Category Archives: Christian Leadership

How Can I Find Out What Spiritual Gift I Have?

No single test can fully verify “everything” there is to know about your spiritual gifts. Rather, the goal of this blog is to stimulate your thinking and make you more aware of God working in your life. Our  Spiritual Gifts Survey (go to www.empowerministry.org/gifts) will bring preferences and inclinations into your consciousness, perhaps even help clarify some of your thinking, but in order to really discern your Spiritual gifts, you will need to spend more time thinking about, praying over and using the gifts. Experience will be one of the most valuable indicators as to what Spiritual gifts you have. We are complex beings and God has given us wonderful passions and abilities. Surely it is worth some time to better understand how God has intended us to best serve Him. Here are three ways you can expand your knowledge about your own personal spiritual gifts.

1. Spend time in prayer
 You will learn more about your spiritual gifts as you spend time with God in prayer asking Him to show you your gifts. After you finish this chapter, go somewhere alone to be with God. Review your choices and ask God to give you insight.  Talk to Him about the gifts. Express any doubt, fear or frustrations you may have as a result of this chapter. Ask God for clarity and confirmation.

2. Investigate
Investigation is key to knowing and using your spiritual gifts. Like many other things in life, the more you learn the more you find out how little you really know. Remember, these are “gifts” because they were given to us. They are not talents or abilities as we think when we say someone is a gifted athlete. This is a misnomer. Sure, there some of the gifts involve skills, talents, and abilities but many of the spiritual gifts are a spiritual urge, leaning, passion or unction.
Consider mercy. It is not a talent or ability, but rather a feeling or an urge that drives you to action. Even healing, which sounds like it is our own innate talent, is not our ability to “heal” someone. God does the healing! Instead, the gift of healing is the passion and faith a person brings to prayer when someone is sick. The urge is so strong they must pray for healing! The person with the gift of healing prays for healing because it is burning deep inside of them to do so.  God must do the healing. They have been given the spiritual “passion” for healing. Healing is not automatic, it is under the leadership of God. For example, Paul had the gift of healing yet in I Timothy 5:23 he tells Timothy to take wine for the healing of his stomach. I imagine Paul prayed for Timothy but God did not heal him. Paul was deeply concerned for Epaphroditus and I believe he prayed for him earnestly, yet we see that God did not heal him as recorded in Philippians 2:25-27. In II Timothy 4:20 we see that Paul left Trophimus sick at Melitas. The gift of healing was not automatic but strictly under the providence of God.  As we examine scriptures further, in Matthew 13:58 we see that even Jesus could not heal in His hometown because of the people’s unbelief.
The supernatural gifts are all about the passion God puts in our hearts and the will of God in the circumstance. A person with the gift of mercy will not be moved in every circumstance they come across. Rather they learn to discern the urging of the Holy Spirit and be merciful in situations that God leads them in. For this reason, when you examine the definitions of the Spiritual gifts you be asked to rate yourself two ways. First, you will rate your inward passion. Is it high, medium or low? Then you are asked to rate your experience of the gift. Is it high, medium or low?
This type of investigation will allow you to be your own guidance counselor. You will be able to look at the results of the survey and draw some conclusions. Then you can ask others, who you trust and know you well, to give you insight into your giftedness. Finally, you can study other books and take other tests. All of this will help you learn more about you and the gifts that God has given you.

3. Do ministry and see what happens
 There is nothing that can substitute for good old experience. Paul told Timothy to “stir up or exercise the gifts that he had.” Another way to say that is, “Get out there, try them out.” This is the best way to find out what spiritual inclinations God has really given you. Get involved in ministry and see where your passions are. If you begin to think your gift is “helps”, go and be more deliberate. Go and help some people. If “mercy”, work somewhere you can be merciful. If it is “faith”, meet with the Pastor and start to trust God for great things at the church. If “healing”, start praying earnestly for sick people. As you get more involved in ministry where you think you may have a gift, you will soon find out if this gift is indeed a deep passion from God. If it is, the experience will help fuel the fire. You will feel alive as if you found what God really wants you to do. And you have. As you continue to minister, God will help you learn about, modify and grow in your spiritual gifts.

CLICK HERE to take our FREE online Spiritual Gifts Survey

To learn more read our book Wired For Ministry

 

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Using My Spiritual Gifts

I have a lot of people from all over the world write and ask, “How do I use my Spiritual Gifts?” For example here is an email for someone in England. “I have gift of prophecy,wisdom and singing. I need help in  how to develop these giftings. I was just told that I have these gifts. How do I activate and test myself that really I flow in these gifts. Please reply.”

MY RESPONSE:

Thanks for your comment. There are two types of “gifts” and it can get confusing. One type of gift is what most people think of when they use gifts. It is a talent or ability. Singing for example would be a “gift” God gave you. The way you can develop that would be to increase in your practice, skill, and performance. Then you could ask God to give you opportunities to serve and use your gift to the best of your ability. Chances are it will be a life long gift that you can use. Teaching, hospitality and encouraging are some of the gifts like this.

However there seems to be a second type of Spiritual Gift. It is also “led” by God but in this case it is also fully empowered by God. For example, healing, prophecy, God given knowledge, miracles. These are “gifts” (given by God) that we have no way of doing by ourself. It seems that God gives these types of manifestations when He desires. However, that doesn’t mean we do not have any responsibility with these gifts. You ask, “How do I activate or flow in these gifts?”

If I would have to pick a few things it would be: Learn, be available and try. First be a learner. Study, pray, seek God for wisdom. Find others that are doing the gift. Intern with someone. Be a student and seek God’s guidance and instruction. Second, be available. God uses these gifts for His purposes. He will direct your path. It is all about Him and His love for mankind. Go where He is working and He will show you what to do. Third, try. I could say, “Just Do it!” but often the “doing” doesn’t happen. You are still using your gift when God asks you to pray for healing and the person doesn’t get healed! God is the healer and His ways are beyond our understanding. But I do know this, it seems that most things in life are a process. God is committed to process and seeing these gifts grow and be used is a process. We are called to be obedient to His leading. He will act according to His will. And you know what? Things will begin to happen. Elisha watched and tutored under Elijah, Timothy under Paul, the disciples under Jesus. I really believe that we will know more and more and see more and more happen as we do more and more.

Finally, I would add, fall in love with God’s Holy Spirit. Pray, seek His guidance. Allow Him to guide you. The Holy Spirit is that part of the Triune God that Jesus gave us in order to reach the world and do the work He began. After all these are Spirit-ual gifts.

I hope this helps. Look for our new book coming out later this fall on How To Use Your Spiritual Gifts. If interested contact me at ron@calvaryop.org.

God bless you in your service for Him.

Ron Ovitt

Do You Have The Spiritual Gift Of Knowledge?

SPIRITUAL GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE

Please read the following  Spiritual Gift of Knowledge 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 KNOWLEDGE

In I Corinthians 12:8 it says, “to another the message of knowledge” (NIV). The Biblical meaning is to “know” something experientially, intuitively and in the present. It is subjective “spiritual” knowledge coming from God, revealed to you through the Holy Spirit where you are impressed cognitively by God. In this case, God impresses upon you a relevant insight or message, that applies to the situation at hand.
This does not imply that you are in a  “trance” where you “channel” the voice of God. Instead, we rely on God to speak to us as the result of our experience with Him and His word. It is giving out knowledge that we have experienced. It could be an insight, a summary or a relevant message. A person with this gift has the desire to seek out, investigate and personally experience the meaning of God’s word. Paul uses this same word in Romans 15:14 where he writes, “that you are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another.” You enjoy your time with the Lord and sharing it with others. God seems to speak to you with information and ideas that are insightful and helpful to the church or in ministry and adds to our complete understanding of Christ.

