Everyone Gets to Play

Spiritual gifts are supernatural empowerments given by the Holy Spirit to the followers of Jesus so that we can do the work of building up the body of Christ, that is, the church, and extend the Kingdom of God throughout the world.

We are called by God to use our spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ, the church.

We don’t just go to church. We are the church. And as the body of Christ, we cannot experience the fullness of all that we are meant to be until each member uses their unique God-given spiritual gifts to build up the church. For those of you that are Jesus followers, God has given each of you spiritual gifts, and He wants you to use them in the church. God wants every person to be active, making a difference, in the Church. There is something for every person to do. Therefore, if you are not yet doing anything in the Church, then there is something that God wants to be done that’s not being done. God wants His Church to be full of people using their gifts to make a difference in the lives of others.

We are called by God to use our spiritual gifts to extend the Kingdom of God throughout the world.

Not only do we serve in His Church – that’s so important – to build one another up, but we are called as the church to join Jesus in the extension of his Kingdom throughout the world by using our spiritual gifts. Now, make no mistake about it, we are not saved by good works. We are saved by grace, through faith, and that alone.  We are not saved by good works, but make no mistake about it, we are saved for good works. We are not saved by good works, but as followers of Jesus, we are saved to make a difference in this world.

Here is a detailed list of spiritual gifts.



Description: The ability to organize information and things for themselves and others to work efficiently in the Body of Christ.

Common traits and functions: Organizing, systematizing, efficiency oriented, coordinating.

Best use: Organize information, materials, and people in an efficient manner for a particular task.

Worst use: Counseling people regarding personal problems.

Developmental ideas: Observe how others with this gift have organized for efficiency. Understand available organizational tools (computer, accounting systems, etc.). Study the value of relationships versus organization.

Scripture: 1 Cor. 12:28



Description: The ability to see the big picture of the Body’s ministries and provide what is lacking through pioneering a ministry.

Common traits and functions: Envisioning, building, decisive, practical and conceptual.

Best use: Pioneer new and innovative ministries. Overhaul existing ministries which have lost their sense of purpose and direction. Train others in ministry by mentoring them.

Worst use: Maintain an existing ministry with little opportunity for changing it.

Developmental ideas: Network with others who have this gift. Work in conjunction with others with the gift of wisdom and knowledge.

Scripture: Eph. 4:11; 1 Cor. 12:28.



Description: The ability to perceive whether a person ministering in God’s name is really from God, Satan or acting out of human power and the ability to perceive whether a person is unique, authentic and honest.

Common traits and functions: Spiritually perceptive, sensitive to moral issues, personally steadfast, rightly evaluating

Best use: Interviewing people seeking ministry positions. Evaluating the quality and maturity of a ministry. Identifying insincere and dishonest people.

Worst use: Designing solutions for improvement and implementing them. Developmental ideas: Work through personally difficult issues where self-righteousness and defensiveness often breed. Understand the biblical difference between judging to condemn and judging to correct with mercy and truth.

Scripture: 1 Cor. 12:10; 1 John 4:1-3; Gal. 1:6-9



Description: The ability and drive to communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ to those who are not believers.

Common traits and functions: Bold communicator, secure, eternity focus, deep concern for the eternal destiny of others

Best use: Serve on a mission team. Initiate conversations about Christ with nonbelievers. Special outreach ministries. Train others in sharing Christ.

Worst use: Too much involvement with Christians so as to severely limit contact with non-Christians.

Developmental ideas: Understand and appreciate the pressure points of non-Christians (i.e., where the world system is insufficient). Understand how to defend the Gospel through truth and relationships. Have a clear understanding of what the Good News of Jesus is.

Scripture: Eph. 4:11; 2 Tim. 4:5; Acts 21:8.



Description: The ability to identify the deep needs of individuals and guide them to meaningful resolution of those needs through comfort, encouragement, confrontation, and instruction. And/or the ability to motivate people to meaningful growth through instructing them in the biblical truths regarding growth processes.

Common traits and functions: Relationally perceptive, motivating, process oriented, growth oriented

Best use: Guiding another individual or small group through difficult personal problems. Motivating groups of people to apply biblical truths which lead to maturity.

Worst use: Become overloaded with too many people. Required to lead a group of people.

Developmental ideas: Understand what God’s Word says about the nature of man, the attributes of God, evil and pain, confession, repentance, and sanctification (i.e., the process of changing to be like Christ).

Scripture: Rom. 12:8; John 16:7-11



Description: The ability to confidently believe God for changes and spiritual growth which will enhance the purposes of God.

Common traits and functions: Future oriented, biblical values, change oriented, confident.

Best use: Involved in new ministry initiatives where resistance from Satan is encountered.

Worst use: Tasked with maintaining the status quo in a ministry.

Developmental ideas: Study faith from the Scriptures. Pray with others with the gift of faith. Understand faith, intuition, and presumption.

Scripture: 1 Cor. 12:9; Heb. 11; Matt. 17:19-21



Description: The ability to determine the physical needs of people and provide physical resources to help meet those needs.

Common traits and functions: Resourceful, considerate, generous, materially unsparing.

Best use: Contributing material resources beyond their natural ability for the work of God.

Worst use: Under-challenged. Restricted to give to one ministry.

Developmental ideas: Be exposed to a variety of ministries. Pray with those with the gift of giving and the gift of faith. Understand the biblical teachings on possessions and material resources.

Scripture: Rom. 12:8; Acts 5:1-11; 2 Cor. 8:1-9:15



Description: The ability to call on God to heal the sick by supernatural means.

Common traits and functions: Trusts God’s ability, compassionate, supports the infirm, prayerful.

Best use: Healing the sick as a means of demonstrating the power and glory of God. Worst use: Seeking self-glorification.

