We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:6-8 (NIV)
Every believer has one primary motivational gift
According to the above passage, the seven motivational gifts are:
- Prophecy – Communication of revealed truth that builds up believers
- Service – Practical service to help others
- Teaching – To provide guidance and moral instruction
- Encouragement – Encouraging, comforting, and exhorting others
- Giving – Cheerfully contributing to the needs of others
- Leadership – Service carried out for the benefit of others
- Mercy – Helpful activities such as feeding the hungry, caring of the sick and aging
Not only does the Bible command the church to lovingly exercise all seven of these motivational gifts, but every believer also needs these seven areas in order to grow as God desires.
Do you know your primary motivational gift? It’s our job to discover what that gift is. Spiritual gift inventories may be helpful, but I’ve found the best way is to jump in and try an area of service that seems fitting, (see God’s Masterpiece & Sublime Design).
Taking a class at church and/or talking to someone who knows you well will also help you discover your primary gift. I really like how our church encourages and gives people permission to volunteer for 90 days in an area of service. By the end of three months, the individual has a pretty good idea if he/she has that particular gift. If it’s not a good fit, we’re encouraged to try another area of ministry.
We are most effective for Christ when we lovingly use the gift(s) He has given us, (see 1 Corinthians 13). But this shouldn’t be an excuse for not occasionally taking out the trash, or lending a helping hand for someone whose primary gift isn’t service.
I love that God shapes us uniquely. Our gifts will look differently in the way they are expressed through a variety of ministry. When we exercise our gifts through ministry, the Holy Spirit is the One who determines what impact another believer will receive (1 Corinthians 12:8-11).
How do you know what your primary gift is?
Joy and fruitfulness are often the results when exercising your primary gift.