intentions of those within or related to the body. Discernment tests the message and actions of others for the protection and well-being of the body (1 Cor. 12:10).
Exhortation - Possessors of this gift encourage members to be involved in and enthusiastic about the work of the Lord. Members with this gift are good counselors and motivate others to service. Exhortation exhibits itself in preaching, teaching, and ministry (Rom. 12:8).
Shepherding - The gift of shepherding is manifested in persons who look out for the spiritual welfare of others. Although pastors, like shepherds, do care for members of the church, this gift is not limited to a pastor or staff member (Eph. 4:11).
Faith - Faith trusts God to work beyond the human capabilities of the people. Believers with this gift encourage others to trust in God in the face of apparently insurmountable odds (1 Cor. 12:9).
Evangelism - God gifts his church with evangelists to lead others to Christ effectively and enthusiastically. This gift builds up the body by adding new members to its fellowship (Eph. 4:11).
Apostleship - The church sends apostles from the body to plant churches or be missionaries. Apostles motivate the body to look beyond its walls in order to carry out the Great Commission (1 Cor. 12:28;Eph. 4:11).
Service/Helps - Those with the gift of service/helps recognize practical needs in the body and joyfully give assistance to meeting those needs. Christians with this gift do not mind working behind the scenes (1 Cor. 12:28; Rom. 12:7).
Mercy - Cheerful acts of compassion characterize those with the gift of mercy. Persons with this gift aid the body by empathizing with hurting members. They keep the body healthy and unified by keeping
others aware of the needs within the church (Rom. 12:8).
Giving - Members with the gift of giving give freely and joyfully to the work and mission of the body. Cheerfulness and liberality are characteristics of individuals with this gift (Rom. 12:8).
Hospitality - Those with this gift have the ability to make visitors, guests, and strangers feel at ease. They often use their home to entertain guests. Persons with this gift integrate new members into the body (1 Pet. 4:9).
God has gifted you with an expression of His Holy Spirit to support His vision and mission of the church. It is a worldwide vision to reach all people with the gospel of Christ. As a servant leader, God desires that you know how He has gifted you. This will lead you to where He would have you serve as
part of His vision and mission for the church.