"Spiritual Gifts 'Lists'"
You might find slightly different lists of “Spiritual Gifts” but most will be similar. Here is one particular list (LifeWay Christian Resources) of these Spiritual Gifts. Let me read them very slowly. Think about each one [describe each briefly]: Leadership, administration, teaching, knowledge, wisdom, prophecy, discernment, exhortation, shepherding, faith, evangelism, apostleship, service/helps, mercy, giving, and hospitality.
How many here would have listed as gifts such talents as faith or helps or giving or hospitality? Yet, if we meditate on these four gifts for a moment, hopefully it becomes obvious how important they are to the body of Christ.
For example, have you ever entered someone’s home and felt like an honored guest? They made you feel so welcome. They made you feel like you were someone important. They cared about you. They listened to every word and every story. In short, they wanted you to be there. And after the evening ended, they hated to see you leave. Is this not an important gift for the church?
Now, let us be clear, we should ALL, as a Christian trait, be hospitable. We as a church want to be identified as a warm and welcoming church. Do not expect one or two people with a special gift of hospitality to make four hundred members and constituents feel welcome. Nevertheless, there are those with the uncanny ability to become instant friends with others…to make them feel “at home” at Trinity Church…to make them feel wanted and important…to make them feel loved by God.
Another list (Modified Houts) that has been around a long time (and I learned many years ago) builds upon the first list and adds several more. You will notice on this inventory the specific gifts of Pastor and Missionary. They also add what many may call “Pentecostal” gifts like miracles, healing, tongues, and interpretation. There are a couple more that most would never consider as gifts. They are celibacy and martyrdom. I bet not many of us have prayed for the gift of martyrdom!
I pray we are beginning to understand the importance of understanding and appreciating our own and others’ talents, strengths, Spiritual gifts, calling, and abilities. Remember, we are all called in some way to advance God’s Kingdom. No one is exempt from serving in the Lord’s army. We have all been blessed with particular abilities, strengths, and personalities at birth. They are a part of “who we are.” Furthermore, God distributes certain Spiritual Gifts to His people, members within His body, as He chooses in order to effectively minster to one another and spread the gospel message throughout the world. What a powerful force for the Kingdom of God when every member of Christ’s body recognizes his or her potential and humbly agrees to serve!