Last week we looked at the basics of spiritual gifts, which are “divinely given capacities to perform useful functions for God, especially in the area of spiritual service” (John F. Walvoord). We learned that the Holy Spirit distributes gift(s) to every believer, “to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature…” (Ephesians 4:12-13). On Sunday, Pastor Joe reminded us that our gifts were designed with a purpose in mind, and they are most effective when utilized for that purpose. How can you best use your gift(s)?
Scott Pioli, Vice President of Player Personnel for the NE Patriots the year they won Super Bowl 38, had a sign in his office that stated, “We are building a team, not collecting talent.” Discuss with your group the difference between the two. Which works better in the church, and why?
Read through 1 Corinthians 12:12-30. What do you think Paul means when he says that the church is the “body of Christ” (v 27)?
Re-read 1 Corinthians 12:12-13. How does knowing we have the same Spirit and Lord help us to work together in spite of any differences we may have?
What spiritual gifts do you esteem higher than others? Which spirituals gifts would you prefer not to have? How can you overcome these attitudes?
Is it wrong to desire a gift you don’t seem to have? Why or why not?
Some of you may know your gift(s), some may not. Discuss how you think (or know) God has gifted you.
In the examples below, have each person in the group suggest ways to use their spiritual gifts in response to the situation, and discuss how you could work together to build up each member in the Body of Christ:
- Peggy is a new Christian and is anxious to grow in her faith.
- Bob has just been diagnosed with cancer.
- Jim & Patty are struggling with children who are walking away from God.
- Joel is feeling a call to the mission field.
- Phoebe’s husband just informed her he wants a divorce.
What tools are on your tool belt? If you don’t know your gift(s), take the spiritual gifts assessment (HERE), and read through the list below to begin to help you understand your gift(s). Start to explore how you might use your gift(s) in the church, either by speaking with a pastor or Elder or by ‘testing the waters’ and volunteering for a particular ministry. If you know your gift(s), use it (them)! Contact the office (440.543.5643) to find out how to get involved at Fellowship.
- ADMINISTRATION: The divine strength/ability to understand what makes an organization function, and the special ability to plan and execute procedures that accomplish the goals of the ministry. (Exodus 18:13-23; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Acts 6:1-7)
- APOSTLESHIP: The divine strength/ability to start and oversee the development of new churches or ministry structures. (Acts 13:2-3; Romans 1:5; 1 Corinthians 12:28-29; Ephesians 4:11-12)
- CRAFTSMANSHIP: The divine strength/ability to creatively design and/or construct items to be used for ministry. (Exodus 31:1-11; 35:31-35; 2 Kings 22:5-6; Acts 9:36-39; Acts 18:2-3)
- DISCERNMENT: The divine strength/ability to distinguish between truth and error. Able to discern the spirits, differentiating between good and evil, right and wrong. (Matthew 16:21-23; Acts 5:1-4; 1 Corinthians 12:10)
- EVANGELISM: The divine strength/ability to effectively communicate the Gospel to unbelievers so they respond in faith and move toward discipleship. (Luke 19:1-10; Acts 8:26-40; Ephesians 4:11)
- EXHORTATION: The divine strength/ability to present truth so as to strengthen, comfort or urge to action those who are discouraged or wavering in their faith. (Acts 11:22-24; Acts 15:30-32; Romans 12:8)
- FAITH: The divine strength/ability to act on God’s promises with confidence and unwavering belief in God’s ability to fulfill His purposes. (Acts 11:22-24; Romans 4:18-21; 1 Corinthians 12:9; Hebrews 11)
- GIVING: The divine strength/ability to contribute money and resources to the work of the Lord with cheerfulness and liberality. People with this gift do not ask, “How much money do I need to give to God?” but, “How much money do I need to live on?” (Luke 21:1-4; Romans 12:8; 2 Corinthians 8:1-7; 2 Corinthians 9:2-7)
- HEALING: The divine strength/ability to be God’s means for restoring people to wholeness. (Acts 3:1-10; Acts 28:7-10; 1 Corinthians 12:9,28-30)
- HELPS: The divine strength/ability to accomplish practical and necessary tasks which free up, support, and meet the needs of others. (Acts 6:1-4; Romans 16:1-2; Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:28)
- HOSPITALITY: The divine strength/ability to care for people by providing fellowship, food and shelter. (Romans 12:13; Hebrews 13:1-2; 1 Peter 4:9-10)
- INTERCESSION: The divine strength/ability to consistently pray on behalf of and for others, seeing frequent and specific results. (John 17:9-26; Colossians 1:9-12; Colossians 4:12-13; 1 Timothy 2:1-2)
- KNOWLEDGE: The divine strength/ability to bring truth to the body through a revelation or Biblical insight. (Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 12:8; Colossians 2:2-3)
- LEADERSHIP: The divine strength/ability to cast vision, motivate, and direct people to harmoniously accomplish the purposes of God. (Luke 22:25-26; Romans 12:8; Hebrews 13:17)
- MERCY: The divine strength/ability to cheerfully and practically help those who are suffering or who are in need; compassion moved to action. (Mark 9:41; Romans 12:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:14)
- MIRACLES: The divine strength/ability to authenticate the ministry and message of God through supernatural interventions which glorify Him. (Acts 9:36-42; Romans 15:18-19; 1 Corinthians 12:10,28)
- PASTOR/SHEPHERD: The divine strength/ability to nurture, care for and guide people toward ongoing spiritual maturity and becoming like Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; 1 Peter 5:1-4)
- PROPHECY: The divine strength/ability to reveal truth and proclaim it in a timely and relevant manner for understanding correction, repentance, or edification. (Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:10; 13:2; 14:1-4; 2 Peter 1:19-21)
- SERVICE: The divine strength/ability to identify the unmet needs involved in a task related to God’s work and to make use of available resources to meet those needs and help accomplish the desired goal. (Acts 6:1-7; Romans 12:7; Galatians 6:10; Titus 3:14)
- TEACHING: The divine strength/ability to understand, clearly explain, and apply the Word of God, causing greater Christ-likeness in the lives of listeners. (Acts 18:24-28; Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:28-29; Ephesians 4:11-14; 2 Timothy 2:2)
- TONGUES/INTERPRETATION: The divine strength/ability to speak, worship or pray in a language unknown to the speaker. People with the gift may receive a spontaneous message from God which is made known to His body through the gift of Interpretation. (Acts 2:1-11; 1 Corinthians 12:10,28-30; 1 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Corinthians 14:1-14)
- WISDOM: The divine strength/ability to apply spiritual truth effectively to meet a need in a specific situation. (Jeremiah 9:23-24; Acts 6:3,10; 1 Corinthians 2:3-14; 1 Corinthians 12:8; James 3:13-18)
8To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues….18But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be….28And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:8-10;18;28 (NIV)
6We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8 (NIV)
11So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. Ephesians 4:11-12 (NIV)