Developmental ideas: Understanding the healing ministries of Jesus and Paul.

Scripture: 1 Cor. 12:9,30; Peter and John (Acts 3:1-16)



Description: The ability to work alongside another and help that person complete the task God has given him/her.

Common traits and functions: Supportive, loyal, detail oriented, responsive to the initiatives of others.

Best use: Serve as a detail person for a leader of a ministry.

Worst use: Leading a ministry.

Developmental ideas: Understand the value God places on serving. Understand the limits and dangers of complying to another person’s wishes.

Scripture: 1 Cor. 12:28.



Description: The ability to understand and communicate the meaning of an unknown language spoken by one who has the gift of tongues.

Common traits and functions: Perceptive of meanings, linguistically proficient, careful with interpretations, seeks edification of all.

Best use: Interpret an unknown tongue within corporate worship.

Developmental ideas: Understand the biblical teaching on the value and dangers of tongues.

Scripture: 1 Cor. 12:10,30; 14:1-19



Description: The ability to seek out and remember a myriad of facts on various subjects.

Common traits and functions: Analytical, objective, accumulate information, researching.

Best use: Delineating a detailed plan for a ministry vision, project or activity.

Worst use: Leading and implementing the plan.

Developmental ideas: Exposure to information relevant to his/her ministry of interest. Exposure to decision-makers who will use this knowledge. Understand the dangers and benefits of knowledge.

Scripture: 1 Cor. 12:8; 1 Cor. 8:1



Description: The ability to serve by overseeing, coordinating, and motivating others in the work of God.

Common traits and functions: Purposeful, destiny driven, comfortable with power, views leading as a service.

Best use: A primary leader of a ministry.

Worst use: Detail implementation.

Developmental ideas: Understand God’s perspective on leadership, power, submission, and serving. Understand the limits of authority of a spiritual leader.

Scripture: Rom. 12:8; Heb. 13:17



Description: The ability to perceive the hurts of people and console them without condemnation.

Common traits and functions: Perceptive of feelings, consoling, not condemning, accommodating.

Best use: Consoling those with emotional scars from sin.

Worst use: Evaluating the intentions of others.

Developmental ideas: Understand the mercy and justice of God from the Scriptures. Be exposed to the exhortation gift. Understand the benefit of mercy with cheerfulness.

Scripture: Rom. 12:7



Description: The ability to call on God to do supernatural acts.

Common traits and functions: Substantiates God’s claims, supernatural focus, daring, perceptive of God’s will

Best use: Believing God for miracles which will bring glory to God and cause others to consider God’s will for their lives.

Worst use: Seeking self-glorification.

Developmental ideas: Understand from Scripture God’s purposes for doing miracles and withholding miracles.

Scripture: 1 Cor. 12:10,29



Description: The ability to recognize (and a driving force to confront) the sinful behavior of individuals, groups and/or cultures—and the ability to perceive implications and consequences of current actions.

Common traits and functions: Sensitive to sin, determined, high value on biblical behavior, quality control.

Best use: Influence believers and society toward biblically moral behavior. Train others by mentoring them.

Worst use: Leading a group.

Developmental ideas: A broad study of biblical teachings. Understanding of moral absolutes and relatives from Scripture. Understand the role of faith in prophecy.

Scripture: Rom. 12:6; 1 Cor. 12:10, 28; Eph. 4:11.



Description: The ability to oversee and care for the spiritual needs of a group of people.

Common traits and functions: Sensitive to group needs, caring for people, guiding others, people gatherer

Best use: Pastor a local group of believers. Train others by mentoring them.

Worst use: Pioneer a new ministry. Heavy load of personal counseling.

Developmental ideas: Understand God’s dealing with groups of people. Understand biblical principles of group conflict resolution.

Scripture: Eph. 4:11; 1 Pet. 5:1- 4



Description: The ability to identify and the desire to help meet the physical needs of others.

Common traits and functions: Perceptive of physical needs, eager to serve, empathetic toward the needy, eases burdens.

Best use: Help meet the physical needs of people.

Worst use: Personally removed from the needs of others.

Developmental ideas: Study when and how Jesus said “No” to the physical needs of people.

Scripture: Rom. 12:7



Description: The ability to understand and communicate the truth of God in a clear and relevant manner.

Common traits and functions: Cause-effect focus, brings clarity, concern for relevance, illustrating truth.

Best use: Speaking to various sizes of groups of believers. Speaking on subjects with personal conviction. Train others by instructing and mentoring.

Worst use: Expecting all teachers to be good evangelists and prophets.

Developmental ideas: Exposure to other teachers and teaching methods. Systematic study of the Old and New Testaments.

Scripture: Rom. 12:7; 1 Cor. 12:29; Eph. 4:11



Description: The ability to speak a language (known or unknown) without prior knowledge of that language.

Common traits and functions: Contextualizes the gospel, uncomplicated speech, open to the uncommon, inspires movement toward conversion.

Best use: Sharing Christ with non-Christians in a language that they can understand and that moves them to a heart response.

Worst use: Public worship without interpretation.

Developmental ideas: Understand the scriptural teachings on tongues: the benefits and dangers to the furtherance of the Gospel.

Scripture: 1 Cor. 12:10,30; 14:1-19



Description: The ability to discern applicable principles from God’s Word to complex situations.

Common traits and functions: Synthesizing, intuiting meaning, designing, observing and concluding.

Best use: Consulting and advising regarding the foundations, direction and design of a ministry.

Worst use: Detailed implementation and leading.

Developmental ideas: Broad study of Scripture in order to understand a biblical world view. Broad exposure to people and ideas. Exposure to decision-makers.

Scripture: 1 Cor. 12:8.

Insoo Kim