Benefits
 God uses people in the church that have the Spirit-given ability to understand, in an exceptional way, the great truths of God’s Word and to make truth relevant to specific situations in the church. This way God is able to speak to the believers in each generation and in each church.

Pitfalls
 The Bible warns that knowledge has the ability to “puff up”. We need to be careful of pride, being overbearing, insensitive to other people’s opinions. Paul says if I have knowledge without love that I am nothing!

Ministry Opportunities
 The most obvious opportunity is teaching. This could be in the church or in the seminary teaching future teachers. This gift would certainly help someone in leadership. For example, a person with this gift would have a relationship with God that would allow God to impart to him “knowledge, word or insight” that would be used for the edification of the church.  A counselor can use the gift to make the word relevant to a person’s life. Also doing seminars, papers, the ability to speak on apologetics, current issues and cults is another ministry opportunity.

Further Training
 Spending time in prayer and Bible study, listening to tapes, enrolling in seminary, attending conferences, being mentored and studying are ways to learn more.

RATE YOURSELF ON THE GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE

Passion
Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you have a passion for knowledge.
(1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)

Passion Score ______

Experience/Evidence
Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you have had significant experience in learning Spiritual truth or evidence of the gift of knowledge from God.
(1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)

Experience/Evidence Score __
sgjpeg1.jpg

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.

Quadrants

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

Do You Have The Spiritual Gift Of Service?

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.”

Benefits
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.

Pitfalls
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.

Ministry Opportunities
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.

Further Training
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

Passion
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 ______

Experience/Evidence
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)

Experience/Evidence Score __
sgjpeg1.jpg

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.

Quadrants

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

Do You Have The Spiritual Gift of Giving?

SPIRITUAL GIFT OF GIVING

Please read the following  Spiritual Gift of Giving 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  GIVING

 In Romans 12:8, it says, “ if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously” (NIV). In “Giving” means to impart, to give over, share, bestow, bring forth, commit, deliver or grant. As a spiritual gift, giving is more than just casually giving something to someone. It implies the giving of yourself with the gift. Like the pianist accompanies the soloist, the person with this gift enhances the giving. Together they are God’s melody to the person receiving. When you spend yourself on behalf of others, it can include giving of your time, abilities, knowledge, love and resources to the cause of Christ. Paul wrote to “give generously”. This implies both in content and cheerful attitude. When a person with this gift sees certain needs, God’s Spirit nudges them in a way that they feel compelled to give what is needed in the situation as an agent of God’s grace and mercy. When they give, the receiver ends up knowing that it is God who orchestrated the whole thing.

Benefits

This gift helps teach grace and encourages faith in God. Obedience to this gift allows God to bring about the resources to accomplish His will for the church.

Pitfalls

One pitfall would be to fall into the pharisaical trap of letting others know how generous you are, giving in to the temptations of praise and pride. Another pitfall is to become critical and judge those that do not participate in giving. Also, it is possible that we feel we need to earn God’s love or we may have a deep need for praise and recognition. If so, this could result in an inordinate amount of time or resources being given away, to the extent that we ignore our own family’s needs.

Ministry Opportunities

Often a person with this gift has expertise in money matters and can help with church finances. A person with the gift of giving often motivates others to give because of their example. A person with this gift should be aware of the plans of the church so they can be the best steward of what God has given them. Finally, this person can also be a mentor to other people with resources in the church.

Further Training

Passion
Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you have a passion for giving and generosity.
(1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)

A person with this gift does not automatically get wisdom with it. There needs to be “due diligence” on prospective recipients of their generosity. The study of philanthropy and the many financial giving vehicles will help a person leverage their generosity better.

RATE YOURSELF ON THE GIFT OF GIVING

Passion Score ______

Experience/Evidence
Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you have had significant testimony from others as evidence of the gift of giving and generosity.
(1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)

Experience/Evidence Score __

sgjpeg1.jpg

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.

Quadrants

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

Are We Jesus?

We are called to make a difference, yet as a church we have to ask ourselves, “Where is the proof of our existence?” Is it in the entertainment industry? Is it in business ethics? Is it in the societies’ views on sex and marriage? Is it in the justice system? But, you say, “That is the world’s system.” That’s my point! When did we abdicate the decisions on morality, love and justice to the world? When did we leave the room? Why isn’t our corporate witness making a difference? Why isn’t the love of  God in His people making a bigger difference in the world? It can, if we choose to live according to His word.
 

Over and over again in the Old Testament we read about God’s judgment on His people for turning their back on poverty and injustice. God was appalled at the fact that the poor were ignored. In his classic book, Visioneering, Andy Stanley also uses the story of Nehemiah as the basis for his book. Pastor Stanley shares what he felt was Nehemiah’s compelling reason for casting his vision of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. What do you think the reason Nehemiah rebuilt the city was? Was it for protection from their enemies? That is certainly important but not compelling. Was it beautification? That is nice but not enough. Was it so they could reunite as a nation and become an economic power? While national unity and pride is important, Andy Stanley pointed out that Nehemiah had another compelling reason for rebuilding the walls. Nehemiah told the people, “Come let us rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” Why rebuild the walls? Because the torn down walls were a disgrace to God and His people. One translation uses the word reproach. They were a disgrace to anyone who called themselves a Jew and brought reproach to God in front of all the nations. 
 

We need to see that the American Suburban Church sitting with all its wealth and resources with neighbors all around in utter poverty is the same reproach to God. Why? Because it is a gross misrepresentation of the love of God. As a result, the world does not see God or His church as a significant influence or reason for hope. Instead, our Government and corporations are seen as the savior of the solution to blighted communities. We need to glorify God by showing what His power through His people, people of all races working together, can do. Then maybe the world will join in on the song, “They will know we are Christians by our love.”  
 

In their book “Calling” Frank Tillapaugh and Richard Hurst gave six reasons why the average person in the pew is not involved in ministry. The one reason that spoke to this issue was what they referred to as Church vs. Kingdom. Their opinion is that the Church has lost the sense of what the word Kingdom means. Jesus spoke of Church only twice. Instead, what Jesus spoke about over and over again was His Kingdom. We are called to make an impact beyond the four walls of our church. The Church is not just for us to worship in, it is not just for edifying the saints but just as importantly, to equip the members for ministry. And not just ministry to ourselves, but ministry that brings the good news of the kingdom to those in the larger community. We are called to live the love of God in mercy and justice in the Kingdom not just the Church. This is what Jesus did. In Matthew 9 we see a poignant view of Jesus and His love for the towns and villages He visited. Matthew writes:
  Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in the synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. (Emphasis added) When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.’

  Brennan Manning in his book “Signature of Jesus” uses a story to ask a critical question of you and me. He writes of five businessmen who take a train from Chicago to Milwaukee for a sales meeting. They promised their wives that they would be back that evening in time for dinner. The sales meeting went late so they had to hurry to catch the train in order to get home on time.

 As the salesmen raced through the terminal, one of them inadvertently kicked over a slender table on which rested a basket of apples. A ten-year-old boy was selling apples to pay for his books and clothes for school. With a sigh of relief, the five clambered aboard the train, but the last felt a twinge of compassion for the boy whose apple stand had been overturned.
 He asked one of the group to call his wife and tell her he would be a couple hours late. He returned to the terminal and later remarked that he was glad that he did. The ten-year-old was blind. The salesman saw the apples scattered all over the floor. As he gathered them up, he noticed that several were bruised or split. Reaching into his pocket, he said to the boy, ‘Here’s twenty dollars for the apples we damaged. I hope we didn’t spoil your day. God bless you.’
 As the salesman started to walk away, the blind boy called after him and asked,

‘Are you Jesus?’

  Let me recite the Biblical passage in Matthew 9 about Jesus one more time.

 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in the synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Are we Jesus?

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For more information on how your church can get involved in reaching the community e-mail Ron Ovitt at ron@calvaryop.org and we will send you a copy of Close To The Heart of God. Also go to www.layministry.com for helpful materials.

