Spiritual Gift Descriptions

Spiritual Gift Descriptions

God has called each Christian to minister. For that purpose, God has provided you with spiritual gifts-your deepest passions and capabilities-to meet the needs of others. It is these gifts God has provide to you to allow you to do his work in the world.

Remember, your spiritual gifts have been bestowed upon you by the Holy Spirit for building up the body of Christ. This is an extremely healthy way, a very Christian way, for you to view the gifts you have. They are really a blessing but given to you by God’s grace in service for others.

DefinitionsSelf AssessmentGuided Assessment

Whether you are using the self-assessment developed by Lifeway Christian Resources or the more extensive, study based version by Stephen Ministries’s Dr Haugk, hopefully, these short descriptions will aid you in this discovery process.

[sections collapse=”always”] [section title=”1. Prophecy”]

Romans 12:61 Corinthians 12:101 Corinthians 12:28Ephesians 4:11

Those with the spiritual gift of proclamation – propheteia in New Testament Greek-see the work and will of God in various events of the world, both large and small, and clearly communicate the meaning of these events to others.

Propheteia is often translated as “prophecy.” This could suggest that propheteia is primarily concerned with predicting future events. Although a small amount of propheteia in the New Testament is foretelling, usually it is forth telling, that is, revealing God’s activity and will to others. Those with the gift of proclamation are God’s spokespersons. They communicate the divine intentions and purposes of God’s activities in the world.

Proclaimers speak God’s messages with certainty and conviction because they live intimately with God in prayer. They identify God’s work and patiently listen for God’s unveil­ing. A proclaimer is not a seer, but a recipient and preacher of God’s word to specific situations and specific people. Those with the gift of proclamation see God’s footprints in various events and circumstances and reveal to people where God is leading.

[/section] [section title=”2. Serve and Helps”]

Romans 12:71 Corinthians 12:51 Corinthians 12:28

Servanthood, or diakonia in New Testament Greek, is a humble and an unpretentious way of thinking, being, and doing. Those who have the gift of servanthood do not simply possess this gift; they are servanthood. Servanthood is selfless, sacrificial, and loving. Christians endowed with this gift minister without regard for recognition or public affirmation.

Jesus is the incomparable model of servanthood. He told his disciples, “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

Servanthood is the opposite of what the world considers greatness. Those with the gift of servanthood perform ordinary deeds with extraordinary humility. They have genuine authority, but it is based on their service. They live out Peter’s instruction, “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received” (1 Peter 4:10). Those with this gift undergird their actions with a selfless attitude-whether it is waiting tables or exercising apostleship.

Christians with the spiritual gift of helping assist others with practical deeds, especially during critical times. Those with the gift of helping have an enhanced sense of compassion and willingness to tangibly support others, particularly chose with whom they already have a relationship.

The New Testament Greek word for helping is antilempsis, which can be translated as “a timely act of rescue,” “relief,” or “aid.” Paul explained the importance of assisting others in (Acts 20:34-35), “You know for yourselves that I worked with my own hands to support myself and my companions. In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support [help] the weak.” Helpful deeds done out of Christian love have lasting, powerful effects.

The gift of helping is used at its fullest during times of crisis. When catastrophe strikes, those with the gift of helping are ready and willing to do whatever is necessary. Consider Paul’s description of Jesus’ helpfulness, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). Jesus is the perfect model of Christian helping.

[/section] [section title=”3. Teaching”]Romans 12:71 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11The spiritual gift of teaching the faith-didaskalia in New Testament Greek-is the ability to clearly explain the Christian faith and equip individuals to apply it in their daily lives. Those who have this spiritual gift communicate with both words and actions-they live what they teach. The life of someone who teaches the faith is often his or her best lesson, following the example of Jesus, the master preacher.

The gift of teaching the faith can be different from the ability to teach other subjects. Therefore, professional teachers may not necessarily have this gift.

Christians with the gift of teaching the faith help others understand God’s word and relate it practically to their living. Those with the gift of teaching the faith do more than disseminate biblical facts. Using common life examples, they communicate the Christian faith in ways that penetrate people’s hearts and minds an motivate people to live for God. They live what they believe and teach in such a way that others are empowered and equipped for ministry and discipleship. Those with this gift communicate the gospel message of Jesus Christ in ways that motivate and empower others to grow in Christian maturity. “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3: 16).

Gifted Christian teachers do not present their own ideas, but rather convey scripturally based, practical truths to the community of believers. The responsibility of this gift is so awesome that James says, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness” James 3:1).

As the early Christian church grew, teachers of the faith became more and more important. Those who teach the faith are particularly valuable today because they help new Christians understand God’s word so they can relate it to their lives.[/section] [section title=”4. Encouragement”] Romans 12:8

The gift of encouragement is the ability to inspire, comfort, motivate, strengthen, affirm, and be present with others so that they can meet life’s challenges with confidence. Encouragement–parakalein in New Testament Greek-points to the promise of the Holy Spirit’s presence and the hope that is ours in Christ. Those with the gift of encouragement instill this hope in others.

