Archive for December 17, 2018

Finding your gift

I spend a lot of time traveling to churches, talking to congregations about serving God with their gifts. It’s a passion of mine, mostly because I am where I am today because someone showed me how to use my gift of art to serve the Lord. This ministry generates a recurring question:

How can I find my gift?

The question comes from the hearts of genuinely loving people who really want to serve the Lord, but who struggle with how to best serve the Lord. The good news is, there is an answer to their question. Actually there are two. The first is pray and ask God to reveal His gifts to you. There are also some ways to help you discern. I find that our gifts are usually found at the intersection of three things:

What do you do well/best? It would make sense that if God is going to be glorified in our gifts, then the majority of our gifts are probably going to be things God has given us a talent or a natural ability to do. Comparison is not helpful at this stage. Don’t look for something you do better than others, ask yourself “What is the best thing I do?” Chances are the things you do best are areas of gifting for you.

What do you love to do? It would further make sense that if God wants you to use a gift to His glory, it would be something you love to do. Now this is not always the case, but for the most part, your gifts tend to be things you love to do. The reason for this is simple—natural talent only takes you so far. The things we will excel at are generally the things we love to do enough to work and, develop and perfect.

What are your opportunities and experiences? Sometimes our gifts are more about opportunities than about abilities. Sometimes the things we experience uniquely qualify us to serve. For example, I was a bullied kid, and while I would not wish that experience on anyone, it was so helpful when I started working with youth. Romans 8:28 works!

Here’s my path in a nutshell. My art ability is natural, I was born with it. That being said, I have worked tirelessly at it and the reason I can do that is because I love it. Being a speaker/preacher was a much different path. When I was a small child, I loved to perform for family and friends, but the aforementioned bullying drove that desire into deep hiding. But the time I walked into the church I was terrified to speak in public. Art opened the door. My pastor asked me to pant a backdrop for vacation Bible school. That led to being in a skit in VBS, which led to other skits, which led to teaching, which led to preaching and speaking. That gift came about based on another opportunity and an experience.

Here’s what I know for sure: Everybody has at least one gift from God that can be used to his glory. I don’t believe He has left anyone empty-handed including you. First pray and ask God the question, then ask yourself the above questions and you should be well on your way to finding your gifts. Then, once you find them, put them to work and to God be the glory.

Pray and answer the above questions. When you have finished your list, look for places where they intersect. These will be clues to your gifts.