Do you want to know more about your Spiritual Gifts? CLICK HERE to download your free Spiritual Gifts Test and Workbook. 

To learn more how you can get started in ministry, CLICK HERE to download your free copy of How Am I Wired For Ministry?

Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Wisdom

SPIRITUAL GIFT OF WISDOM

Please read the following  Spiritual Gift of Wisdom 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  WISDOM

In I Corinthians 12:8 Paul writes, “To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom” (NIV). The Biblical use of the word wisdom puts the emphasis on the thought process that takes the scriptures and makes an intelligent application to a life situation. The result is insight which allows one to exercise sound judgment. To have the gift of wisdom then is to be able to apply Biblical, spiritual knowledge to living a Godly life. It is also being able to make scriptural truths relevant and practical in everyday living and decision-making. The “message of wisdom” is being able to know the mind of Christ and His word as it pertains to specific situations.
A person with this gift loves to read, meditate and commune with God, drawing wisdom that applies the scriptures to everyday living. It is similar to a mechanic being able to hear a car run and know what is wrong and how to fix it. They are wise in automobile mechanics. This gift allows a person to “hear” life situations and apply truth to the situation.

Benefits
This gift helps people with the many needs in their life. From childrearing to career planning, relationships to personal emotional issues, we need to hear the word of God.

Pitfalls
It is easy to become simplistic in administering God’s word to people’s problems. There is also a temptation to minister with just human wisdom, ignoring the Biblical wisdom. We can burn out and stop listening to people and just give advice or “fake it” when we are not sure what to say. Finally, we need to guard against pride that can often come with being “wise”.

Ministry Opportunities
Wisdom can be applied to many different ministries. Wherever people need to increase their understanding, there is a need for wisdom. Counseling, problem-solving, teaching, leadership are just a few of the areas of ministry.

Further Training
This gift can be enhanced through Bible study, education in any of the people helping skills through college, conferences, seminars or certification. Having a mentor will help in some areas.

RATE YOURSELF ON THE GIFT OF WISDOM

Passion
Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you have a passion for wisdom.
(1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)

Passion Score ______

Experience/Evidence
Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you have had significant testimony from others as evidence of the gift of wisdom.
(1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)

Experience/Evidence Score __

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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.

Quadrants

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

Be A Wounded Healer

Have you ever noticed that in our lives some truths that seem to grab us more than others. It becomes a passion, a cause, a crusade in our life. For me one of those truths is the personal ministry of the each Christian. I deeply believe that each of us has been called as a minister of Jesus Christ. Now you may be wondering, when I say the word “minister” what do I mean? In the Biblical language the word “minister” means servant. Each of us is called to be a minister or to serve God out of our own uniqueness. Unfortunately the term has been lost in today’s church. We no longer think of “minister” in the terms of everyone’s role as a “servant” of Christ but instead relegate the role of Minister to that of a Pastor. That is a person who has a “special call’ who has been to seminary and oversees a church. But this is far from what God intended. Now certainly God has called Pastors to ministry. We all know and deeply believe that God has ordained Pastor Howard to be the shepherd of this church. In fact Paul says in Ephesians 4: 11-12

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,

Here is the interesting point, the verse says; to prepare God’s people for works of service,

Paul is saying that a Pastor has the role of helping equip members of the church to be ministers! Yes, God created you and I to be His representatives here on earth. In Romans 12:1-8, Paul again is writing about that fact that each of us should be ministering in the unique way that God has wired us. He writes:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

IN  VERSE SIX Paul continues:

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

God has created each of us to minister differently. Let me ask YOU… Have you come to a point in your life where you really believe that God has called you to be a minister or servant of His?

The fact is that most of those attending Sunday services in churches across America do not really grasp this fact. Yet the secular world understands it. As more and more people do not attend church people are doing good deeds through their work. A group of us went to the Greater Chicago Food Depository and had a wonderful time. It was interesting, we worked side by side with a group from the Chicago Tribune. Max Dupree, Chairman Emeritus of Herman Miller, Board Member of Hope College and author encourages secular people to get involved doing good. In his book, Leading Without Power Max Dupree writes:

Make the choice to serve others, for it is truly is a choice we all have. Make the choice to subordinate personal desires to a common good. Make room for spiritual matters, for more and more people in the United States are realizing just how necessary a spiritual dimension is to becoming a complete person. Nonprofit organizations and their spirit-lifting work have become a vital source of understanding. Non-profits and their commitment to moral purpose are strategic instruments of hope in our society and our world.

Having been in secular fundraising I have seen this non-profit rhetoric become more and more prevalent. The world is becoming of the mindset that it doesn’t need the church. In their eyes we aren’t making a difference. Many times when the world sees a problem the church is not their first choice in looking for a solution. It is ironic that the world looks to service as a way to get in touch with their spirituality while many who have true spirituality in Jesus Christ will not serve!

Part of the trouble is that we aren’t sure what we should do, so today I want to share one easy way that each of us can get involved in life-giving ministry. Each of us can minister to others by being God’s messenger. We can simply share with those around us how God has helped us in our life circumstances. God wants you and I to bear witness that He is real, that He helps us with real problems and has real answers to our needs. This is reaching out and helping others in need in the same way God reached out and helped us.

Look at today’s passage in Psalms 71. In this chapter we read about the real problems that the Psalmist is having; yet there is hope given in the middle of all the turmoil in life.

In verses 10 and 11 he writes;
 For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together. They say, “God has forsaken him;
 
And yet listen as the Psalmist shares about God’s faithfulness.
But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.

He continues by writing:
 
My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long,
though I know not its measure. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign LORD; I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone. Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.

This is our call. This is the quest that God has for us,  that we might be that life giving community that gives the next generation that chance to know, grow, serve and share Christ.

Here is the question: Are we reaching to the new generation with the story of God’s love? Are we sharing like the Psalmist, about the wonderful relationship we have with Jesus?
The fact is that most of us struggle with sharing with others. It’s not because we don’t know how to share.

We know how to share and express ourselves.
We can share all about sports.
We can talk about business.
If you want us to share, just ask us about our children or grandchildren.
We can recommend automobiles to complete strangers with confidence.
We can defend our political view and please don’t even get us started about our favorite foods.

We can share about all kinds of topics but when it comes to talking about Jesus we don’t know what to say. We aren’t experiencing the freedom that we should in sharing about the love of Christ.

I have struggled with this for many years. Part of the problem is that we have made witnessing so complicated. I believe it is because we are trying to be something we are not. We feel we have to be “perfect” in order to share. We think, “Who am I?” or we think, “I’m not moral enough, they would think that I am a hypocrite.”  The problem is that we have this image that in order to “share” about Christ we have to be on a pedestal. A Christian without flaw, imperfections or struggles. Where did this come from?  We come to God as a sinner and get gloriously saved but over time something happens. We forget about God’s grace and start to live a life of an imposter. For many of us we were raised in the faith and we often take God’s grace for granted. Instead we have an internal scorekeeper. We keep track of our life using the distorted belief that real Christians don’t sin or have any troubles. We have illusions that everything must go the way we plan and that nothing will ever go wrong. Worst yet we try to live up to what we believe are other people’s expectations. We know that our salvation was by grace but when we do sin, or when something does go wrong in our life we end up feeling defeated. We die to the daily joy that Christ has for us. We begin to harbor deep dark secrets. We put on a false self not just toward others but soon toward God himself. Week after week we come to services with our “church face” on. We smile and pretend that all is well in our life and don’t dare share about our struggles. Well if we have a hard time sharing here at church how would we ever share to our neighbors or people we work with?
The truth is, there are no perfect people in the church! No you, not I! We are not and never will be perfect, so let’s quit pretending. Instead we need to be authentic.
What do we need to do to be an authentic witness and minister of Christ? There are at least three things. First we must recognize and embrace our brokenness. Second we must accept and apply God’s grace to every one of the wounds in our life.  Finally, we must then go forth as wounded healers into the world ministering to those around us.

