Spiritual Gift Descriptions

Administration is a gift that provides insight into other people’s spiritual gifting as well as natural talent, which allows for placing people who want to minister in a particular way together with those who need just this ministry.

Compassion  transcends both natural human sympathy and normal Christian concern, enabling one to sense in others a wide range of emotions and then provide a supportive ministry of caring and intercessory prayer.  Also called the gift of Mercy.

Discernment  is the heightened ability to read or hear a teaching, to encounter a problem, or to consider a proposed course of action, and then determine whether the source behind the teaching, problem, or action is divine, merely human, or satanic.  This will be a much needed gift near the End of the Age.

Evangelism  is a special ability to lead unconverted persons to a saving knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The person with this gift has the wisdom to know when, who, and how to call the rebellious into the Kingdom of God.  Evangelists are the spiritual “obstetricians” in the church.

Exhortation  is the gift of being able to encourage others by well timed and wise counsel.  This gift builds the Body of Christ by helping new, young and adolescent disciples to turn from sin and believe in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Barnabas, whose name literally means Son of Encouragement, is the best example of this in the Bible.  Also called the gift of Counseling, or the gift of Encouragement.

Faith  as a gift is an extraordinary confidence in God that is unshakable by situations, pain, apparent failure, or ridicule.  While we are all called to have faith, this is an extraordinary amount of faith above and beyond that of Christians without this gift.  This gift strengthens the individual and other believers (by example) to endure persecution and wait upon the Lord.

Giving  empowers one in a sensitive way to detect material or financial needs and meet those needs with Spirit inspired generosity.  Recipients of help from Christians with this gift have a clear sense that God has provided, not man.

Helps  enables one to assist people in skilled ways that are supernaturally enhanced by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  This is similar to the gift of serving except that it is specific concerning a certain skill – such as the goldsmiths who helped Moses build the items for the tabernacle.  Those with this gift should be highly esteemed in the Body.

Knowledge  is an ability to remember Scripture or have it supernatural quickened, or to know a fact or truth about a person or situation revealed directly by the Holy Spirit.

Leadership  in the Greek is actually “he who provides leadership in giving aid”.  These go first and lead by example, so that others are motivated to follow.  (1Cor 11:1)  Those with the gift of leadership are quick to identify problems and show by doing how to minister to those in need.

Missionary  is the ability to communicate across cultural barriers and plant churches where there is no knowledge of the gospel.  It is usually accompanied with a distinct calling and a miraculous lifestyle.  In Greek (apostolos) “a sent one”, or “a messenger”, a Missionary.  Sometimes called the gift of Apostle, although true apostles were required to have seen the risen Lord.

Pastoring  is the collective (plural in Greek) ministry of the Elders to “shepherd” an individual or community of Christian believers.  This gift is a special passion and empowering to lead people into green pastures, steer others away from danger,  fight off predators, and bind up wounds. Sometimes called the gift of Shepherding.

Prophecy  is speaking what God wants said with clarity, creativity, and power.  It is also called the gift of Preaching.  The primary ministry in this gift is not prediction, but in confronting people with the truth about God and man – with conviction and repentance as the result.

Serving  is a gift which expresses the love of Christ by taking care of lowly or time-consuming tasks to allow others to be more effective ministers.  Similar to the gift of Helps, but here the work performed is menial rather than skilled.  Those with this gift are the truest and highest leaders in the church, and ought to be recognized as such.

Teaching  is the ability to understand and communicate the Christian faith so as to make the truth clear to others.  The result of this gift is the equipping and maturing of others in the body of Christ so that they will grow in grace and be more effective disciples.

Wisdom  is special illumination that enables one in a specific instance to grasp divine insight regarding a fact, situation, or context.  This gift is useful in directing the Body in what to do next; in making God’s will known.

Practical Use of Spiritual Gifts

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