The spiritually gifted encourager inspires people to rise above themselves and be who they really are in Christ, even when the world shouts down such a possibility. While the world dares individuals to “be all you can be,” those with the gift of encouragement inspire Christians to be all God has made and calls them to be.

Encouraging others is more than just speaking comforting words. Sometimes people need to be admonished or confronted about their actions in a gentle, yet firm manner that motivates them to live according to God’s will. Paul practiced such encouragement with the Thessalonians, “For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. Now such persons we command and exhort [parakalein) in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right” (2 Thessalonians 3:11-13).
Encouragement is the gift of offering consolation and inspiration to others in their joys and trials. It is being a “little Christ” and a “little Holy Spirit,” assuring others that they are not alone, and that they can indeed follow God’s call for their lives.
[/section] [section title=”5. Giving”] Romans 12:8 

The gift of generosity or giving enables some Christians to share joyfully and passionately what they have and who they are with others. Persons with this gift share time, money, abilities, and self freely and willingly. These individuals share out of kindness without patronizing or minimizing the recipients as if they were inferior.

Generosity-metadidonai in New Testament Greek-can be translated as “giving or sharing of one’s entire self” A scriptural example of someone with this gift is the widow who put two small copper coins-all she had-into a collection box in the temple (Luke 21:1-4). The widow gave all that she had to God, without regard for herself.

This spiritual gift is characterized by its open-handed, no-strings-attached giving. Those with the spiritual gift of generosity share to the extent that the giver becomes the gift. It is incarnational giving. Paul describes this gift in his first letter to the Thessalonians: “So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share [metadidonai} with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us” (1 Thessalonians 2:8). Those gifted with generosity do not expect anything in return, yet they receive the joy of love that increases as it is given away.
[/section] [section title=”6. Leadership”] Romans 12:8

Those with the gift of leadership-proistanai in New Testament Greek-lead ‘ by sheltering, guiding, modeling, and other parenting-type behavior. Nurturing leaders guide people where God would have them go and provide protection along the way. They promote the well-being and personal growth of those who look to them for leadership by advocating for them when necessary and by setting a good example.

Christians with this gift are dedicated to guiding individuals and watching over them as they grow. Nurturing leaders are even willing to accept criticism for the benefit of those under their direction. Those with this gift glorify God by loving and caring for others with protective authority, and by leading them in ways that best suit their needs. Jesus demonstrated the spirit of nurturing leadership when he lamented over Jerusalem: “How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings” (Matthew 23:37b). For nurturing leaders, such “mother-henning” as Jesus exemplified is integral to their style of leadership.
[/section] [section title=”7. Mercy”] Romans 12:8

Christians endowed with the spiritual gift of mercy have an exceptional ability to perform acts of kindness and compassion to others. Those with this gift show mercy-eleein in New Testament Greek-even to those undeserving of it. Their deeds of unmerited love are modeled after God’s redemptive sacrifice of Jesus, a gift of loving mercy we did not deserve.

In Romans 12:8 Paul urges that those who demonstrate mercy do so with cheerfulness and gladness. Christians with the gift of mercy have a deep empathy for those in need that sweeps aside concerns about the other person’s worthiness. Mercy may appear foolish to those who do not have this gift, just as God’s grace may appear foolish to those who do not under­ stand God’s nature. Christians with this gift are not foolish, but are deeply moved to show compassion for those who are suffering or in trouble. Showing mercy is taking part in God’s kindly disposition toward us. Those with the spiritual gift of mercy spontaneously offer help to others. Their acts of kindness are tangible results of a caring heart and loving spirit.

An excellent example of mercy in action is Jesus’ interaction with the woman caught in adultery and about to be stoned. The woman knew what she deserved according to the law. Instead Jesus granted her mercy. It may be hard to imagine how much she appreciated the words of Jesus, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again” John 8:1lb).
[/section] [section title=”8. Wisdom”] 1 Corinthians 12:8

Christians gifted with wisdom-sophia in New Testament Greek-have mature, skillful judgment. They see the ramifications of problems and then sift among possible alternatives to find solutions that are in accordance with God’s intentions. The gift of wisdom is the capacity to make godly choices and encourage others to do likewise. Those gifted in wisdom know the right time and place for different types of behavior. They understand how life works and make decisions that are in harmony with God’s will.

The spiritual gift of wisdom combines insight, good judgment, perceptiveness, win­ someness, and diplomacy. Diplomacy is characteristic of Christians with this gift because wisdom involves sorting out problems in the context of relationships. Wise Christians speak the truth in love. This requires a spirit of gentleness, as James suggests: “Who is wise and under­ standing among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom” (James 3:13).
[/section] [section title=”9. Knowledge”] 1 Corinthians 12:8

The spiritual gift of knowledge or knowing-gnosis in New Testament Greek-is having a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ and sharing the insights gained from it with others. Christians with the gift of knowing communicate much more than facts when they talk with people about Jesus. They share Jesus Christ in ways that make him personal and real to others.

