When you were permanently indwelled by the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation, God gave you spiritual gifts. The purpose for those gifts is to serve in the church. If you’re not exercising your gifts then your church is missing out.
Some believers are unsure what spiritual gifts they have. Some wonder if they've received any at all. But God assures us in His word that every born-again believer has at least one (1 Peter 4:10). The question is not, “Do I have any spiritual gifts.” The question to ask is, “which spiritual gifts do I have?”
Theologians have categorized them into two groups; speaking gifts and serving gifts. Speaking gifts are those verbally communicated. They include evangelizing, teaching, exhorting (encourage, comfort, counsel), and pastoring. Examples of gifts in the serving category are administration, faith, giving, helping, and mercy. If you really have no idea which gift(s) you have then how can you learn to identify them? Here are six suggestions:
Look for a need in your church and ask yourself if there’s something you can do to fulfill that need.
Just try something. Does someone in the church need a bit of encouragement (exhortation)? Can you take charge of ordering supplies like hand soap, paper towels, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies (administration)? Can you teach a 4th grade Bible class (teaching)? Can you befriend visitors and explain the gospel to them in a clear way (evangelizing)? Just try something.
Often, but not always, God gives spiritual gifts to make our natural gifts more impactful.
Think of the Apostle Paul. Taught by Gamaliel, Paul was a Pharisee of Pharisees, intelligent, and a naturally gifted communicator. But once saved, his natural abilities were enhanced and used for their intended purposes; to evangelize, teach and exhort. God may also have given you gifts that pair well with your natural abilities.
Be open to identify and accept whatever gift(s) God has given you.
Some gifts attract more attention than others. Obviously, pastors and teachers are prominent, everyone knows who they are. But equally important are the gifts being exercised which few recognize. Remember, it’s God, in His Divine providence, Who decides which gifts to give to which of His children. All gifts are important because all members of the body are fitly joined together.
Have the right attitude about spiritual gifts.
Realize that they’re to be used for service. They are not intended to attract attention to yourself. Remember Jesus’ words; “the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Be like Jesus.
Evaluate your experience.
Do you think your service to others was effective? Do you have an inner sense of satisfaction after serving? If so then you possibly have that gift. Believers rejoice when they know they’re being used effectively by God. Think soberly about your gifts. You shouldn’t think of yourself more highly than you ought. On the other hand, you shouldn’t think too little of what God has given you. Think soberly.
Ask other mature believers for their honest evaluation.
Remember, sometimes the expression of our gift takes time to develop. Ask a trusted, mature believer for feedback.
Your relationship with the church is one of giving and receiving. Not only do you receive when you listen to sermons, attend Bible studies, and are edified by the choir. God also wants you to serve using your spiritual gifts. If you’re not serving then the church is missing out. God says you’re important and your gifts are important. This world is discouraging in various ways but the church is instructed to encourage and build each other up (edify). We do that by exercising our spiritual gifts. We need each other.