The first thing that we need to do to become an authentic witness and minister of Christ is to recognize and embrace our brokenness.
 
In Romans 7:21 – 25  Paul shares his own struggles between living in his broken carnal state and the Spirit-filled life. Paul writes:

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Paul recognized the struggle with his carnal sinful nature, but he did not stop there. In the very next verse Paul shouts out his marvelous declaration of independence. He writes:

There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Notice that Paul didn’t say victory came in sinless perfection.” There are no perfect people in the church. No he admits his struggles. Instead He shares about the solution He finds in Christ. Paul writes that there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus.
 He explains why He can say this in verse 15: Paul writes:

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

You see Paul could accept his brokenness, because He embraced His belovedness.

Paul did not shrink from writing about his struggles. Instead he shared about them and then described how he gets victory. This is the model of ministry that we see over and over in Paul’s writing.

Brennan Manning in his book, Abba’s Child shares a story of Mike Yaco-nelli, the cofounder of Youth Specialties, who struggled with this very issue.

Mike Yaco-nelli went on a retreat to come to grips with his spiritual staleness. After time spent in solitude Yaco-nelli writes of his soul’s realization of his brokenness. He writes;

God had been trying to shout over the noisiness of my life and I couldn’t hear Him, but in the silence of solitude I heard Him and my slumbering soul was filled with the joy of the prodigal son. My soul was awakened by a loving father who had been looking and waiting for me. Finally, I had accepted my brokenness. – I had never come to terms with that. Let me explain. I knew that I was broken. I knew I was a sinner. I knew I continually disappointed God, but I could never accept that part of me. It was a part of me that embarrassed me, I continually felt the need to apologize, to run from my weakness to deny who I was and concentrate on what I should be. I was broken, yes, but I was continually trying never to be broken again – or at least to get to the place where I was seldom broken.
Now it has become clear to me that I had totally misunderstood the Christian faith. I came to see that it was in my brokenness, in my powerlessness, in my weakness that Jesus was made strong. It was in the acceptance of my lack of faith that God could give me faith. In was in the embracing of my brokenness that I could identify with other people’s brokenness. It was my role to identify with others’ pain, not relieve it. Ministry is sharing, not dominating; understanding, not theologizing; caring, not fixing.

To be effective ministers of Christ we must recognize our brokenness. Paul was a real example of this. Throughout his ministry he suffered and faced many struggles. In writing in I Corinthian church he writes:

I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I have received from the Jews thirty nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea., I have been in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles, in danger in the city , in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep, I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.

Paul certainly knew what it was like to be broken; to live a life that was less than pristine, yet this did not negate him from the ministry. All the more he was able to identify with others and witness to them.

In Hebrews 11 we read of all the victorious living as a result of faith. Noah, Moses, Abraham, Joseph and others trusted God for great things and yet when we read the accounts of their lives we see hardships, difficulties and often times sin. You see God did not promise that this life was going to be perfect, that we would be without sin or any difficulties. What he did promise is that he would never leave us or forsake us. In Romans 8: 34 – 39 Paul writes:

If God is for us, who can be against us?- Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The fact is – all of us have struggles, non of us are perfect.

When I think of those who will be reading this I know that some of us will represent unimaginable suffering, pain, and heartbreak. The death of loved ones, personal illnesses, bankruptcies, divorce, addictions. How many of us have cried over our children, have had nights of terror or wrestled with anxiety and depression? In the midst of all of this, many of us have experienced the Peace of God that passes all understanding. And yet we ask,

How can I minister, how can I be a witness?
 
To answer that question all we have to do is to look around us.
In every street we passed, every house that we saw from the road on our way here this morning there were people looking for the same answers that you have. They have similar struggles that you and I have struggled with. At work we have fellow employees who are looking for the peace that we have. At our children’s soccer games the bleachers are full of parents who are suffering with many of the same problems that we have. Yet we do not share. Why is this?

Perhaps it is because we have not really made our peace with God. We have not embraced that in this life we will be broken. Instead of peace there is shame, guilt, anger, or remorse. We have not come fully back to Christ.

It was early on a Saturday morning that my twin brother called me. I will never forget the pain in his voice. “He’s gone” he screamed. “My Paul is gone.” In an instant Paul who was thirteen was swept away from this earth in a car accident. The pain that my brother experienced only a few of you in this audience can understand. For almost ten years my bother wrestled with God. He could function. He went to Church; he still prayed and even read the Bible. But deep in his heart he was broken and wounded. Year by year the pain was more bearable. When my own boy was hit by a car it was Rod who was the first to come to my comfort. He was able to enter into my fears.

I was speaking about a year ago in Detroit on Every Christian is a Minister and my brother Rod was there. He got up in the middle of the message and came back in about five minutes. Later that night he told me what happened. He explained that he was moved deep in his heart and that he had to get up. He went downstairs to the bathroom and cried out to God. “Finally He looked up to God and said, “I want back, I want to serve you again. It is time.” Rod allowed God to work deep in his heart and he is once again involved in live-giving ministry. He embraced his woundedness and moved toward his belovedness.
 
Not only must we embrace our brokenness, the second thing that we need to do in order to become the kind of witness that will reach out in the community around us is to accept and apply God’s grace for every one of the wounds in our life.

Brennan Manning has written a wonderful book on this very subject. It is called Abba’s Child. In his chapter called, Beloved, Brennan Manning shares the reflections of a teacher from Milwaukie who kept a marvelous journal on his walk with Christ. In his journal the teacher Eagen writes,

“The basis of my personal worth is not my processions, my talents, not esteem of others, reputation…not kudos of appreciation from parents and kids, not applause, and everyone telling you how important you are to the place –  I stand anchored now in God before whom I stand naked, this God who tells me, “you are my son, my beloved one!”
Brennan continues with his own commentary. He writes:

The ordinary self is the extraordinary self – the inconspicuous nobody who shivers in the cold of winter and sweats in the heat of summer, who wakes up unreconciled to the new day, who sits before a stack of pancakes, weaves through traffic, bangs around the basement, shops in the supermarket, pulls weeds and rakes up the leaves, makes snowballs, flies kites and listens to the sound of rain in the roof.
While the imposter draws his identity from past achievements and the adulation of others, the true self claims identity in it’s belovedness.”

The trouble is that many of us have a hard time believing that God loves us. I mean really loves us.

Oh we believe that God so loved the world that He gave His son that whosoever believes has eternal life. We believe God can love us enough to die for our sins, but once we become a Christian we soon forget about His unconditional love. We know nothing of the everyday celebration of being a broken, sinful, human who is loved by God in spite of our imperfection.  Brennan Manning continues in his chapter by writing:

“Our controlled frenzy creates the illusion of a well-ordered existence. We move from crisis to crisis, responding to the urgent and neglecting the essential. We still walk around. We still perform all the gestures and actions identified as human, but we resemble people carried along on the mechanical sidewalk of an airport. The fire in the belly dies. We no longer hear the inward music of our belovedness.

My friends, this is not the way Jesus wants us to live. Instead He says to us
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
We need to come to Jesus knowing our woundedness and accept His daily love and assistance in our lives.

Paul shares another example of this in I Corinthians 5:5, 7 – 9. He writes;

For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 

Paul admits that he has struggles. He admits that he is suffering, but he doesn’t leave it there. He also experience the grace and love of Christ in his life. He shares of God’s power that even though he is pressed in on every side he is not crushed. Even though he admits he is perplexed, Christ helps him overcome being despaired. Finally, he shares that he is persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed. This is what people are looking for. They are looking for a God who helps us in the nitty-gritty of life.

