Helping people to identify their spiritual gifts is wonderful, but sometimes they don’t know where to go from there. Give them solid suggestions on possible avenues for operating their spiritual gifts.

Whether your church is large, small or in-between, below are some ideas on where an individual’s spiritual gifts might fit within the life of the church.


Administration

Building and maintaining the church’s structure to encourage vital ministries. From the Greek work kubernesis, it refers to a ship’s pilot, guiding the ship expertly along its course. You can also think of it as divinely-inspired project management.

  • Church retreat
  • Children’s ministry
  • Library
  • Most committees
  • Office volunteer
  • Special projects
  • Usher
  • Website
  • Vacation Bible school

Apostle

A church leader, teacher and evangelizer, planting and building up multiple churches. The difference between an apostle and an evangelizer is that the apostle is planting churches in addition to bringing individuals to Christ.

  • Missions, long-term or short-term
  • Church planting

Creativity / Craftsmanship

Craftsmanship and related gifts. All of us are born creative, but some people are extraordinarily gifted by God to use their creative talents in the church, such as writing, music, visual arts, and dance.

  • Children’s ministry
  • Drama
  • Flowers and church beautification
  • Special events
  • Vacation Bible School
  • Web site
  • Worship ministry teams

Discernment

Sensing the nature of a spiritual teaching, theology, doctrine or plan, understanding whether it’s from God, human or even demonic forces. Discerners help the church hear the “still, small voice of God.”

  • Counseling
  • Nominating Committee
  • Recruitment
  • Session

Evangelist

Bringing the message of God’s love and mercy, of Christ crucified and resurrected. Some evangelists work in public such as Billy Graham, but many gifted evangelists work quietly within their own families, workplaces and communities to share the good news of Christ.

  • Adult education and groups
  • Evangelistic small groups
  • Missions
  • Children’s ministries
  • Visitation

Exhortation

Encouraging and uplifting others. Like some other subtle gifts, such as helps and mercy, some gifted exhorters don’t realize they’re using a spiritual gift at all; it comes so naturally to them. But they certainly are, and it is a great gift to others in a critical, competitive world.

  • Adult, young adult or children’s ministries
  • Discipling
  • Visitation
  • Music ministries
  • Publicity and promotion
  • Small groups
  • Phoning
  • Writing

Exorcism

Locating and casting out demons and spiritual forces. Some Christians exercise this gift on a steady basis, often on the mission field. Many more Christians may experience the gift only once or twice in the Italian Renaissance lives, in response to a particular situation. It’s not a pleasant experience, but it is incredible to witness the unmasked, shining power of God in the face of retreating evil.

  • Deliverance ministries
  • Counseling

Faith

Supernaturally strong faith response to specific situations. All Christians are called to have faith, but faith as a spiritual gift is given in response to specific situations of great need. These may include a deep need for healing, support during sorrow and crisis, and spiritual warfare.

  • Lay leader
  • Missions
  • Prayer meetings and ministries
  • Visitation

Giving

Special delight in giving generously of time, money, and talents. All Christians are called to tithe in all these ways, but those with the spiritual gift of giving are high stewards of the resources of the Kingdom.

  • Helping with financial needs
  • Finance committees
  • Missionary support
  • Special beyond-budget needs

Healing

The ability to heal the body, mind and heart through the leading of the Holy Spirit. The plural form, “healings,” is the meaning of the Greek work iamaton: not only physical healing, but spiritual, emotional, and intellectual healing as well.

  • Hospital visitation
  • Worship
  • Intercessory prayer for healing

Helps

Gladly investing time, money, and energy in service to the church and its ministries, providing an environment where other gifts can flourish. This ability is a very important one for the life of the church.

  • Church retreat
  • Staff assistant
  • Visitation
  • Office volunteer
  • Personal support of pastors

Hospitality

Welcoming friends and strangers to one’s home, and to the church. People with the gift of hospitality have an air of welcome and inclusiveness about them that make others feel instantly comfortable.

  • Church retreat
  • Home-based entertaining
  • Funeral meals
  • Greeter
  • Host visiting missionaries
  • New members’ class
  • Small group host
  • Ushers

Intercession

Very effective, regular intercession. All Christians are called to deep lives of prayer, and to hold each other up in prayer to God. But those with this gift are fervent and persistent, and keep bringing the matter before the Lord until it’s resolved in some way.

  • Prayer Chain
  • Prayer Meetings

Interpretation

Interpreting a message spoken in tongues. When the gift of tongues is used publicly, the person with the gift of interpretation shares its meaning with listeners.

  • Worship leader
  • Prayer meetings

Knowledge

Intuitive understanding of the gnosis, universal truths relating to God, His will and to His church. Those gifted with knowledge can communicate it to others, making it come alive to their listeners.

