Our Spiritual Gifts

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(It’s recommend you go through the The Purpose of Spiritual Gifts lesson prior to this one.)


Beliefs and emphases on spiritual gifts vary greatly between different groups of believers: some place little emphasis on them and others place great emphasis on them. Where are you on this spectrum? Do you believe you know what your spiritual gift(s) is/are? If so, which one(s)?


Summary: God has blessed every believer in Christ with at least one spiritual gift that empowers them to build up the body of Christ (1 Peter 4:10-11). What follows is a list of many of the spiritual gifts, New Testament references and a brief and very general definition. Each gift is followed by a few questions you can use to process whether this gift may be one of yours or someone you know.

Administration (1 Corinthians 12:28) With this gift the Holy Spirit enables certain Christians to organize, direct, and implement plans to lead others in the various ministries of the body of Christ. Those with this gift help others accomplish their goals.

  • Do you have the ability to organize events, resources, time and people effectively?
  • Have you ever found yourself thinking through the specific steps needed to accomplish an objective?

Apostleship (1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11) This gift is not to be confused with the office of an Apostle, which was held by Jesus’ original disciples. Those with the spiritual gift of apostleship start new ministries, go into places where the gospel has not been preached, reach across cultures to establish churches in challenging environments and raise up and develop leaders.

  • Do you find yourself dreaming about how to begin new ministries or churches?
  • Do you have a strong desire to take the gospel to places it has never been heard?

Discernment (1 Corinthians 12:10) The person with the gift of discernment will be able to know with assurance whether certain behavior or teachings claimed to be of God are in reality divine, human or satanic. They can discern when something is not of God.

  • Can you sense when someone’s teaching is off biblically?
  • Are you able to sense right and wrong clearly?

Evangelism (Ephesians 4:11) Those with the gift of evangelism are given the unique ability by the Holy Spirit to clearly and effectively communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ to others. They are burdened in their hearts for the lost and will go out of their way to share the truth with them. They also have a passion to equip others to share their faith.

  • Do you like to talk about Jesus with those who don’t know him?
  • Have you found it enjoyable or easy to communicate the gospel to those who don’t know God?

Exhortation/Encouragement (Romans 12:8) The Spirit of God gives this gift to people in the church to strengthen and encourage those who are wavering in their faith. Those with the gift of exhortation can uplift and motivate others as well as challenge and rebuke them in order to foster spiritual growth and action.

  • Does God use you to encourage others to live Christ-like lives?
  • Do you encourage others and help them feel “strengthened in the Lord"?

Faith (1 Corinthians 12:8-10) The Holy Spirit distributes the gift of faith to some to encourage and build up believers in their confidence in God. Those with this gift expect God to move and are not surprised when He answers a prayer or performs a miracle.

  • Do you find it easy to trust God in difficult situations?
  • Have you found yourself confidently believing God will work things out even in a dark time?

Giving (Romans 12:8) Those with this spiritual gift love to share with others out of whatever God has given them, and they do so generously and cheerfully. They are typically very hospitable and will seek out opportunities to help others.

  • Do you find great joy in giving to others?
  • Have you found great joy in meeting the needs of others through sharing your possessions?

Helps (1 Corinthians 12:28) This spiritual gift is given to some believers to fill the many gaps in ministry, and to meet the needs of others who are then able to begin using their spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ.

  • Do you find yourself taking action to meet the physical and practical needs of others?
  • Are you sensitive to the needs of others?

Knowledge (1 Corinthians 12:8) The Holy Spirit gives this spiritual gift to some believers to communicate biblical knowledge and understanding to others. The person with this gift is usually well-versed in the Scriptures and can retain the truth and communicate it at the appropriate times. They enjoy examining topics with careful detail.

  • Do you have a knack for recalling relevant Bible passages to address needs and questions you encounter?
  • Do you enjoy learning biblical facts and digging deep into Scripture?

Leadership (Romans 12:8) Those with the gift of leadership care for God’s people and lead them into deeper relationship with Christ and one another. They base their success on how well they help others succeed and grow in their relationships with God. They are visionaries who inspire others to accomplish goals.

  • Do you find others following you as you communicate your vision and ideas?
  • Have you found yourself influencing others to achieve their potential?

Mercy (Romans 12:8) Those with this gift have a great compassion for the suffering and troubles of others and will seek to help relieve their suffering. This is not just a feeling of pity, but it is action, coming alongside someone to help them feel encouraged and ease their suffering.

  • When you are around those who suffer, are you moved to take action to help them?
  • Are you good at helping the hurting and alleviating the suffering of others?

Pastor/Teacher (Ephesians 4:11) Pastors are called and gifted to care for the spiritual well-being of a local body of God’s people. Those with this spiritual gift teach, guide, protect, and lead other believers in the mission that God has for his church, namely the great commission.

  • Do you take the initiative to help other believers grow in their faith?
  • Have you sensed the need to help other people become more effective in their ministries?

Service (Romans 12:7) The gift of service is the ability to joyfully do tasks that are necessary but behind the scenes. They can make use of available resources and work hard to meet the needs of the body and help accomplish desired goals. This gift serves the body of Christ and frees up others to use their gifts to build up the body of Christ.

  • Do you find physical labor and working behind the scenes meaningful and gratifying?
  • Are you motivated to help with the practical needs of others?

Teaching (Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11) Those with this gift can teach, instruct, instill doctrine, explain, and expound God’s Word. Those with the spiritual gift of teaching love to study the Word of God, and they experience great joy and satisfaction in seeing others learn and apply the truth of God’s Word to their lives.

  • Do you find yourself motivated to study the Bible in order to teach it to others?
  • Are you able to explain Scripture in such a way that people can easily understand it?

Wisdom (1 Corinthians 12:8) Those with the spiritual gift of wisdom speak to specific situations with great understanding and a biblical perspective. Their goal is to guide believers toward lives of holiness and worship. They are able to apply the Bible to a person’s specific circumstance.

  • Are you usually able to analyze a situation correctly?
  • Do others seek you out when they are making difficult decisions?

Note: Unlike the gifts just discussed, the spiritual gifts of healing, tongues, interpretation of tongues, miracles and prophecy are debated among Christians. Some believe they are given to believers today while others believe they are not. Cru® holds no position as to whether these gifts are or aren’t active today.

Our sincere desire is that no matter what someone is persuaded to believe about any spiritual gift, their views and practices wouldn’t cause division among Christians. For example, to learn about Cru’s guidelines on speaking in tongues read the article Theological Perspective on the Holy Spirit.

Discuss: Select one person at a time, and have everyone else in the group share what they think this person’s spiritual gift(s) might be and why.

Bonus: Another way to better understand what your spiritual gift(s) might be is to take an online assessment. Try this one and discuss it.


Since we last met, what happened as a result of expressing Christ’s love to others?

How can you, or we, express Christ’s love to others this week?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Pray God would meet their deepest needs.
  • Help meet a felt need they have.
  • Encourage them with a text, note or verbally.
  • Give them a thoughtful gift or buy them coffee.
  • Invite them to do something fun or meaningful.
  • Listen to their story.
  • Explore their thoughts on the gospel.

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