Using Your Gifts for God’s Mission

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“There are different kinds of gifts. But they are all given to believers by the same Spirit. There are different ways to serve. But they all come from the same Lord. There are different ways the Spirit works. But the same God is working in all these ways and in all people. The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all.”

1 Corinthians 12: 4-7

One of my favorite things about my work with WMU is getting to meet leaders and learn about their passions and the ways God has gifted them to serve Him and others. For some, their passion is for children or students, helping to disciple and equip the next generation in their faith walk. For others, it may be working with a particular ministry or organization, or doing something like hosting a Bible study, planning a mission trip, praying, writing, or speaking.

Just as each part of the human body has a unique function, every member of the Body of Christ possesses spiritual gifts intended to edify and strengthen the Church. As believers, God uniquely equips us with gifts, talents, skills, and passions, and we have the opportunity every day to use our gifts to point people to Jesus.

Now more than ever, people need to see and feel the love of God through His people. What better way to do this than through using your gifts for God’s missions!

Determining Your Gifts

Scripture lists several spiritual gifts believers can have. You can read about them in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4. You can have the gift of leadership, administration, mercy, faith, healing, the gift of miracles, apostleship, pastoring, teaching, evangelism, exhortation or encouragement, prophecy, giving, speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues, and wisdom.

Spiritual gifts are given to us by the Holy Spirit and to be used to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness.” (Ephesians 4:12-13)

We must understand that there is a difference between our spiritual gifts, the gifts given to us through the Holy Spirit, and our natural talents and abilities, which we often refer to as gifts.

You can have talents from birth, and there are more than likely things you are good at or things that come naturally to you, like singing, drawing, or writing. Spiritual gifts are different, because we receive them only after accepting Jesus. The Holy Spirit gives them to us and refines them in us. But how do you know what your spiritual gifts are?

First and foremost, it’s important to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal them to you. You can study the gifts throughout scripture, take a spiritual gifts test, talk with your pastor, or look at what others have said you are good at or what has come naturally for you. For example, are you often asked to serve in leadership positions? Are you a source of encouragement to others? Do you enjoy teaching others? Do people often come to you for wisdom about situations or life circumstances?

Pay attention to what other people come to you for or what places you are asked repeatedly to serve in. Those can be good indicators of your spiritual gifts. If you know your spiritual gifts, what does this look like in your own life? How have you seen God use your gifts?

Your gifts and God’s mission go hand in hand.

Using Your Gifts

Frederick Buechner says, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

Your gifts and God’s mission go hand in hand. Your calling is what God has put on your heart as a way to serve Him, and the way you use your gifts is putting action to that calling in serving others and building up the Body of Christ.

Maybe your heart breaks over the issue of human trafficking, so you start volunteering at a local organization that helps rescue victims of trafficking. Perhaps you have a gift for teaching children or discipling teens, or you get a lot of joy and fulfillment from serving at a local food bank, writing, speaking, or leading in some capacity. Whatever it is, know that God can use it, and He wants to use it for His glory.

Ask God how He wants to use you and what your personal mission field is. Pay attention to the local needs of your church and community. Is there a need not being met? Has God given you a passion or gift that could fill that need?

Remember, it is never too late to discover and begin using your gifts. As you continue to grow spiritually, your knowledge of how to use your gifts will also grow. When you operate in your giftings, you have the opportunity to point people to Jesus. You can take the gospel to the places right where you are and beyond. You can do it in a way that is unique to you and the way God made you.

Who or what has God burdened your heart for? How are you currently utilizing your spiritual gifts?

Make time for an intentional prayer time with God this week. Seek Him and talk to Him about the ways He has gifted you. And ask Him how He wants you to use your gifts to serve Him and others.

Scripture references on gifts:

  • 1 Corinthians 12: 4-7
  • Ephesians 4:12-13
  • Romans 12
  • 1 Timothy 4:14
  • Romans 11:29
  • Hebrews 2:4

Spiritual Gifts Test

  • Calling
  • Great Commission
  • Women
Amanda Martinsen

Amanda Martinsen serves as the Leadership Development Consultant for WMU North Carolina. Amanda is a writer, speaker, certified biblical life coach, and co-host of the Beyond the Moment podcast. She is a former social worker turned ministry consultant with a love for missions and equipping leaders for Kingdom service. She and her husband Brian have three daughters and live in Sanford, NC.

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