Tiny Tidbits of Theological Truth #2: Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts

By Tercius

Pneumatology 101: You don't need to know your spiritual gifts in order to do ministry. As you do ministry you discover your spiritual gifts.

I've taken more "Know-Your-Spiritual-Gift" tests than I can remember. Most of them were just "tell us what you'd like to do at our church" surveys. One of them felt like a baptized DISC assessment, another like a job application, and still another like the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory! As I took one of these tests, in the back of my mind this thought occurred: "Any atheist could take the same inventory and end up coming out with several spiritual gifts!"

The Bible never tells us to take a test to discover our spiritual gifts. In fact, I'm convinced that spiritual gift inventories are man-made, individualistic, self-centered expressions of modern methodolatry. "MYgift is evangelism." "I'M a gifted leader; put ME in leadership." "Sorry, can't help, that's not MY gift."

The Bible describes spiritual giftedness in terms of both the individual and body (Rom. 12:4-8). In fact, being "filled with the Spirit" is described in corporate, not individual, terms (Eph. 5:18-6:9). And the purpose of spiritual gifts is to build up the body (1 Cor. 12:7). So, instead of marking ovals with a #2 pencil or checking boxes with a mouse, maybe we ought to discover our spiritual gifts by ministering in, with, and to the body of Christ.

[Read the Introduction to the 101 series here. Follow me for more Theology 101 Tweets @Svigel.]