Spiritual Gifts Definitions

The following page contains suggested definitions for each gift. Also, supporting scriptures are supplied to help you begin a study of your spiritual gifts and how to use them in the local body. Some scripture references will give examples of the gift in use, others will be instructional or informative of the gift's use or existence.

List of Gifts:

1. Leadership 4. Healing 8. Missionary
2. Evangelism 5. Helps 9. Service
3. Giving 6. Hospitality 10. Shepherd
7. Intercession 11. Teaching

Gift Definitions:

1. Leadership:

"The special ability that God gives to certain members of the body of Christ to understand clearly the immediate and long-range goals of a particular unit of the body of Christ and to devise and execute effective plans for the accomplishment of those goals."
This gift is a leadership gift and is often characterized by people who lead the body by steering others to remain on task. These people generally are concerned with the details of how to accomplish tasks, and tend to be masters at delegating specific tasks to other people according to their gifts and talents. Scriptures: Luke 14:28-30; Acts 6:1-7; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Titus 1:5.

2. Evangelism:

The special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to readily share the gospel with unbelievers in such a way that men and women often become Jesus’ disciples and responsible members of the Body of Christ.
This gift is a practical gift. While the task of evangelism is an important spiritual exercise that all Christians should be involved with, God gifts certain members with an ability to have unusual sensitivity to when someone is ready to accept Christ, and will generally have greater success in leading people to Christ than other Christians. People with this gift should be active in training others to share their faith. Scriptures: Acts 8:5-6, 26-40; Ephesians 4:11-14; 2 Timothy 4:5.

3. Giving:

"The special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to contribute their material resources to the work of the Lord with liberality and cheerfulness."
This gift is a practical gift. While all Christians should practice the discipline of giving through the minimum of 10% (tithe), God gifts certain members of the body to give remarkably greater amounts of their income with liberality and great joy. These people have an acute awareness that all they have belongs to the Lord and they are merely stewards, therefore they know that God will supply their needs and richly bless them in their giving. Scriptures: Matthew 6:2-4; Mark 12:41-44; Romans 12:8; 1 Corinthians 13:3; 2 Corinthians 8:1-7; 9:2-8; Philippians 4:14-19.

4. Healing:

The special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to serve as human intermediaries through whom God cures illness and restores health apart from the use of natural means.
This gift is a sign gift. Many attribute the occurrence of supernatural healing to a certain level of faith. Those who have this gift must use it knowing that the healing only occurs within the limits of God’s will, and therefore miraculous healing will not always occur. Those with this gift must also recognize that God does often choose to use medical science to bring about healing in a person, therefore doctors and medicine are not obsolete. Miraculous healing will only occur if it will bring the greatest glory to God and effectively grow His church. Scripture: Acts 3:1-10; 5:12-16; 9:32-35; 28:7-10; 1 Corinthians 12:9, 28.

5. Helps: 

The special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to invest the talents they have in the life and ministry of other members of the Body, thus enabling those others to increase the effectiveness of their own spiritual gifts.
This gift is a practical gift. People with this gift often enjoy doing routine tasks in order to free others to do the ministry God has called them to do. People with this gift are often not looking for recognition for the work they do. Scriptures: Mark 15:40-41; Luke 8:2-3; Acts 9:36; Romans 16:1-2; 1 Corinthians 12:28; 2 Timothy 1:16-18.

6. Hospitality:

"The special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to provide an open house and a warm welcome to those in need of food and lodging."
This gift is a practical gift. Those with this gift have an acute awareness of visitors and have a desire to make all people feel welcome. People with this gift enjoy visitors in their home, and are usually not bothered if someone stops by and their home is not spotless. Those with this gift are a key to helping new people become a part of the group. Scriptures: Acts 16:14-15; Romans 12:9-13; 16:23; Hebrews 13:1-2; 1 Peter 4:9.

7. Intercession:

"The special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to pray for extended periods of time on a regular basis and see frequent and specific answers to their prayers, to a degree much greater than that which is expected of the average Christian."
This gift is a practical gift. Those with this gift often feel compelled to pray for specific requests when they are made known. Gifted intercessors have a much greater occurrence of specific answers to prayer than most Christians. Intercessors often have an acute understanding that prayer is genuinely a conversation with God, and when left alone, find themselves engaged in prayer. Many intercessors experience times when God moves them to pray for situations when they are not entirely sure what they are praying for. To those who get to know intercessors well, prayer becomes contagious. Those with this gift should help others learn how to pray more effectively. Scriptures: Luke 22:41-44; Acts 12:12; Romans 8:26-27; Colossians 1:9-12; 4:12-13; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; James 5:14-16.

8. Missionary:

The special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to minister whatever other spiritual gifts thy have in a culture other than their own.
This gift is a leadership gift. Those with this gift find it easy or exciting to adjust to a different culture or community. Missionaries find great joy working with minorities, people of other countries, or those with other distinct cultural differences. Those with this gift have a stronger-than-average desire to be a part of the fulfillment of the Great Commission around the world. Scriptures: Acts 8:4; 13:1-4; 22:21; Romans 10:15; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.

9. Service:

"The special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to identify the unmet needs involved in a task related to God’s work, and to make use of available resources to meet those needs and help accomplish the desired results."
This gift is a practical gift. Those with the gift of service enjoy doing routine tasks around the church regardless of how they effect others. Those with this gift enjoy menial tasks and do them cheerfully. Service-oriented people would rather take orders than give them. Scripture: John 12:26; Acts 6:1-7; Romans 12:6-7; Galatians 6:2, 9-10; 2 Timothy 1:16-18; Titus 3:14.

10. Shepherd:

"The special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to assume a long-term personal responsibility for the welfare of a group of believers."
This gift is a leadership gift. This gift is often called "pastor," however, that name has a connotation of a specific position in the church. In actuality, when pastors have this gift, their ability to continue sustained growth in their churches is greatly diminished, as they tend to require a certain level of interaction with every member of their congregation. Those with the gift of shepherd have a great need for long-term relationships. Shepherds will sacrificially give themselves to other people in such a way that they are built-up in their faith. Shepherds take personal responsibility for the successes and failures of those in the group that they invest themselves in. Scriptures: John 10:1-18; Ephesians 4:11-14; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; 1 Peter 5:1-4.

11. Teaching:

"The special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to communicate information relevant to the health and ministry of the Body in such a way that others will learn, especially in the context of Kids ministry."
      This gift is a communication gift. People with the gift of teaching enjoy sharing truths and stories from the Bible in a way that often helps kids to effectively listen and engage with what they are learning. Those with this gift find it easy to organize information in such a way as to make it easy to communicate and for kids to understand and remember. Scriptures: Matthew 7:28-29; 28:19-20; Acts 15:32; Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28; Ephesians 4:11-14.

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