This gift is sometimes thought to be concerned only with head-knowledge. The spiritual gift of knowing, however, is heart-knowledge. It is not knowing about Jesus; it is knowing Jesus personally. Christians gifted in knowing do not have to be scholars or theological experts, full of factual knowledge. They understand and experience Jesus as real, and convey to others the love and warmth that springs from this intimate relationship.

Those with this gift could join the apostle Paul in saying, “More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing [gnosis] Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8a). They reflect and share the relationship they have with Jesus, and they take others by the hand to meet him, too.
[/section] [section title=”10. Faith”] 1 Corinthians 12:9

The spiritual gift of faith-pistis in New Testament Greek-is an unshakable trust and a deep conviction that God faithfully and reliably keeps promises. Christians with this gift have a profound belief and confidence in their relationship with Jesus that becomes an example for others. These individuals are endowed with the spiritual gift of faith in addition to the saving faith that all Christians have.

The story of the woman who was healed when she touched Jesus’ cloak illustrates the gift of faith. Her confidence in Jesus’ healing power moved her to touch his garment, knowing ‘ that she would be made whole. Jesus told her, ‘.’Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease” (Mark 5:34). Those with the spiritual gift of faith have such unwavering trust and confidence in God that others are inspired to greater faith and trust in God as well.

When this monumental faith is put into action, it is a powerful witness to God’s faithfulness and love. Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, . . . even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done. Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive” (Matthew 21:21-22). Christians with the spiritual gift of faith deeply trust God’s love. They have steadfast belief in God’s faithful promises to hear and answer their prayers.

Christians with this gift are often inspirational leaders in the congregation. The gift has been called a “project gift,” because those endowed with it frequently lead others to specific Christian ministry. Those with the spiritual gift of faith assume that “All things can be done for the one who believes” (Mark 9:23). They inspire congregations to live out God’s vision for the church through great and joyful deeds of service.
[/section] [section title=”11. Discernment” ]

1 Corinthians 12:10

Christians with the gift of discernment protect the spiritual health of the body of Christ by distinguishing true from false teachings, good from evil intentions, and right from wrong actions. The literal translation of the New Testament Greek words for this gift- diakrisis pneumaton- is “discernment of spirits.” The early church was warned: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4: 1)

What was true in the early church is true today. There are many people who claim to present the will of God. Christians with the gift of discernment help others avoid being led astray by false teachings. Those with this gift perceive the true nature and motives of people, distinguishing who is genuine from who is not. Congregations can turn to them when they need to know who is a concerned activist and who is a destructive antagonist. Christians gifted in discernment can tell the difference between one who faithfully communicates a challenging message to the church and one who seeks to cause division.

Christians with the gift of discernment help determine who in the fellowship might be abusing their spiritual gifts-for example, whether someone claiming the gift of proclamation is speaking God’s truth or a falsehood.
[/section] [section title=”12. Apostleship” ]

1 Corinthians 12:28Ephesians 4:11

Christians with the spiritual gift of apostleship are God’s ambassadors to a number of congregations. The New Testament Greek word for apostle is apostolos, which literally means “messenger” or “delegate.” Those with this gift encourage many congregations with the Gospel. They have the privilege and responsibility of spreading the faith, caring for and organizing churches, teaching about Christ, and directing mission efforts over large areas.

In 1 Corinthians 9 Paul explained that apostles are foremost servants of the church at large. Paul is an excellent example of one with the gift of apostleship. He wrote, “I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them. . . . I do it all for the sake of the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:19, 23). Paul was “entrusted with a commission” (v. 17) to proclaim the Gospel. He used this commission to found, build, and encourage numerous churches. Apostle­ ship is a gift for the care and construction of the church at large.
[/section] [section title=”13. Administration” ] 1 Corinthians 12:28

The New Testament Greek word kubernesis, translated as “visionary and managing leadership,” originally referred to the work of a pilot or helmsman of a ship-one who knew the way, the winds, and the shoals, and one who could be trusted to take others safely to their destinations. The gift is sometimes translated as “administration,” which is less than the full significance of kubernesis because “administration” suggests persons who primarily focus upon and follow through on details. Although this gift does include the ability to handle details, it particularly involves directing, governing, guiding, and setting a course.

Those with the gift are “rudder persons” who keep congregations or groups on track and focused on their goals. Visionary and managing leaders follow through on details by effectively delegating tasks and using organizational skills. They build consensus, harness energies, and work with people to get things done.