The author of Hebrews shares in chapter 4: 14 – 16 how we can accept our brokenness and belovedness:

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Paul goes farther and shares how the struggles that you and I face, the brokenness that we experience in this life can actually allow us to minister more effectively for Christ.
Paul writes in Romans 5: 3-5
We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Again Paul shares in II Corinthians 12: 7 – 10
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul also warns us that our struggle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Paul then admonishes us to put on the full armor of God. Two of the best books I have read on this subject is Victory over Darkness and Bondage Breaker by Neil Anderson. These books can help you walk with Christ and experience freedom in many of the difficulties that we experience. We are looking forward to doing some indebt study of these books. If you are interested please let us know.

This brings up our third point. We are to share with others as Wounded Healers

Yes we are broken and sinful even as Christians, but it is Christ’ love, the fact that we are His beloved that gives us hope. It is His love that moves us into this point number three. Christ sends us forth, not as perfect, pious, holier than thou crusaders but rather as wounded healers showing others who are wounded how to be healed. It is one beggar showing another beggar where the bread is.

Again, Brennan Manning in his book, Abba’s Child. He writes:
In a futile attempt to erase our past, (or I would add our presence) we deprive our community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others. Instead we need to become what Henri Nouwen calls Wounded Healers. The wounded healer implies that grace and healing are communicated through the vuneralibility of men and women who have been fractured and heartbroken by life. In Love’s service only wounded soldiers can serve.

The Holy Spirit gives each of us the ability to be wounded healers. Paul shares in
Romans 8: 26 – 28

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose.

This passage give us comfort. God wants us to share this comfort with others. In
II Corth. 1: 3 –5 Paul shares:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our troubles, so we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

Again Brennan Manning shares:
 Our impulse to tell the salvation story arises from listening to the heartbeat of the risen Jesus within us. Telling the story does not require that we become ordained ministers or flamboyant street corner preachers. It does not demand that we try to convert people by concussion with one sledgehammer blow of the Bible after another. It simply means we share with others what our lives used to be like, what happened when we met Jesus, and how Jesus is affecting our lives now.

In I Peter 3:15 Peter writes;
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

One of the best wounded healers I have ever know was Mr. Van. I was fifteen when I first met him. I was speaking at a church and he asked if we wanted to bring our Christian Club to come and help him with a children’s mission. I was overwhelmed by this man’s love, can do attitude. For two years I took ten to thirty-five young people to minister there every Wednesday and Thursday evening. When I started at Wayne State University I decided to live at the mission and work for my room and board.  This is when I really saw him in action. I also learned about his life. He was a successful accountant but had become an alcoholic. He caused his whole family to suffer. One day he became gloriously saved and was free from the pain of alcoholism. Unfortunately he had so severely alienated his family he was not able to win them back.  He lived along and ministered to all the hurting and suffering children in one of the most destitute sections of Detroit. God had taken his woundedness and allowed Gil to see his belovedness. In this realization he went out and ministered to hundreds of families in the same way God had helped him.
When we would lead singing at the children’s mission we would often ask them to shout our their favorite song. I remember so many times that Mr. Van would compete with the children shouting “ No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus” 
The author of that song, Charles Weigle was an itinerant evangelist.  One day after preaching at a gospel crusade, he came home to find a note from his wife.  She did not care for the life she led because of being an evangelist’s wife and she was leaving him.  The next few years were a time of despair for Weigle.  He wondered if anyone really cared for him, let alone God.  After a time, his faith was again restored and he became active for the Lord again.  During this time he wanted to put to paper a song that would share the feelings he had experienced while during his despondent days.  From his heart came the words and the tune for this hymn. It goes like this:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus
Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true;
I would tell you how He changed my life completely –
He did something that no other friend could do.
chorus:
No one ever cared for me like Jesus;
There’s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me –
O how much He cared for me!

Let me ask you, are you willing to be a wounded healer? Are you willing to share with others the way God has helped you? Today, surrender yourself to Jesus to be His minister. All you need to be is a wounded healer!

_______________________________________________________________________ 

Serve in the way God has wired you? Use your skills, passions, experiences? CLICK HERE to download your FREE copy of How Am I Wired For Ministry?

Do you know what your Spiritual Gifts are? If not CLICK HERE to download your FREE copy of a Spiritual Gifts Test and Workbook. 

 

Do You Have The Spiritual Gift of Prophecy?

SPIRITUAL GIFT OF PROPHECY

Please read the following  Spiritual Gift of Prophecy 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  PROPHECY

In Romans 12:6 Paul writes, “If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith” (NIV). Strong interprets prophecy as a “prediction (scriptural or other), an inspired speaker; or to speak under inspiration.” In the Old Testament prophecy was often predictive or praying and speaking on behalf of God, calling the people to repent of their sins or face God’s wrath. In the New Testament, because the scripture was not complete, prophecy was speaking on God’s behalf with authority on the Christian experience. Paul writes in
I Corinthians 14:3 that prophecy was to edify, encourage and comfort the believers.
Prophecy today is still through an inspired speaker. A person with this gift, like its Old Testament counterpart, has a keen awareness of current events and the cultural implications of not following God’s word. This is important because each church is made up of people, customs, and circumstances that are different from others. Prophecy helps us apply the scriptures to where we live. A person with this gift has a burden to warn of God’s judgment and the need for us to repent.

Benefits
This gift helps the church live holy in the culture and time that they are appointed. It rebukes, strengthens and encourages believers. The gift also helps the church in long-term planning and seeking God for His guidance.

Pitfalls
When God speaks to us about the sins of the church or a contemporary application of truth, we need to be careful about the battle for our own mind. It is easy to be pharisaical where we become negative or judgmental.
We need to make sure that we hear from God and not our own inner voice. Being tempted with pride could keep us from being open to discernment or “testing.” We could be blinded to the truth, unable to admit when wrong, not willing to recheck with God.

Ministry Opportunities
Prophecy helps the church be relevant to their contemporaries and speak to the lifestyle needs of the congregation. A person with this gift can serve as part of the leadership; they could also have speaking or writing ministry.

Further Training
Self-study, seminary, tapes or conferences that teach the Bible, current events, apologetics, cults and end times will be beneficial. Mentoring with someone who has the gift could be helpful.
 

RATE YOURSELF ON THE GIFT OF PROPHECY

Passion
Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you have a passion that is prophetic.
(1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)

Passion Score ______

Experience/Evidence
Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you have had significant experience in or evidence of the gift of prophecy.
(1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)

Experience/Evidence Score __
sgjpeg1.jpg

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.

Quadrants

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

Determining Your Ministry Preference

What Is My Ministry Preference?

 I can hear you now, “Do you mean I get to choose a ministry that I really want to do?” In this day when the only way to fill a need in the church is to spend hours on the phone trying to recruit someone, it seems rare that we are given a choice of where we really want to minister. Usually we have to fill a need that no one else will. Even if we go to a church that promotes volunteerism, often the choices are outside our interests or we don’t know how to choose what is right for us. The purpose of this book is to help the church, by equipping you to volunteer, to take the initiative and find or create a ministry that will best use who you are to the glory of God. The church is ripe with opportunity just waiting for the congregations across this country to take ownership of ministry.

