Christian believers can discover their spiritual gifts and how to use them with a new online tool and other resources available from Discipleship Ministries.
The resources include The Spiritual Gifts Assessment Inventory tool, which can help people learn how to use their God-given spiritual attributes to become intentional disciple-makers.
“Everybody knows our mission is to make disciples for Jesus Christ, but some people may not understand that does not just happen coincidentally. It happens because we're intentional about it, and tools like the Spiritual Gifts Inventory can be a part of a church’s intentional discipleship plan.” said Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship and Generosity at Discipleship Ministries. “Getting people in touch with their spiritual gifts can help them find ways to grow and mature in their journey of discipleship.”
Recognizing their own spiritual gifts also helps people understand how God made each person unique, Sloane said.
“As we choose to serve God through the church and through becoming a disciple of Christ, I think knowing our spiritual gifts provides us with the tools to fit ourselves in the places where we can make the most impact in that work,” Sloane said.
People can discover their spiritual gifts either by individually using The Spiritual Gifts Assessment Inventory tool online here or in a group setting with the Spiritual Gifts Interview Method.
The online tool, which covers 20 of the spiritual gifts found in Romans, I Corinthians and Ephesians, allows people to respond to 80 questions. They receive an email identifying five gifts in a weighted order determined by their responses.
“We hope each person will then share that information about their gifts with a study group in their church. You need to have your gifts confirmed by the community of faith to see how your gifts benefit the whole congregation,” he said.
The interview method of determining gifts can be used at retreats or other small group gatherings. People respond to narrative descriptions of someone who has a certain gift mix by deciding how closely they feel a connection to that particular description.After using either method, people are urged to try out their gifts because that is where energy for ministry begins. Growing communities of faith gives people multiple opportunities to find where their gifts best fit to build up the whole church.
In addition to the online inventory tool, a variety of other resources are available here from Discipleship Ministries, including articles on "Spiritual Gifts in Scripture," "Living into My Spiritual Gifts," "Spiritual Gifts Definitions," "Matching Gifts to Leadership Positions" and "Spiritual Gifts for Church Planters."
“Scripture tells us that God blesses each person with different gifts and unique abilities. Not everybody is expected to come into discipleship bringing necessarily the same mix of gifts,” Sloane said.
The Spiritual Gifts Inventory can help energize people in congregations or small groups to become more involved in their church life.
“What we're looking for in the church right now are ways to keep people encouraged and energized in the work of ministry. Finding people work that is energizing not only will be helpful for them, but others will be encouraged to step up when they see those people doing something that brings meaning and purpose to their lives."
The mission of Discipleship Ministries is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, Discipleship Ministries is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit www.UMCdiscipleship.org.