The gift of visionary and managing leadership has a take-charge quality to it. Those with this gift are not dictators but strong leaders who mobilize people to work together for a common cause. Those with this gift communicate visions and plans to help others get from where they are to where they are called to be. When the word kubernesis occurs in 1 Corinthians 12:28, it is plural, which suggests that the gift is exercised in many areas of the church’s life. People with this gift have the ability to guide Christian groups, large or small, to use their gifts to the fullest.
[/section] [section title=”14. Hospitality”]

Romans 12:13

If you’re like most people, you probably think practicing Christian hospitality is equivalent to what you’ve seen in entertainment books and magazines. And if you’re like me, you end up feeling depressed and inadequate because you don’t quite see your holiday efforts measuring up to the glossy pages you’ve been reading.

Take heart: Practicing Christian hospitality isn’t about glittering, glamorous table settings or platters of picture-perfect food; it’s about practicing servanthood right in the middle of your practical Christianity. More important, it’s about loving others through Christ and making people feel special.

Spiritual gift or scriptural mandate?

While not everyone feels comfortable at the helm of a social event, some folks have a natural talent for making guests feel special. You might think those hospitality genes are inherited, but just because your mom isn’t Martha Stewart, you’re not off the hook. That’s because hospitality takes on added dimensions and new definitions for the Christian.

Some Christians possess hospitality as a spiritual gift. The Bible tells us that every believer is given at least one spiritual gift for the purpose of building up God’s church and serving the body of Christ. In other words, our gifts are given not for our own benefit, but for the enrichment of others. We should be serving those around us, including the body of believers, family, and friends.

Romans 12:13, however, encourages us all to practice hospitality, whether it is our spiritual gift or not. In fact, the Greek word philozenia is actually a combination of two words – philos, meaning “affection” and zenos, meaning “stranger.” While usually translated to mean hospitality, philozenia signifies affection toward strangers.

In The Message Bible, 1 Peter 4:8-10 says, “Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless – cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you.”

Whether we have the spiritual gift of hospitality or not, it can be a part of our way of life. None of us deny that it’s easier to share hospitality with family and friends than with the stranger on the street. But the New Testament teaches us that Christianity is the religion of open hands, open hearts, and open doors. When we open our hearts as well as our homes, we’re practicing Christian hospitality.

[/section] [section title=”15. Evangelism” ] Ephesians 4:11

Christians with the spiritual gift of evangelism share the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ in natural and simple ways that touch people where they most need to experience God’s love. The New Testament Greek word evangelists means “bearer of Good News.” Good News is what Jesus says, does, and embodies. As Jesus invited people to come to him, so the evangelist invites people to believe and trust in Jesus in a way that motivates them to accept the invitation.

People often commit themselves to Jesus Christ not only because of what an evangelist says, but also because of who an evangelist is. In the loving and accepting presence of someone with this gift, people feel God’s acceptance and love. An evangelist is a host, introducing chose who are not Christians to the gift of salvation through Christ and deepening believers’ under­ standing of God’s grace. Christians with the gift of evangelism have internalized the news that Christ died and rose for them, and now they appropriately and effectively share that gratifying message with all.

Jesus said, ”And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32). Spiritually gifted evangelists draw people to Jesus and radiate God’s Good News the way the sun radiates light-from the heat within. God gives those with this gift a sense of urgency and a passion for reaching out to others with the love of Jesus.
[/section] [section title=”16. Shepherding” ] Ephesians 4:11

A Christian with the spiritual gift of shepherding poimen in New Testament Greek­ gathers people together, demonstrates concern for their struggles and difficulties, protects them from trouble or harm, and keeps them close to Jesus. Shepherds look out for those under their care. In a church setting, that might mean warding off antagonists or encouraging people to resist temptation and walk in the light of Christ.

Jesus the Good Shepherd is the model for those with the gift of shepherding. In rejecting the devil’s temptation, for example, Jesus said, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Those with the spiritual gift of shepherding feed others with the bread of life-Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever” (John 6:51a). Christians with this gift feed those under their care with the Word of God, nurturing them in their faith.

Shepherds support those who look to them for guidance during difficult times. They model the protective, loving care that Jesus has for all of us. Christians with this gift can be characterized as having a “flock”-a group who looks to the shepherd for guidance, direction, teaching, and protection.

[/section][/sections]
[sections collapse=”always”] [section title=”1. Proclamation (Prophecy)”]

Romans 12:6,  1 Corinthians 12:10,  1 Corinthians 12:28Ephesians 4:11

Those with the spiritual gift of proclamation – propheteia in New Testament Greek-see the work and will of God in various events of the world, both large and small, and clearly communicate the meaning of these events to others.

Propheteia is often translated as “prophecy.” This could suggest that propheteia is primarily concerned with predicting future events. Although a small amount of propheteia in the New Testament is foretelling, usually it is forth telling, that is, revealing God’s activity and will to others. Those with the gift of proclamation are God’s spokespersons. They communicate the divine intentions and purposes of God’s activities in the world.