What Ministry Is Best For You?
Vocational testing is a huge business today. Companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year trying to save on the billions of dollars lost in mis-hires. Some of the best tests are based on extensive research. Researchers find people in certain vocational fields and ask them for information on themselves. Interests, college majors, personality traits and other critical data is all gathered. The information is then studied looking for variables and commonalities. The goal is to extrapolate from the studies what are major predictors for someone going into the same field. From this tests are created. These tests are then given to people in the field and these test scores are studied. The goal is to come up with a high percentage of correlation between the test scores and certain vocations.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could give you a test to help you decide on a ministry? It certainly would be much easier for us to take the results of your tests and say, “Based on other people with your same profile you would be best at…” That would be it. You could close this book and we could sleep at night thinking that we have done our job. The problem is none of the vocational tests are anywhere near 100% predictive of your final result.  The best they can do is to show you what you could be good at. You may score high in science and math; therefore, they can predict that you would be good as a chemist, but they cannot tell you that you will be a chemist. Final results are much more complicated than that.
 To make it even more difficult, for most of us, our ministry is voluntary. This opens up so many more variables. For example, a good vocational test may say that you would be good in a medical profession. Let’s say that the vocational test was right. You indeed have chosen a medical field. You work long hours as a nurse. But that doesn’t mean that you want to have a medical ministry, too. By the time your shift is over, the last thing you want to do is volunteer at a clinic. Besides, your vocation may only tap into one of your passions. It may be that you would much prefer a music ministry. This is why we have created a preference test. Because of the complexities in helping people discover a ministry, we find it most beneficial if we help you with different processes of selection and elimination. Our goal is to help you figure out what ministries, at this point in time, you would prefer to be involved in.

What Is A Preference?
What makes you prefer one ministry over another? Many times it’s things that are totally unpredictable. Given a chance to choose, there are a myriad of reasons why we may prefer one ministry over another. It could be the level of perceived need, the leadership, circumstances, the team participating, your schedule or any one of hundreds of other variables. We have taken some of the more common variables and have broken them into three levels of consideration.

First Consideration-Seeing The Need
 One of the biggest considerations in choosing to get involved in a ministry is seeing the need. Notice that it is “seeing” the need. Need alone isn’t enough. Somehow the need has to make it into our consciousness and create a response.  What was the story of the Good Samaritan if not to illustrate that even “religious and seemingly moral leaders” can ignore an obvious need. 
 In 1964 in Queens, New York there was a crime that caught the attention of the whole country. It was the  stabbing death of Kitty Genovese. She was chased by her assailant for over half an hour and attacked viciously three times. But what made this so horrific, was the fact that there were 38 bystanders that saw the whole thing and not one of them called the police or helped rescue Kitty.  I remember the news story. America was in shock. Articles were printed in papers all across our country about the apathy that our overcrowded urban lifestyle had created.
 I can’t help but make the comparison to the church today. All around us are urban areas with great needs. Right in our own community are people that are lonely, hurting and not knowing Christ and yet as a church we are almost non-existent. We have absolved ourselves from social responsibility. Are there so many needs, so many activities, so many other things clamoring for our attention that we have become apathetic toward those that need our help? Malcolm Gladwell, the  author of The Tipping Point, suggests that there may be another reason for not reacting to the hurting needs of people around us.
 Gladwell writes about the research of two New York psychologists who tried to better understand what they called the “bystander problem.” They staged “accidents” and observed how groups of people would react. They watched the different variables and gathered information about each incident.  When they were through, one critical factor stood out. The one factor that seemed to make the biggest difference to whether a person would act or not, was the amount of people witnessing the event. They found that when people felt that others were watching, that someone else would take responsibility for what was happening. The more people witnessing the event the less a person felt that they needed to act. According to their research, responsibility for action gets diffused in large groups. The psychologist’s conclusion was that if Kitty Genovese’s attack was seen by only one or two people, it is probable that she may still be alive today!
 When I first read this account, I realized that this may help explain why we can have so many churches in America and yet still are not making a social or moral impact. Could it be that many of us don’t react to the needs around us because we feel someone else is doing something about it? Or do we really  believe that solving our spiritual, moral and social problems in this country is going to be done by someone else? Do we think that we are absolved from our responsibility to respond to the cries of those around us because there are so many listening? May God wake us up from this false thinking!
 I’m sure that some of those that heard the screams of Kitty Genovese were apathetic. No doubt, some were cynical, others too busy to stop, but chances are that most of those thirty-eight bystanders would have helped had they really known no one else was going to. They did not see the need, they did not perceive the criticalness of the situation.
 Now you and I cannot respond to every need around us, but we can allow the Lord to guide us and make us aware of those needs that we can help. There are two things that you and I can do that will allow us and our church to make a bigger difference in the community around us.

Step 1—Become a Need Finder
 First, we must commit ourself, as an individual and as a church, to be a “need finder”. We need to go out into the community and see it as Jesus sees it. We claim to know Christ yet we know nothing of His compassion and love for those around us. We need to do prayer walks, surveys, talk to people, read the paper, talk to the police and town officials. What are the needs? What are the needs today and what do we anticipate the needs will be in the future?
 What are the needs of the people in community, our neighborhoods  or the needs of the people that we work with? Make finding needs in the surrounding communities a church project. Create a bulletin board with lists, put suggestion boxes out  for people to put needs in, hand out cards to be filled out and put in the offertory. Get every small group and every Sunday school class involved. From the elementary student to the oldest member of the church, everyone must become a “need finder”. Make finding needs the top priority of the church for a month or maybe two.  The results will astound you. You will be amazed at the stories, the energy, the excitement as people uncover more and more needs. It will also break your heart. When is the last time we were broken hearted over the needs of our community? As we all start to see needs as Jesus does and we enlarge our list, we can move to the second phase, that is finding out what needs we should work with.

Step 2—Decide what needs we should work on 
 The second step to meeting needs is to decide what needs we should work with, both as a church and as individuals.  As we look over the list, we can begin to find out if others in the community are meeting the needs or not. This will allow us to become more aware of the circumstances around us and hopefully keep us from “assuming” that someone else is going to take care of the problem.
 We can let God speak to our hearts and begin to get a feel for what is “moving” us. Then we can do what good managers do.  We can do something about those needs that we feel we must, we can delay action on those that can wait,  we can defer or delegate some of the needs to other people, groups, churches or agencies that are already involved or more capable than us,  or if the need is already being met (or was not a real need in the first place) we can decide to drop the item.  
 The beauty of this system is that it takes responsibility to see that the real needs are attended to, by us or someone else. Can you imagine if every church, in every community worked together like this? What a witness we would have.

Second Consideration – What Can I Do To Make A Difference?
 It stands to reason that you will be happiest, and the most fulfilled, if your ministry preferences complement the way you are wired for ministry. Not only you, but the ministry will benefit too! If given a choice, it makes sense to minister in a way that best suits who you are.
 When looking over the lists of ministries that we have later in this workbook, it would be good to ask yourself:

 What ministries would use my Spirituals gift(s)?

 What ministries work with the causes that I am passionate about?

 What ministries seem to fit my skills and background?
  
 What could I picture myself doing that would get me out of bed on a Saturday morning?
 
 God has created us for ministry that takes full advantage of who we are, a ministry that uses  our skills, our likes, our Spiritual gifts and our desires. Let’s spend some time considering what those ministries would be.

Choosing a Ministry 
 So how does this work? How do we choose a ministry? We do it by considering the needs around us and matching them with our skills, abilities, spiritual gifts, experiences and preferences. We do this in an attitude of prayer, asking God to guide us and give us wisdom.  We have two tests for you to participate in. The first is a Ministry Preference Self-Assessment. We have listed ministries in broad categories for you to consider.  It will be the broad category that will first attract your attention. Within the category are many suggestions of types of roles that you could participate in. This is where your interests can be determined.
For Example
 The first category is Youth Ministry. Youth work may appeal to you so you pause to look at some of the suggestions of types of ministry within Youth Ministry. For the sake of an example, let’s say that you are already happy in a vocation so that rules out being a youth pastor. However, there are many other choices left. You see “retreat volunteer” and “church youth task committee member” and think, “Yes, these ministries really appeal to me.”  You would then circle both ministries and where it says “Your Score”, you would write an 8, 9 or 10 depending on how strong you felt about those ministries.
 If the different ministries listed on the test are close but made you think of something else you would prefer, that is not written down, by all means write down your suggestion and then score the larger category of Youth Ministry appropriately.  Scoring Youth Ministry high does not mean you want to do everything associated with the category. It means that the category is important to you and that there are specific ministries, as indicated, that you are very interested in.

