By: Colonel Richard Munn
While we are often inspired by gifted people, we can also become overawed in comparison. Here is the good news and the heart of spiritual gift teaching: each Christian is gifted.
Paul writes, ‘To each one the manifestation of the Spirit of God is given for the common good.’ (I Corinthians 12:7, NIV)
You are gifted.
While always part of scripture it is only in recent decades that an articulated theology of spiritual gifts emerged, primarily as part of the church growth movement.
- Spiritual Gifts are not talent or skill, not formal office or designated by role, and not for self-glorification or attention.
- Spiritual Gifts are given to us at God’s discretion to edify others and strengthen the body of Christ, they are applicable in our day, are important and will flow naturally with our temperament. They are to be exercised and they enable the church to rise above human effort alone.
3 passages in the New Testament reference the foundational gifts:
- Romans 12 – prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading
- Ephesians 4 – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers
- I Corinthians 12 – wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, interpretation
So, explore the possibilities, complete a spiritual gifts inventory, experiment with those that come alive, discern a need and factor in confirmation from others. We can also examine our feelings because using and expressing our gifts is enjoyable.
The Salvation Army is a charismatic community of faith, filled with spiritually gifted people.
You, dear colleague, are invited to use your gifts.