  • Adult classes and groups
  • Children’s ministry
  • Lay leader
  • Library
  • Planning committees
  • Small Group Leader
  • Student Ministries

Leadership

One who leads, guides, or directs. A true Christian leader doesn’t always make a good follower! However, they are able to motivate others, and to help them develop their own gifts. People with the spiritual gift of leadership often have the gift of faith as well.

  • Ministry coordinator
  • Lay leader
  • Most committees
  • Organizing special projects
  • Small groups leader
  • Bible School coordinator
  • Worship leader

Martyrdom

Losing one’s life, reputation, relationships, or livelihood for Christ, as Christians in the east can attest. Martyrdom can also take the form of voluntary self-denial including long periods of prayer, fasting, and denying certain physical pleasures for spiritual gain. Like leaders, martyrs often have the gift of faith as well.

  • Missions
  • Intercessory prayer
  • Healing ministries

Mercies

Highly compassionate, reflecting the love of Christ for the suffering. Christians with the gift of mercy can communicate divine love to those who desperately need it. Many people with this gift also have the gift of intercessory prayer.

  • Congregational care
  • Funerals
  • Prayer meetings and ministries
  • Community action committee
  • Visitation

Miracles

Miraculous events breaking through into the world through gifted individuals. Often people with the gift of miracles do not know when their gift will operate, but they stay open to the leading of God. It is important for people with this gift to separate the gift of faith, which they probably also have, from human expectations. Sometimes God chooses to work through miracles. Sometimes He does not.

  • Prayer groups
  • Community action groups

Music

Using the beauty of music to bring people closer to God. Musical gifts include singing, instrumentals, and the ability to lead choirs, praise teams, fellowships, and congregations in song.

  • Choir
  • Worship team
  • Instrumental
  • Music ministries
  • Worship tech team

Missionary

The ability to go outside of one’s own culture and to love and adapt to a different culture for Jesus’ sake. The person with the missionary gift radiates the love of Christ in the culture to which they are called.

  • Missions
  • Prayer groups
  • International students
  • Ministry to foreign visitors

Pastor

Reflecting Jesus as the Good Shepherd, caring for and nurturing the church. The person with the gift of pastoring may or may not be ordained, since pastors not only operate as ministers and priests, but work also in small groups and Christian organizations. Pastoral elders see to the multiple spiritual needs of the congregation or group, including maintaining community, bringing peace, and encouraging the discovery and use of spiritual gifts.

  • Adult education and groups
  • Spiritual gifts ministries
  • Young adult ministries
  • Congregational care
  • Small group leader
  • Student ministries

Peacemaker

Peacemakers mediate between parties in conflict, bringing the “peace that passes all understanding” to warring Christians.

  • Counseling
  • Personnel committee

Prophecy

An extraordinary ability to instruct and guide the church in spiritual and moral matters. The person with the gift of prophecy acts as a mouthpiece for the Holy Spirit, saying to others what God is clearly commanding him or her to say. Sometimes prophecy includes foretelling.

  • Lay leader
  • Adult education and groups
  • Music
  • Community action committee
  • Writing

Service

Gladly investing time, money, and energy in service to the church and its ministries, providing an environment where other gifts can flourish. This ability is a very important one for the life of the church.

  • Adult education and groups
  • Retreats
  • Audio-visual ministries
  • Children’s / young adults ministry
  • Coffee time / food service
  • Congregational care / visitation
  • Flowers and church beautification
  • Funerals
  • Library
  • Committees
  • Office volunteer
  • Publicity and promotion
  • Sermon tapes/ transcripts
  • Transportation
  • Ushers
  • Web site
  • Worship ministry teams

Singleness

The gift of remaining single in order to devote their extra time to ministry. People with the gift specifically use their time and energy in serve to the church, and would rather be single and celibate than married.

  • Time and energy to use additional gifts

Teaching

The ability to deeply study and understand the Bible, and to make it come alive to other Christians. Many churches with education programs ask members to teach based on their expertise or speaking ability, but neither of these things guarantees the spiritual gift of teaching.

  • Adult education and groups
  • Church retreats
  • Children’s Sunday school
  • Children’s worship
  • Young adult ministries
  • Drama
  • Student ministries
  • Church camp

Tongues

Prayer-praise language, also the ability to witness in foreign languages that one hasn’t learned. The book of Acts seems to point to both manifestations. When tongues are used in public, it should be combined with the gift of interpretation.

  • Prayer groups
  • Healing ministries

Voluntary poverty

A radical gift that allows Christians to live an extremely simple lifestyle to illustrate the self-emptying of Christ, to identify with the world’s poor, and to reject the evil of materialism. This gift is often combined with the gift of mission.

  • Community action groups
  • Intercessory prayer
  • Writing
  • Teaching

Wisdom

A practical application of God-given knowledge to concrete situations. The Christian with this gift knows how to help suffering people and situations with practical solutions modeled on the word and will of God.

  • Lay leader
  • Most committees
  • Nominating committee

With thanks to Central Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, Maryland for the original list.