Sunday, September 8, 2013

Spiritual Gifts Analysis

 Recently I took an analysis of my spiritual gifts.  I found the results so incredibly accurate I thought I'd share it with you guys, my dear friends and spiritual family.  I want to encourage you to take it yourself!  The results are really intriguing and might help you discover what areas of ministry are right for you!

Here is a link!

Just remember when your taking it, to answer completely honestly.  You are the only one who will see the results, and say for example if theres a question about giving to the poor, and you don't feel that strongly about giving to the poor, remember it's not that your a bad person, it's that your ministry is in a different area!  As long as you answer honestly, you'll get precise results on what area of ministry you're suited to.  :)

I'd like to share a paper I wrote on my results for one of my classes at Liberty University.  

Part 1: What are your top 2 spiritual gifts? Do you agree with the results? Why or why not? My two top gifts were “showing mercy” and “exhortation.” I completely agree with the results. I was surprised to see “showing mercy” as my number one spiritual gift. It's interesting that I've always been very empathetic with people, but with all the disappointments in my past I hardened that part of myself somewhat. I still try to reach out and help people who are in need. The quality of showing mercy involves being able to connect and comfort people. It means that I'm able to sympathize and empathize with people who may have problems that others would feel uncomfortable with. I find it easy to empathize with people on complex issues like drug addiction, sexual immorality, and alcoholism because I've been some of those places in my past. I know how easy it is to slip into a bad pattern of behavior, until it consumes everything you are. At the same time, I struggle with being judgmental. It's ironic because it's the characteristic I always despised the most in modern Christians. There are many character defects to be resolved from my past, but I consistently ask God to make me a more caring and loving person. After all the chaos I went through in my life, I think I tossed out a lot of my compassion because it hurt too bad. “Exhortation” as my second top spiritual gift made just as much sense at “showing mercy.” I'm the kind of person who has a strong burden of needing to know how to apply scripture. I can listen to a Pastor babble on all day about spiritual principles, but I need to know the exact practical application. I need to know how I can integrate a positive pattern into my thinking to allow for growth in love, humility, works, and faith. Having gained so much practical insight from twelve step programs, I feel like I have a wealth of wisdom on practical application of moral and spiritual principles. It quite literally flows out of me, and I want to give it away to everyone I meet.

Part 2: Specifically, how can you use your gifts at this time? How might you misuse your gifts? Be specific. There are many ways I can use my gifts today. Within my church people often come to me to “unload” whats going on in their life. I can often be there just to listen. I'm fairly quiet, but for some reason people will come up and be comfortable sharing their problems with me. I can also use my gift of showing mercy by asking my Pastor to send people with drug and alcohol problems to me. I can use the gift of “showing mercy” to care for them, and let them know they aren't alone. I can use my gift of exhortation to share with them the solution that I've found for these issues. My gifts are useful at Bible studies as well, and I could find some at other churches, as my church is fairly small. Outside of my church, I make use of my spiritual gifts by posting helpful and inspirational content on my Facebook account. I also write a blog called “A Lifestyle of Peace” and share practical ways of applying scripture to life. There are so ways my gifts can be misused as well. Being capable of earning trust quickly, and empathizing with people, I need to be careful that I'm mainly associating with and caring for males. I could easily fool myself into thinking I'm helping a female, and it could become unhealthy very quickly. I often let enthusiasm for exhortation get in the way of showing mercy, and I'll push a solution on someone who isn't ready or just needs a kind individual to be there. I often end up taking a lot of the emotional baggage of helping others with me after a long day, and that can be detrimental to my spiritual health.

Part 3: What were your 2 lowest scoring gifts? Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not? My two lowest scores were “giving” and “serving.” I completely agree with these results. I don't really feel my ministry is in the giving of physical goods or money. It's just not what I'm good at, and it's not what I'm called to do. God didn't give me a strong burden for that sort of ministry. Of course I love the idea of giving to the poor, but there are others will have to fulfill that ministry. Serving is also something I'm not particularly good at. It really comes down to that my focus and drive just aren't in these two particular gifts. There is nothing wrong with that either. Each is called to a specific ministry, mine relates strongly to “showing mercy” and “exhortation.”

Part 4: What impact does this knowledge have on your involvement in ministry? The information on my two strongest spiritual gifts, as well as my third strongest gift deeply impact my involvement in future ministry. First off, I've started to give more serious consideration to church counseling. After years of poor experiences with secular counseling, I had written off the entire possibility, but now I may need to consider it more seriously. I have extremely ambitious goals for ministry, so it would be humbling for me to work one on one with individuals. The gift of “showing mercy” gives me an incredible amount of compassion and identification with people. As I've practiced sermon writing, I've found a quality of deeply personal, and encouraging material come through in my writing. I feel that is a message that is deeply needed in the church today. People have been yelled at about upholding quality Biblical principles for too many years, without anyone telling them how to gain that kind of standard in their life. My second gift of “exhortation” with also greatly assist me in giving sermons, as I can first empathize and connect with the audience on deeply personal issues, then encourage the audience, followed by showing them exactly how to make practical changes in their daily lives. My third highly placed gift was “shepherding” which means I might fit well into a long term congregational setting. I have high ambitions about reaching individuals across the entire planet, which comes out in my blog which reaches several different countries. I dream of strings of churches across the entire planet with practical application and high emphasis on 12 step Biblical principles in assisting with living a daily quality Christian life. As long as I remain desperately humble in this endeavor, and ensure all the money gained is redistributed to the needy, I can then avoid a “mega church” situation. I believe there can be a broad, large ministry that is also compassionate, humble, and generous to those most in need.