Proclaimers speak God’s messages with certainty and conviction because they live intimately with God in prayer. They identify God’s work and patiently listen for God’s unveil­ing. A proclaimer is not a seer, but a recipient and preacher of God’s word to specific situations and specific people. Those with the gift of proclamation see God’s footprints in various events and circumstances and reveal to people where God is leading.

[/section] [section title=”2. Servanthood”]Romans 12:71 Corinthians 12:5

Servanthood, or diakonia in New Testament Greek, is a humble and an unpretentious way of thinking, being, and doing. Those who have the gift of servanthood do not simply possess this gift; they are servanthood. Servanthood is selfless, sacrificial, and loving. Christians endowed with this gift minister without regard for recognition or public affirmation.

Jesus is the incomparable model of servanthood. He told his disciples, “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

Servanthood is the opposite of what the world considers greatness. Those with the gift of servanthood perform ordinary deeds with extraordinary humility. They have genuine authority, but it is based on their service. They live out Peter’s instruction, “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received” (1 Peter 4:10). Those with this gift undergird their actions with a selfless attitude-whether it is waiting tables or exercising apostleship.

[/section] [section title=”3. Teaching the Faith”]Romans 12:7,  1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11

The spiritual gift of teaching the faith-didaskalia in New Testament Greek-is the ability to clearly explain the Christian faith and equip individuals to apply it in their daily lives. Those who have this spiritual gift communicate with both words and actions-they live what they teach. The life of someone who teaches the faith is often his or her best lesson, following the example of Jesus, the master preacher.

The gift of teaching the faith can be different from the ability to teach other subjects. Therefore, professional teachers may not necessarily have this gift.

Christians with the gift of teaching the faith help others understand God’s word and relate it practically to their living. Those with the gift of teaching the faith do more than disseminate biblical facts. Using common life examples, they communicate the Christian faith in ways that penetrate people’s hearts and minds an motivate people to live for God. They live what they believe and teach in such a way that others are empowered and equipped for ministry and discipleship. Those with this gift communicate the gospel message of Jesus Christ in ways that motivate and empower others to grow in Christian maturity. “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3: 16).

Gifted Christian teachers do not present their own ideas, but rather convey scripturally based, practical truths to the community of believers. The responsibility of this gift is so awesome that James says, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness” (James 3:1).

As the early Christian church grew, teachers of the faith became more and more important. Those who teach the faith are particularly valuable today because they help new Christians understand God’s word so they can relate it to their lives.[/section] [section title=”4. Encouragement”] Romans 12:8

The gift of encouragement is the ability to inspire, comfort, motivate, strengthen, affirm, and be present with others so that they can meet life’s challenges with confidence. Encouragement–parakalein in New Testament Greek-points to the promise of the Holy Spirit’s presence and the hope that is ours in Christ. Those with the gift of encouragement instill this hope in others.

The spiritually gifted encourager inspires people to rise above themselves and be who they really are in Christ, even when the world shouts down such a possibility. While the world dares individuals to “be all you can be,” those with the gift of encouragement inspire Christians to be all God has made and calls them to be.

Encouraging others is more than just speaking comforting words. Sometimes people need to be admonished or confronted about their actions in a gentle, yet firm manner that motivates them to live according to God’s will. Paul practiced such encouragement with the Thessalonians, “For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. Now such persons we command and exhort [parakalein) in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right” (2 Thessalonians 3:11-13).
Encouragement is the gift of offering consolation and inspiration to others in their joys and trials. It is being a “little Christ” and a “little Holy Spirit,” assuring others that they are not alone, and that they can indeed follow God’s call for their lives.
[/section] [section title=”5. Generosity”] Romans 12:8

The gift of generosity enables some Christians to share joyfully and passionately what they have and who they are with others. Persons with this gift share time, money, abilities, and self freely and willingly. These individuals share out of kindness without patronizing or minimizing the recipients as if they were inferior.

Generosity-metadidonai in New Testament Greek-can be translated as “giving or sharing of one’s entire self” A scriptural example of someone with this gift is the widow who put two small copper coins-all she had-into a collection box in the temple (Luke 21:1-4). The widow gave all that she had to God, without regard for herself.

This spiritual gift is characterized by its open-handed, no-strings-attached giving. Those with the spiritual gift of generosity share to the extent that the giver becomes the gift. It is incarnational giving. Paul describes this gift in his first letter to the Thessalonians: “So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share [metadidonai} with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us” (1 Thessalonians 2:8). Those gifted with generosity do not expect anything in return, yet they receive the joy of love that increases as it is given away.
[/section] [section title=”6. Nurturing Leadership”] Romans 12:8

Those with the gift of nurturing leadership-proistanai in New Testament Greek-lead ‘ by sheltering, guiding, modeling, and other parenting-type behavior. Nurturing leaders guide people where God would have them go and provide protection along the way. They promote the well-being and personal growth of those who look t0 them for leadership by advocating for them when necessary and by setting a good example.