Ministry Preference Self Assessment
Below is the list of church and local para-church ministries. Does the paragraph pretty well describe your feelings? Do any of the areas of service interest you? Please rate yourself on a scale 1 –5 (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so) and circle the ministries that you are interested in or add ministries of your own.

Youth Ministry (1)
 You like to work with young people. You believe in the great need for leaders and role models. You want to see the best programs for the young people and are willing to help any way you can. You relate well with teenagers and have their respect. You know about  adolescence; the fears, temptations, the struggles. You are willing to be patient, loving and pray for them.

Areas Of Ministry:
 Jr. high, high school or college age Sunday school teacher; youth director; youth counselor; Christian school teacher; camp counselor; youth night chaperone; host for youth activity; prayer supporter; church youth task committee member; retreat volunteer; games coordinator; volunteer on youth nights; driver to events; life skills mentor; tutor; support to parent/teen conflicts; drug counselor; big brother/sister; adolescent/family counselor; college/ career guidance counselor.

Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)  

Your Score ______

Children’s Work (2)
 Children are our future. You love to be with children and help them experience the love of Jesus. You have patience and a good sense of humor. Children like to be around you. You know about the different developmental stages and are able to help the child grow. You know how hard the parenting process is and feel great empathy for the parent(s).

Areas Of Ministry:
 Sunday school teacher; Christian Education Supervisor; nursery attendant; Christian pre-school or elementary school teacher; song leader; games director; VBS volunteer; Bible Club worker; MOPS volunteer; day care specialist; teacher; special education worker; pediatric medicine, child psychologist; family counselor; respite care.

Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)  

Your Score ______

Evangelism (3)
 You are burdened for the lost and  believe in being proactive with the sharing of the Gospel. You are willing to share your testimony, share the plan of salvation, distribute literature, whatever it takes. Your house is a place where you participate in friendship evangelism. You believe in reaching the community by helping them through need-based evangelism. At work you share the love of Christ through your life and in appropriate ways. You try to be a witness in the way you live so not to bring reproach against Christ. You feel the church should reach out to the neighborhood and are willing to help anyway that you can. You are burdened for the lost throughout the world.

Areas Of Ministry:
 Be on a church evangelism team; mission committee; set up literature distribution; teach evangelism; be a greeter at church, do visitation with new visitors; participate in door to door distribution of  literature on the church and/or gospel literature; do evangelistic preaching; work in community projects, meeting needs and sharing testimony; lead prayer meetings for evangelistic revival; work with other churches about area wide evangelistic campaign; support ministries that evangelize; assist the church with different evangelistic tools such as radio, literature and video.

Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)  

Your Score ______

Visitation Of Sick And Elderly (4)
 Your heart goes out to those who are shut in; you enjoy listening to people’s personal stories; you enjoy keeping people “caught up” with current events of the church; you have studied the development stages of aging and empathize with their situation; you find great joy in taking meals, helping house clean or doing yard work for those that can’t; you don’t mind taking someone to the store, to the hairdressers or out to eat somewhere; even though it breaks your heart you count it a privilege to pray for those that are dying and bring comfort anyway you can; you have a respect for those that have lived a full life and try to maintain dignity in their life, anyway you can.

Areas Of Ministry:
 Taking meals; driving people to appointments or take them shopping; setting up events; reading to an individual or a group; visit regularly at a nursing home; prayer regularly for shut-ins; advocate for the needs of the elderly in your church; set up a visitation team; organize work crews to help the elderly with home repairs; visit those that are sick from your congregation and pray for them; work at a retirement or nursing home; set up an emergency fund for those elderly on fixed income; bring the elderly to children’s events; set up luncheons and events for elderly; take appropriate church work to those that are shut-in so they can be a useful member.

Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)  

Your Score ______

Community Ministry (5)
 You are moved when you hear of the needs of others; you pray on behalf of the needy; you are action oriented and want to help anyway you can; you advocate with the church on behalf of those in need; you know about and volunteer to assist in community development programs; you are willing to mentor someone with needs; you give of your resources to those in need; you volunteer to be on committees to help in community projects; you believe that the church should witness to the community through getting involved and meeting needs, you get employers and other community leaders involved with the needs of the community.
Areas Of Ministry:
 Volunteer to help various community programs; organize the church to assist in a food pantry, clothes drive, urban mission trips; volunteer to help those in church with needs; represent various Christian community development programs to the church; start a mentoring program at the church; advocate for the needs of children such as child care, foster care and adoption; link your church with an international Christian Relief agency; give where you can to organizations that are working with the needy; start an after school safe place for children; get involved with families in need; organize church for blood drives; mentor teenage mothers; work for a local ministry that participates in mercy ministry; help with job readiness, retention and advancement training; provide summer jobs or internships; get involved in community politics to bring about changes; be a big brother or sister; open your home for temporary shelter; advocate for healthcare for the needy; work on affordable housing; adopt a family in need; teach parenting skills; be a home visitor; volunteer medical expertise; be an advocate for health issues; offer respite for those who do foster care; care for sick and elderly.

Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)  

Your Score ______

Administration (6)
 You know that it takes administration work to help a church or ministry function so you help where you can; you assist with office duties; you volunteer your accounting, marketing, office management, executive or clerical skills when needed; you help with acquisition of state-of-the-art office equipment.

Areas Of Ministry:
 Volunteer to help with mailings, answer phones or help with bulletins; help with accounting; assist with computers purchase, set-up or maintenance; assist in printing needs; set-up bulletin boards; volunteer assistance with web site; volunteer training in your field of expertise; assist in the marketing and advertising needs of the church; help assist a committee by setting up meetings; sending out timely announcements.

Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)  

Your Score ______

Leadership (7)
 You want to use your experience in management in the church or ministry; you want to see things done decently and in order; you do nor hoard over people but are a servant leader; you are willing to sit on committees and help anywhere you can; you pray for the pastor and church committees and for the director and staff of local ministries that you feel called to support; you stand ready to assist with leadership issues if needed; you consider it a sacred duty to be a Deacon or Deaconess and live according to I Timothy 3; you strive not to be overtaken with spiritual pride but serve as a leader remembering God’s grace and mercy; you keep up with the latest in church leadership materials, attend training when possible and disseminate what you learn to the rest of  the leadership.

Areas Of Ministry:
 Being a Elder/Deacon or Deaconess; serve on various committees; attend prayer meetings; meet regularly with the Pastor to pray; assist in leadership using your expertise; serve on Board of local ministry; participate in strategic planning and vision casting; help communicate vision for the church; assist in fund raising for the major projects in church or para-church ministry you are involved with.

Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)  

Your Score ______

Maintenance/Buildings/Grounds/Vehicles (8)
 You are concerned about supporting ministry through the use of equipment, buildings and vehicles; you believe in the importance of the church’s or local ministry’s appearance and the testimony it gives the neighborhood; you believe in excellence, within the fiscal limitation of the church or ministry.

Areas Of Ministry:
 Help keep vehicles running; set up maintenance schedule; volunteer to drive bus or van; help set up and/or tear down chairs, tables, equipment; be on a committee to assure safety of building, grounds, vehicles and their appropriate use; oversee janitorial crew; volunteer for painting, carpentry, repairing and landscaping duties; donate any specialized expertise that you have; use your network to try and help the church get quality service at a reasonable or discounted price; donate toward needed equipment.

Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)  

Your Score ______

Christian Education (9)
 You believe that the church body should know the Word and how to apply it to their lives; you like to teach; you have a passion for a specific Christian topic and like to share it; you like to find the best teachers for each class, one that knows how to best communicate to the audience; you have a good working knowledge of web-based teaching; you like to help in a Christian resource center and library; you believe that the church should be a resource to its people and strive to have the best educational resources possible. 

