Learning about our spiritual gift(s) has been a fun and enjoyable subject because we’ve had the opportunity to learn something new about ourselves and how God plans to use us in His Kingdom. While spiritual gifts tell us what we might do for God, they don’t complete the bigger picture of how and where we can use them.
If you haven’t discovered your spiritual gift, check out our first two blogs in our Spiritual Gifts Blog Series: Spiritual Gifts: What are they and How Do I Identify Mine?
Now that you’ve done the important work of discovering and understanding your spiritual gift, let’s discuss the five steps you can take to put your gift(s) into action.
Listen to His Calling
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10). This time I want you to put your name in the blank. _____ is his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that I should walk in them. Your gift enables you to do “his good works,” which He has “prepared beforehand” for you to do. I don’t know about you, but learning He has equipped me with a gift (the ability) and prepared good work (a task) for me to complete, instills a deep sense of achievable purpose and courage to follow His call. The words God spoke to Joshua become my anthem and my rock: “Be strong and courageous and do not be afraid. The Lord goes with you each and every day.” (Joshua 1:9). God has enabled you to be His hands and feet to your circle of influence. Listen to His calling. Anticipate His prompting to act and do the good work He has placed before you.
Your gift enables you to do “his good works,” which He has “prepared beforehand” for you to do.
Being a good steward is an essential Christian principle that encompasses all blessings, not just money. Stewardship is our ability to care for, to use, to protect, to grow, to manage that with which God has entrusted to you.
It’s important to remember that your spiritual gift is not yours. Peter reminds us that our gifts are not for your purpose. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10). Your gift is just that, a gift from God. He has placed it in your care, and in return, He desires you to use it well to love and serve others so more people will know Jesus. Living with this knowledge enables you to hold your spiritual gift in high esteem. It allows you to manage your gift well because you know where it came from, who it is for, and the value it offers the world. Managing your gift by planning and preparing its use, growth, and development becomes a priority in your life. The more you steward your gift, the more you not only grow in your relationship with Christ and your journey to fulfilling your purpose, but you also contribute to wholeness in the body of Christ that brings about harmony and unity, not incomplete or partial Kingdom work.
He has placed it in your care, and in return, He desires you to use it well to love and serve others so more people will know Jesus.
Find the Fit
Where to use your spiritual gifts can be just as important as identifying them. At times it may be easy to locate where to serve, while other times, it may be a trial and error scenario. You may have to try serving in different ministries to see what fits. Sometimes a ministry may look good on the surface and appear to be perfect for your gifts. Pray about it. Give it a shot. You might be right. However, if the assignment is draining and stems from obligation rather than joy and purpose, you may want to consider a different ministry. It’s possible your personality may be more suitable for a different ministry. For example, someone blessed with the gift of teaching may opt to teach a small group of ten people, while another gifted with teaching is best suited to teach a group of three hundred. Your right fit in ministry often includes the combination of your gifting and passions, mixed with what’s best for your personality and season of life. When you find this sweet spot, you will feel alive and fulfilled and your work will be effective and meaningful.
Your right fit in ministry often includes the combination of your gifting and passions, mixed with what’s best for your personality and season of life.
Where is the best place to develop, use, and practice your gift so you can find the right fit? Try finding a safe and supportive environment of fellow believers who will encourage you on your journey to living out your calling. This could be in a small group, among a close group of friends, in a specific ministry in your church, or beside a mentor.
Once God has directed you to a place to use your gift, it’s time to get off the sidelines and get to work. Jesus said, “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” (Matthew 9:37).
Romans 12:6-8 reminds us to use the gifts we have: “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
If your gift is giving, find a ministry or person in need of support and come alongside them by providing a financial blessing. If your gift is exhortation, step back and observe who is in need of encouragement and offer them uplifting and reassuring words of Christ. These individuals would also make a fantastic addition to a prayer ministry. If you have the gift of mercy, visit those in the hospital or those currently shut in their homes.
Don’t wait for God to ask you to do something big and flashy for you to act. Open your heart and eyes to the needs around you. Does the community around you require someone with your gift? Pray about it; remember step one, listen to His calling. God will often use you in more small moments than big flashy ones.
Don’t wait for God to ask you to do something big and flashy for you to act. God will often use you in more small moments than big flashy ones.
Your gift is like a muscle: the more you use them, the bigger and stronger they become. If you have a goal to squat 100lbs, you don’t put 100lbs on your straight barbells on day one. You start with 25lbs and increase weight as your muscles become bigger and stronger.
It’s the same with your gifts. Your faithfulness in exercising your gift in small ways today may be the beginning of God opening the door to bigger things tomorrow.
Another way to grow in your gift is by seeking out a mentor and learning from someone who has the same gift. You can also continue to grow in your gift by studying your gift and seeking God’s guidance and growth of your gift.
Your faithfulness in exercising your gift in small ways today may be the beginning of God opening the door to bigger things tomorrow.
God is extremely serious about the use and development of our gifts. Jesus taught on this very subject during the Parable of The Talents found in Matthew 25:14-30. Here we see Jesus’ expectations regarding talents. He desires us to use our blessings for His Kingdom purpose, not our own. If we choose to use it elsewhere or not at all, like the man who buried his talent, we may miss the good work He has planned for us to do, and over time, there is a chance our talent could be taken away. “So take the talent from him and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance (25:28-29).”
On the other hand, Jesus teaches and inspires us to be faithful and fruitful with our talents. Jesus said to the men who used their talents and produced profit, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master (23).” Don’t bury your gift. You are too vital to The Kingdom of God to sit on the sidelines and be a spectator. God created you to be a starter in this game of life. Jump in and use your gift to make a difference in the hearts and lives of those in your world.
God created you to be a starter in this game of life. Jump in and use your gift to make a difference . . .
God has placed you here, in this particular generation, with a specific set of gifts to make an eternal difference in the lives of others. Remember not to pigeonhole yourself based upon your gifts or assume you need to sign up for all ministries where your gifts could benefit others. Listen to God’s calling. He has prepared good works for you to do. Have faith in His divine intervention in your life. He will guide and direct you to a place and/or to people who need your gifts.