Christians with this gift are dedicated to guiding individuals and watching over them as they grow. Nurturing leaders are even willing to accept criticism for the benefit of those under their direction. Those with this gift glorify God by loving and caring for others with protective authority, and by leading them in ways that best suit their needs. Jesus demonstrated the spirit of nurturing leadership when he lamented over Jerusalem: “How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings” (Matthew 23:37b). For nurturing leaders, such “mother-henning” as Jesus exemplified is integral to their style of leadership.
[/section] [section title=”7. Mercy”] Romans 12:8

Christians endowed with the spiritual gift of mercy have an exceptional ability to perform acts of kindness and compassion to others. Those with this gift show mercy-eleein in New Testament Greek-even to those undeserving of it. Their deeds of unmerited love are modeled after God’s redemptive sacrifice of Jesus, a gift of loving mercy we did not deserve.

In Romans 12:8 Paul urges that those who demonstrate mercy do so with cheerfulness and gladness. Christians with the gift of mercy have a deep empathy for those in need that sweeps aside concerns about the other person’s worthiness. Mercy may appear foolish to those who do not have this gift, just as God’s grace may appear foolish to those who do not under­ stand God’s nature. Christians with this gift are not foolish, but are deeply moved to show compassion for those who are suffering or in trouble. Showing mercy is taking part in God’s kindly disposition toward us. Those with the spiritual gift of mercy spontaneously offer help to others. Their acts of kindness are tangible results of a caring heart and loving spirit.

An excellent example of mercy in action is Jesus’ interaction with the woman caught in adultery and about to be stoned. The woman knew what she deserved according to the law. Instead Jesus granted her mercy. It may be hard to imagine how much she appreciated the words of Jesus, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again” (John 8:11b).
[/section] [section title=”8. Wisdom”] 1 Corinthians 12:8

Christians gifted with wisdom-sophia in New Testament Greek-have mature, skillful judgment. They see the ramifications of problems and then sift among possible alternatives to find solutions that are in accordance with God’s intentions. The gift of wisdom is the capacity to make godly choices and encourage others to do likewise. Those gifted in wisdom know the right time and place for different types of behavior. They understand how life works and make decisions that are in harmony with God’s will.

The spiritual gift of wisdom combines insight, good judgment, perceptiveness, win­ someness, and diplomacy. Diplomacy is characteristic of Christians with this gift because wisdom involves sorting out problems in the context of relationships. Wise Christians speak the truth in love. This requires a spirit of gentleness, as James suggests: “Who is wise and under­ standing among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom” (James 3:13).
[/section] [ssection title=”9. Knowing” ] 1 Corinthians 12:8

The spiritual gift of knowing-gnosis in New Testament Greek-is having a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ and sharing the insights gained from it with others. Christians with the gift of knowing communicate much more than facts when they talk with people about Jesus. They share Jesus Christ in ways that make him personal and real to others.

This gift is sometimes thought to be concerned only with head-knowledge. The spiritual gift of knowing, however, is heart-knowledge. It is not knowing about Jesus; it is knowing Jesus personally. Christians gifted in knowing do not have to be scholars or theological experts, full of factual knowledge. They understand and experience Jesus as real, and convey to others the love and warmth that springs from this intimate relationship.

Those with this gift could join the apostle Paul in saying, “More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing [gnosis] Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8a). They reflect and share the relationship they have with Jesus, and they take others by the hand to meet him, too.
[/section] [section title=”10. Faith”] 1 Corinthians 12:9

The spiritual gift of faith-pistis in New Testament Greek-is an unshakable trust and a deep conviction that God faithfully and reliably keeps promises. Christians with this gift have a profound belief and confidence in their relationship with Jesus that becomes an example for others. These individuals are endowed with the spiritual gift of faith in addition to the saving faith that all Christians have.

The story of the woman who was healed when she touched Jesus’ cloak illustrates the gift of faith. Her confidence in Jesus’ healing power moved her to touch his garment, knowing ‘ that she would be made whole. Jesus told her, ‘.’Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease” (Mark 5:34). Those with the spiritual gift of faith have such unwavering trust and confidence in God that others are inspired to greater faith and trust in God as well.

When this monumental faith is put into action, it is a powerful witness to God’s faithfulness and love. Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, . . . even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done. Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive” (Matthew 21:21-22). Christians with the spiritual gift of faith deeply trust God’s love. They have steadfast belief in God’s faithful promises to hear and answer their prayers.

