One of the best ways of discerning your spiritual gift(s) is to get involved in a variety of ministry experiences.
As you explore the different ministry areas, you will soon discover if you are gifted for these ministries. Below are three things to look for:
LOOK FOR those ministries in which you feel the most fulfilled.
LOOK FOR those ministries in which you seem to be the most effective. Examine what you enjoy and do well. If you’re gifted, you are going to enjoy using your gifts; you are going to do them well. If you say, “I never want to help anybody; I hate being called upon to help!” You probably don’t have the gift of serving. Okay? You don’t enjoy it, you don’t do it well. Ask yourself, what do you enjoy and what do you do well.
LOOK FOR those ministries in which others affirm your abilities. (People may not verbalize their appreciation. You may need to take the step of seeking counsel from those who will give you an honest assessment.)
While labelling your gifts is helpful, but using your gifts is more important. Do what you know to do even if you can’t put a name to it. The benefit of being able to specifically identify your gifts is that it can make you more effective as you learn how to better develop that gift and relate to and understand others better.
Discovering spiritual gifts is accomplished through serving God. We are taught in 1 Corinthians 12:28-31 and 1 Corinthians 14:12-13, that it is the Holy Spirit who chooses the gifts. Not everyone will have a particular gift. Paul tells the Corinthian believers that if they are going to covet after certain spiritual gifts, they should set aside their fascination with the “spectacular” or “showy” gifts and instead strive after the more edifying gifts such as prophesying (speaking forth the Word of God for the building up of others).
We can’t use the excuse that ‘we don’t know our spiritual gifts’ to do nothing, but if we do nothing we probably will not discover our spiritual gifts. If God commanded us to do something (such as witness, love the unlovely, disciple the nations, etc.) then He will enable us to do it. I may not be as “gifted” at evangelism as another, but God commands all Christians to share the Gospel and help others to grow spiritually (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). Therefore, I need to prepare for witnessing (1 Peter 3:15) and actually do it, whether I feel that I have the gift of evangelism or not.
In the process of discovering spiritual gifts, 1 Corinthians 12:31 says to “earnestly desire the best gifts.” You can seek a spiritual gift from God and be zealous after it by seeking to develop that area. God may give you that as a spiritual gift, but He may also feel that you are better fit to serve Christ with a different gift. No matter how much we have been gifted with one gift, we are all called upon to develop a number of areas mentioned in the lists of spiritual gifts. We are all to be hospitable, to show acts of mercy, to serve one another, to evangelize, etc., whether we have these spiritual gifts or not. As we seek to serve Him-for the purpose of building up others for His glory out of love-he will bring glory to His name, grow His church, and reward us (1 Corinthians 3:5-8; 12:31-14:1).
The more we step out in faith and serve, the sooner we will start to identify our spiritual gifts.