Areas Of Ministry:
 Set up a church library/resource center; teach Sunday school, adult home Bible studies, youth group or senior citizen groups; be a Sunday School superintendent; provide training seminar opportunities; provide teacher training; provide the best classroom equipment possible; strive to get others in the community to attend teaching sessions in the church; bring in specialized speakers to teach on relevant topics, represent learning opportunities to the church.

Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)  

Your Score ______

Counseling/Mentoring (10)
 You have empathy for those that are hurting emotionally and socially; you believe that many people can change if they are shown how; you know that situations are complex at best and try not to be overly simplistic in seeking solutions; you believe that God has sent the comforter so you seek to work through the Holy Spirit and the Bible in dealing with people; you believe in the power of mentoring and try to get involved in areas that you can make a contribution; you try to get others involved in mentoring and helping those that need technical, emotion or spiritual help; you believe in support groups where people can comfort and assist others from their own experiences.

Areas Of Ministry:
 Set up a counseling center and referral network; volunteer as a mentor in your area of expertise; organize self help groups; use your psychological and/or medical expertise to help in the church or para-church organization; help start appropriate support groups, meeting the needs of church and community; be a friend to those who are hurting and help them follow up on their therapy or mentoring; help educate the church on Biblical responses to the many emotional and social issues facing Christians today; coordinate prayer, small groups and accountability partners for those needing assistance.

Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)  

Your Score ______

Music (11)
 You believe that music is important to the church so you are willing to help anyway that you can; you know that not everyone has the same tastes so you maintain to be true to your calling while trying not to offend others; you believe that music has a wide range of uses and try to glorify God with all that you do.

Areas Of Ministry:
Participate in choir, band or orchestra; teach music; help in marketing music programs; assist as stagehand, lights, or sound; write music and/or lyrics; create or find good arrangements for performances at church; assist in a musical ministry, perform in musical group or as a solo.

Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)  

Your Score ______

Drama/Speech (12)
 You want to help communicate Biblical principles through the medium of drama and or speech; you realize that serving God is the highest calling so you strive to do your best for Him; you make your skills available for groups in the church; you are willing to coach others; you know that writing is a scared trust so you dedicate your craft to Him and pray for His guidance.

Areas Of Ministry:
 Perform in skits to illustrate sermons; perform in plays for special service; work with choir in performing musical; write dramas, skits and speeches to be used in church; direct dramas; tutor young people in acting; entertain children, elderly and other special groups; speak to different groups in church on various topics; assist in designing and building sets; work as a stage hand; assist in lighting and sound; sell tickets and help with marketing.

Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all,  5 = Very much so)   Your Score ______

Art (13)
 You use your creative force to serve God; artistic expression is something you really enjoy and you want to share it; you enjoy helping others learn more about their artistic self; you know that art is a way to make friends and reach out to non-church members.

Areas Of Ministry:
 Express yourself through the fine arts, crafts, poetry, graphics or other form of art; help decorate church; use graphics to help communicate; work on web site or presentations; create mural; teach/tutor art; create items to raise money; use your art as a way to befriend someone; communicate and minister through your art.
Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)  

Your Score ______
Adult Ministry (14)
 You have a burden for the adults and want to help them get assimilated into the church; you understand adult development and the differences in each generation; you desire to see adults involved in small groups; you seek to help in areas that you have experience and knowledge; you are a team player and want to work with the other adult ministries in the church; you have a passion for adults to be active in ministry; you believe that the church should be reaching out to adults in the community through various creative ministries.

Areas Of Ministry:
 Sunday school teacher; host home group meetings; one on one discipleship; lead support group for one of many topics relevant to needs in church and community; mentor adults; teach marriage seminars; assist in parenting skill training; help those that are suffering; be a lay-pastor over small group of adults; help with career set backs; coordinate your services with others in the church; set up career planning and job center in the church; be an adult counselor; host-small home Bible-fellowship group; participate in home visitation; plan social activities for various adult groups; set-up adult resource center.

Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)  

Your Score ______

Computer Technology (15)
 We are in the electronic age. You like to work with computers and software and believe that the church should take advantage of technology; you want to be able to help the church or para-church ministry using your skills; you believe in working with a team and understand that in a church there may be different opinions and want to work together for the glory of God; you realize that the church is depending on you so you finish your tasks in a reasonable turnaround time; you are professional in all your endeavors as a volunteer.

Areas Of Ministry:
 Setting up networks; work on web site; installing software; teaching software to staff; maintain the system; tutoring/mentoring people in computer skills; help computerize all areas of church ministry; help with web site; set up a computer learning center.

Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)  

Your Score ______
Food Service (16)
 You know the importance of food and the role it plays in fellowship and ministry. You believe in the importance of a good kitchen and fellowship hall and having adequate food service. You believe in service and the testimony that it gives to the community and those visiting the church. You want to make sure that weddings, celebrations, funerals, conferences, daycare and other crucial ministries get the food service they need.

Areas Of Ministry
 Participate on food service committee, volunteer to cook; help schedule events; volunteer to clean–up; help update and install new food service equipment; participate on regular basis in area of food service; plan meals and organize cooks.

Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)  

Your Score ______

Electronics/Sound/Video (17)
 You know that communications is a key to effective ministry. You believe in using electronics, sound and video to produce the best communications possible.

Areas Of Ministry
 Installation of new sound system; running sound for services; doing the camera work for a video; creating the story boards for an effective video; editing video; creating a complete electronic suite for the auditorium; managing the sound, light, video team for church services.

Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)  

Your Score ______

Missions (18)
 You believe that God has called us to go into the whole world to preach the gospel and as a church we should be involved in missions; you do what you can to keep the cause of missions in the forefront of church business; you take prayer and the raising of support for the missionaries as a scared trust; while the missionaries are on the field, you are an advocate for them.
Areas Of Ministry:
 Being on the Mission Board; praying faithfully for the missionaries; collecting gifts, supplies and support for those in the field; help missionary with furlough plans; work on annual Missions conference; coordinate short term mission trips for members of the church, circulate missions articles and stories to the church.

Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)  

Your Score ______

Pastoral Duties (19)
 You have a “call” in your life to oversee a congregation (or a specialized group like seniors, youth, prisoners, homeless, sport teams, mission groups etc.); you see preaching and teaching as a sacred call and therefore prepare diligently both in prayer and study before you preach or teach the Word of God; you take time to be with God so you can be the person that He wants you to be; you resist being proud and strive to be a servant leader; you trust God for your ministry and go where He is working; you like to assist in pastoral duties of visitation, comforting the hurting, welcoming new people and helping them assimilate into the church; assist in leadership and vision of the church.

Areas Of Ministry:
 Preaching; teaching; administration; overseeing the spiritual welfare of those entrusted to you; visit members of the church; perform various ceremonies, i.e. weddings, funerals, dedications, baptisms, communion; responsible for church services; contribute to the vision of the church; assist in the leadership.

Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)  

Your Score ______
Leisure and Recreation Ministry (20)
 You believe that church buildings should serve the church and community through leisure and recreational activities. You like to assist with sports programs like softball, basketball and soccer that help give the congregation an outlet and an opportunity to invite the community. You would like to assist in having cultural events on campus. You believe that the church can be a witness by providing wholesome, well organized and supervised sports programs for the community.

Areas Of Ministry:
 Using a gym and fields for  special events, sports and cultural activities; camping programs; senior day care program; Awana, Brigade, Pioneer programs; Upward Basketball; art training; exercise facilities, walking trails, boys and girl scouts, after school programs; and community center.

Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you feel you would like to serve in this ministry (1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)  

Your Score ______

Now that you know your preferences for ministry what next? 

Why not match your preferences to the way God has wired you? Your skills, passions, experiences? CLICK HERE to download your FREE copy of How Am I Wired For Ministry?

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