Christians with this gift are often inspirational leaders in the congregation. The gift has been called a “project gift,” because those endowed with it frequently lead others to specific Christian ministry. Those with the spiritual gift of faith assume that “All things can be done for the one who believes” (Mark 9:23). They inspire congregations to live out God’s vision for the church through great and joyful deeds of service.
[/section] [section title=”11. Healing” ] 1 Corinthians 12:9,  1 Corinthians 12:28

The spiritual gift of healings-iamata in New Testament Greek-is the miraculous capacity to bring God’s healing to others, healing that surpasses ordinary human experience. Christians with the spiritual gift of healings do not just apply therapeutic techniques-they are vessels for extraordinary power.

Christians with this gift can bring about God’s cure in different ways-by anointing with oil, prayer, touch, or words. They restore wholeness where there was brokenness . This healing is a tangible witness to the restored relationship God has established with creation through Jesus, as Matthew quotes the prophet Isaiah: “He took our infirmities and bore our diseases” (Matthew 8: 17). Those who are healed experience the grace and goodness of God

This gift is not a spectacle, but a sign of God’s love and power. As those with other gifts, Christians with the gift of healings know that it is not they who heal, but God working through them. God’s will for wholeness passes through the healer to those in need of healing.
[/section] [section title=”12. Miracles” ] 1 Corinthians 12:101 Corinthians 12:28

Christians with the spiritual gift of miracles are able to do great and mighty deeds that transcend the laws of nature. In New Testament Greek this gift is energemata dunameon, literally translated as “operations of powers.” Miracles are not ends in themselves, but means to a greater end: the revelation of God’s kingdom on earth.

Miracles are wonders and signs that proclaim God’s presence and authority. Their purpose is to give glory to God, testify to God’s power, and lead people to repentance or deeper faith. Miracles benefit the witnesses, and those directly affected by the powerful deed. Miracles overcome the power of evil. Thus, the gift of miracles can also include the ability to do exorcisms in the name of Jesus.

Jesus showed his authority over nature by performing miracles. For example, he walked on water, he multiplied food, he calmed a storm. The gift of miracles refuses to be tamed or made predictable-it is the gift of the unexpected. Miracles serve as a spotlight to reveal where true authority resides, with God, the author of all creation.
[/section] [section title=”13. Discernment” ] 1 Corinthians 12:10

Christians with the gift of discernment protect the spiritual health of the body of Christ by distinguishing true from false teachings, good from evil intentions, and right from wrong actions. The literal translation of the New Testament Greek words for this gift- diakrisis pneumaton- is “discernment of spirits.” The early church was warned: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4: 1)

What was true in the early church is true today. There are many people who claim to present the will of God. Christians with the gift of discernment help others avoid being led astray by false teachings. Those with this gift perceive the true nature and motives of people, distinguishing who is genuine from who is not. Congregations can turn to them when they need to know who is a concerned activist and who is a destructive antagonist. Christians gifted in discernment can tell the difference between one who faithfully communicates a challenging message to the church and one who seeks to cause division.

Christians with the gift of discernment help determine who in the fellowship might be abusing their spiritual gifts-for example, whether someone claiming the gift of proclamation is speaking God’s truth or a falsehood.
[/section] [section title=”14. Tongues” ] 1 Corinthians 12:10,  1 Corinthians 12:28,  1 Corinthians 12:30

The spiritual gift of tongues is the ability to communicate verbally with God without using intelligible words. This speech can be unintelligible even to those who have the gift. The New Testament Greek words for this gift-gene glosson-mean “kinds of tongues,” suggesting that there are different manifestations of the gift. The apostle Paul says chat tongues can inspire and build up the congregation during worship. “When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up” (1 Corinthians 14:26b).

Speaking in tongues uplifts Christians as they experience communion with God, but the gift only builds up others when an interpreter is available. Because of this, tongues is the only spiritual gift char Paul limited. Paul stated in 1Corinthians 14 that during worship Christians should only speak in tongues when someone can interpret, so chat others may be built up in love. He also warned that speaking in tongues and interpretation should be done in an orderly fashion. “So, my friends, . . . do not forbid speaking in tongues; but all things should be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:39-40). When these guidelines are followed, the gift of tongues is exercised in a way that truly respects and serves others.
[/section] [section title=”15. Interpretation of Tongues” ] 1 Corinthians 12:101 Corinthians 12:30

The spiritual gift of interpretation of tongues is the ability to understand and explain the ecstatic speech of those with the gift of tongues. The apostle Paul said that someone with the gift of interpretation is vital if the gift of tongues is to build up the worshiping community. “If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn; and let one interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let them be silent in church and speak to them­ selves and to God” (1 Corinthians 14:27-28).

Christians with the gift of interpretation of tongues-hermeneia glosson or dierrneneuein in New Testament Greek-interpret and explain ecstatic utterances for others. Through the interpreter the congregation is encouraged and strengthened by those with the gift of tongues. This spiritual gift makes the gift of tongues beneficial for the community.

