SPIRITUAL GIFT OF ENCOURAGEMENT
Please read the following Spiritual Gift of Encouragement description and then rate yourself on a scale of 1 through 5 both in passion and experience. This is to help you from ignoring a gift God may have for you. For example, you may be high in passion in the gift of “healing” but as of yet God has not manifested Himself in that way to you. If all you rated was experience you may skip over this very important passion God has given you. Likewise, if you are deeply involved in “service” but are more pragmatic and less passionate about it you may be tempted to ignore developing the gift of service in the way God wants you to.
Rate Your Passion For This Gift
The first rating has to do with your passion for the gift. Are you really motivated to act this way? 1 means that you have no interest in or passion to use the gift. 5 means that the definition describes you very accurately, or that you do have a strong interest/passion in the ability.
Next Rate Your Experience With or Evidence For This Gift
The second rating has to do with your experience/evidence of the gift. Rate your experience with or evidence of the gift.
1 means that you have no experience with or evidence of the gift. 5 means that you have a lot of experience with or evidence of the gift.
SPIRITUAL GIFT OF ENCOURAGEMENT
Romans 12:8 says, “if it is encouraging, let him encourage” (NIV). The Biblical meaning is to call someone near to console, comfort, exhort, implore with them. Although the goal of this gift is to comfort, motivate and give reason for hope, there is the element of exhortation pointing to the future. The goal is to encourage the believers be what God wants them to be.
A person with this gift is moved when they see someone down and likes to comfort them and motivate them toward change. They share hope for the future. The nature of this gift is similar to dispensing medicine. It is a singular action used in the moment hopefully to bring about a long-term effect.
This gift is good in helping with morale, motivating people toward action and making people feel that they are part of a group. This is an important part of love in action and is often the most memorable part of a ministry to hurting people.
There is a temptation to give a person a “quick-fix” and not truly listen to their problems. We can end up giving pat answers in the form of spiritual jargon and formulas instead of empathy and caring. When it is more our need “to encourage” than to really minister to someone, we can tend to avoid real spiritual solutions.
This gift can be used in making people feel welcome and a part of church. This gift is good for ministering to single parents, those that are sick or have problems associated with being elderly. This gift can be used in small group interaction, counseling, home visitation or mentoring.
Biblical counseling and psychology courses would help a person understand the dynamics of this gift. Lessons in effective listening, crisis counseling and pastoral counseling would be of great benefit.
RATE YOURSELF ON THE GIFT OF ENCOURAGEMENT
Using a scale of 1 – 5, rate whether you have a passion for using encouragement.
(1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)
Passion Score ______
Using a scale of 1 – 5, rate whether you have had significant experience in or evidence of encouragement.
(1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)
How to Rate Your Score
To be more accurate on the Spiritual Gift you need to look both at your passion with the gift and the experience with or evidence of the gift. If your passion is 3 – 5 then it is high. If your passion is 1 – 2 then it is low. It is the same with the experience where you rate evidence of the gift in your life. Is the experience/evidence high (3 – 5) or is it low (1 – 2)?
Plot your scores on the grid
Notice that Experience/Evidence is on the vertical axis and Passion is on the horizontal axis. So an Experience/Evidence score of 3 and a Passion score of 2 and would be in the number 2 quadrant.
Quadrant 1 = High Passion and High Experience/Evidence
A Spiritual Gift that is in this quadrant seems to be one that God has given you. You are passionate about the gift and have experience and evidence in your life that seems to confirm this. Continue to grow in this gift and use it for His glory.
Quadrant 2 = Low Passion and High Experience/Evidence
A Spiritual Gift in this quadrant may indicate that circumstances have called upon you to exhibit this skill or ministry in your life. For example you don’t have to have a high Passion to be merciful to those that are hungry around you. However, your church may have a large feeding program. Just because you are recruited and spend a lot of time doesn’t mean that you have the Gift of Mercy. Rather it simply could mean that you were obedient to God by helping with a need.
Quadrant 3 = High Passion and Low Experience/Evidence
Scoring in this quadrant is common among the Supernatural gifts. Healing, faith, miracles – you may feel really burdened in situations to pray for God’s intervention in mighty ways. You pray believing and trusting that God can and will act. If this is true then you must rate yourself high on Passion. However, though you are passionate in your praying for healing your experience may not be successful. You would rate your experience/evidence score low. However, this does not mean give up. It is just an indicator of your personal experience up to this moment in time. If God moves in your heart you deeply to pray for the supernatural let Him take care of the results. It is better to pray believing and not see the results you anticipated than to be disobedient and not pray. God has given you the gift, He will use it according to His will. Be faithful to the passion He has given you.
Quadrant 4 = Low Passion and Low Experience/Evidence
A score in this quadrant is usually a good indicator that God, up to this point in time, has not birthed in you this Spiritual Gift. This does not mean that in time God may call upon you to work in this area. God can give any gift at any time. He is sovereign.
Now that you have finished this self-assessment, how do you feel about your discovery? Were you surprised or did you find the answer that you expected? Are you intimidated by the significance of the gift and what God may expect from you or are you confident that God has and will continue to use you in this way?
One way to confirm your findings is to ask those Godly people that know you well. Ask them to read the definitions of the gifts that you selected and confirm whether they see this same gift in your life or not. Ask them what they think you need to improve on. Ask them to pray for you that you may have understanding and wisdom in using these gifts.
Another way to grow in your gift is to report to the member of your pastoral staff at church that would be in charge of volunteers in the church. Share with them your discovery and ask them for materials to study and opportunities for service. Perhaps there is someone that they know that could mentor you in this gift.
Finally, seek out others in your church that have the same gift(s). Meet regularly as a group to learn, share stories and pray for each other. As a church, you function as a body of believers. You were given these gifts to help each other. There is no limit to what God could do as you and the others in your church are Spirit-led in the use of these gifts.
What are some ways that you can use your gifts? You can find out more about this in our workbook Wired For Ministry CLICK HERE to preview Wired for Ministry.
Want to know more about Spiritual Gifts? CLICK HERE for a FREE Spiritual Gifts Survey