SPIRITUAL GIFT OF SERVICE
Please read the following Spiritual Gift of Service 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 “discernment” 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 “mercy” but are more pragmatic and less passionate about it you may be tempted to ignore developing the gift of “mercy” 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 GIFTS OF SERVICE
In Romans 12:7 Paul writes, “if it is serving, let him serve” (NIV). In the Biblical language service means to aid, relieve, help, attend, or to wait on people through menial duties. It is where we get our words deacon, minister, and servant.
Service can include almost any work that benefits others. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and said that the greatest will be servant to the rest. His disciples were to minister or serve others, especially the needy. It is helping with those unfinished often-thankless details as a servant of God and the church. It is volunteering to get the job done. You love the church and want to help where you are needed, not minding the mundane or labor-intensive task. Your attitude is, “I’m happy to serve Jesus and the church. Someone has to do it, it might as well be me.”
Stephen’s service of tables in Acts 6 allowed the other Apostles to pay more attention to the preaching and teaching. Today as we serve in the church, it frees up the pastors and teachers to minister the word. It also is an important part of need-based evangelism.
There is such a need and so few volunteers that it is easy to be overworked and neglect other responsibilities. We must be careful not to become bitter and judge those that do not help. It is also possible to fall into pride and serve for the recognition that we get or jealous if someone “outshines” us.
The need is endless. Every church and ministry has a list of “chores” that need to be completed. Some are on a regular basis. Odd jobs, helping the elderly, organizing or volunteering to help at events, set-up and clean-up, cooking, ushering, visitation, building and ground maintenance and help with youth and children ministries are just a few. Besides in the church, there are numerous needs in the community that the church should be addressing. The gift of service is an important gift needed to help the church fulfill its responsibilities.
Service in a ministry is not always like service at a secular corporation. Often we don’t have the best equipment or any budget to speak of. There is usually a shortage of workers and those that do volunteer often will not have the professional skills. The best training seems to come from experience. It is learning perseverance, humility and determination that will pay off. Leadership, management and organizational techniques can help with the running of service projects.
RATE YOURSELF ON THE GIFT OF SERVICE
Using a scale of 1 – 5, rate whether you have a passion for serving others.
(1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)
Passion Score ______
Using a scale of 1 – 5, rate whether you have had significant experience in serving others or evidence of the gift of service.
(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 with or evidence of the gift. 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 a 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 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
One thought on “Do You Have The Spiritual Gift Of Service?”
Excellent post. It provides a solution to one part of the problem that affects the each of us, Church and secular organizations. Consider this: the coming labor shortage and ongoing globalization of markets make it inevitable that the next step in the evolution of organizations will be the creation of “Connection Cultures.” A Connection Culture exists when people feel an emotional connection to their work(because it fits their talents and Spiritual gifts), to their colleagues (who feel like trusted friends more than internal competitors) and to their organization’s mission, values and/or reputation. We all long for this.
Today, organizations idolize task excellence but fail to value relationship excellence that comes from human connection. This applies to the Church too. The fruit of the Spirit come from staying connected to the Spirit and each other. Task excellence is important too but not at the expense of relationship excellence. In fact, absent relationship excellence, task excellence is unsustainable and managerial failure is inevitable. History shows this pattern repeating again and again…in the Church, businesses, sports teams, and nations. My co-authors and I make the case that all great leaders create Connection Cultures in our new book entitled “Fired Up or Burned Out(Thomas Nelson, 2007).” I also confess my idolatry of task excellence in an essay I wrote entitled “Alone No Longer” that was just published by Amazon.com as part of its new Amazon Shorts series.