Those who speak in tongues may also be given the gift of interpretation themselves so that, after they have spoken in tongues, they can explain what was meant.
[/section] [section title=”16. Apostleship” ] 1 Corinthians 12:28Ephesians 4:11

Christians with the spiritual gift of apostleship are God’s ambassadors to a number of congregations. The New Testament Greek word for apostle is apostolos, which literally means “messenger” or “delegate.” Those with this gift encourage many congregations with the Gospel. They have the privilege and responsibility of spreading the faith, caring for and organizing churches, teaching about Christ, and directing mission efforts over large areas.

In 1 Corinthians 9 Paul explained that apostles are foremost servants of the church at large. Paul is an excellent example of one with the gift of apostleship. He wrote, “I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them. . . . I do it all for the sake of the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:19, 23). Paul was “entrusted with a commission” (v. 17) to proclaim the Gospel. He used this commission to found, build, and encourage numerous churches. Apostle­ ship is a gift for the care and construction of the church at large.
[/section] [section title=”17. Helping” ] 1 Corinthians 12:28

Christians with the spiritual gift of helping assist others with practical deeds, especially during critical times. Those with the gift of helping have an enhanced sense of compassion and willingness to tangibly support others, particularly chose with whom they already have a relationship.

The New Testament Greek word for helping is antilempsis, which can be translated as “a timely act of rescue,” “relief,” or “aid.” Paul explained the importance of assisting others in Acts 20:34-35, “You know for yourselves that I worked with my own hands to support myself and my companions. In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support [help} the weak.” Helpful deeds done out of Christian love have lasting, powerful effects.

The gift of helping is used at its fullest during times of crisis. When catastrophe strikes, those with the gift of helping are ready and willing to do whatever is necessary. Consider Paul’s description of Jesus’ helpfulness, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). Jesus is the perfect model of Christian helping.
[/section] [section title=”18. Visionary & Managing Leadership” ] 1 Corinthians 12:28

The New Testament Greek word kubernesis, translated as “visionary and managing leadership,” originally referred to the work of a pilot or helmsman of a ship-one who knew the way, the winds, and the shoals, and one who could be trusted to take others safely to their destinations. The gift is sometimes translated as “administration,” which is less than the full significance of kubernesis because “administration” suggests persons who primarily focus upon and follow through on details. Although this gift does include the ability to handle details, it particularly involves directing, governing, guiding, and setting a course.

Those with the gift are “rudder persons” who keep congregations or groups on track and focused on their goals. Visionary and managing leaders follow through on details by effectively delegating tasks and using organizational skills. They build consensus, harness energies, and work with people to get things done.

The gift of visionary and managing leadership has a take-charge quality to it. Those with this gift are not dictators but strong leaders who mobilize people to work together for a common cause. Those with this gift communicate visions and plans to help others get from where they are to where they are called to be. When the word kubernesis occurs in 1 Corinthians 12:28, it is plural, which suggests that the gift is exercised in many areas of the church’s life. People with this gift have the ability to guide Christian groups, large or small, to use their gifts to the fullest.
[/section] [section title=”19. Evangelism” ] Ephesians 4:11

Christians with the spiritual gift of evangelism share the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ in natural and simple ways that touch people where they most need to experience God’s love. The New Testament Greek word evangelists means “bearer of Good News.” Good News is what Jesus says, does, and embodies. As Jesus invited people to come to him, so the evangelist invites people to believe and trust in Jesus in a way that motivates them to accept the invitation.

People often commit themselves to Jesus Christ not only because of what an evangelist says, but also because of who an evangelist is. In the loving and accepting presence of someone with this gift, people feel God’s acceptance and love. An evangelist is a host, introducing chose who are not Christians to the gift of salvation through Christ and deepening believers’ under­ standing of God’s grace. Christians with the gift of evangelism have internalized the news that Christ died and rose for them, and now they appropriately and effectively share that gratifying message with all.

Jesus said, ”And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” John 12:32). Spiritually gifted evangelists draw people to Jesus and radiate God’s Good News the way the sun radiates light-from the heat within. God gives those with this gift a sense of urgency and a passion for reaching out to others with the love of Jesus.
[/section] [section title=”20. Shepherding” ] Ephesians 4:11

A Christian with the spiritual gift of shepherding poimen in New Testament Greek­ gathers people together, demonstrates concern for their struggles and difficulties, protects them from trouble or harm, and keeps them close to Jesus. Shepherds look out for those under their care. In a church setting, that might mean warding off antagonists or encouraging people to resist temptation and walk in the light of Christ.

Jesus the Good Shepherd is the model for those with the gift of shepherding. In rejecting the devil’s temptation, for example, Jesus said, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Those with the spiritual gift of shepherding feed others with the bread of life-Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever” (John 6:51a). Christians with this gift feed those under their care with the Word of God, nurturing them in their faith.

Shepherds support those who look to them for guidance during difficult times. They model the protective, loving care that Jesus has for all of us. Christians with this gift can be characterized as having a “flock”-a group who looks to the shepherd for guidance, direction, teaching, and protection.

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