Spiritual Gifts

We are called and gifted to serve. There is a connection between who we are and what God has in mind for us. Learn more about how God has gifted you, and how your gifts, passions, and personal style can enhance your service at church and in the community.

Course Content

  • Why Do We Serve?
  • Purpose of Gifts
  • Discovery of Gifts
  • Power of Love
  • Value of Personality
  • Influence of Passion

For more information contact the church office.


Spiritual Gift Index

Spiritual Gift | Administration

“I left you behind in Crete for this reason, that you should put in order what remained to be done…”
Titus 1:5


A person with the Spiritual Gift of Administration has the ability to organize information, events, or material to work efficiently for the Body of Christ.

Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Administration?

  • I like to organize people, events, ideas, resources, or time.
  • When a group I am in or project I’m working on is lacking organization, I tend to step in to fill the gap.
  • I have enjoyed bearing the responsibility for the success of a particular task within my church.
  • I enjoy learning about management issues and how organizations function efficiently.

‘“The project led itself once people recognized the need. I didn’t inspire or motivate, I just kept the machinery well oiled,” he said when a friend tried to praise his leadership skills.’ The spiritual gift of administration often acts this way. A person with a life gift for managing time and priorities, finances, or organization simply comes alongside an effort and adds the ingredients needed for God to accomplish His purposes.” [1]

Suggestions for developing your Spiritual Gift of Administration

  • Observe how others with this gift organize people, events, ideas, resources, or time.
  • Develop skills that improve your efficiency.
  • Practice: If you’re unsure, practice by taking administrative responsibility for a small task.

“And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.”
1 Corinthians 12:28 (NIV)

[1] Jane A.G. Kise et al., eds., LifeKeys Discovering Who You Are, Why You’re Here, What You Do Best (Bethany House Publishers, 1996), 72.


Spiritual Gift | Craftsmanship

“And you shall speak to all who have ability, whom I have endowed with skill…. These are the vestments that they shall make: a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a checkered tunic, a turban, and a sash. When they make these sacred vestments for your brother Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests.”
Exodus 28:3-4


A person with the spiritual gift of Craftsmanship has the ability to forward the kingdom of God through creative skills such as carpentry, graphic arts, painting, and sewing. This gift provides the believer with the skill of creating artistic expressions that produce a spiritual response of strength and inspiration.

Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Craftsmanship?

  • Do you have significant artistic or craft ability that you would like to put into service for the Lord?
  • Can you see how your artistic or craftsmanship skills could be used to benefit the body of Christ?
  • Are you aware that people have been blessed through your craft skills or artistic ability?
  • Are you characterized as a creative person or someone who's good with their hands?
  • Can you envision some specific projects that you could undertake to use this gift or the kingdom of God?

What specific artistic or craftsmanship abilities has God given you?

People with this gift:

  • Work with raw materials like wood, cloth, paint, metal, glass
  • Work with different kinds of tools and are skilled with their hands
  • Make things which increase the efficacy of others' ministries
  • Create tangible items and resources for ministry use
  • Use variety and creativity to captivate people and cause them to consider Christ ’s message
  • Demonstrate fresh ways to express the Lord ’s ministry and message.

How might this gift be used? Consider how God might use this gift through you and thereby build up the church. Habitat for Humanity and making lap quilts are just two ways one might use the gift of craftsmanship.


Study Your Craft: Find ways to be trained and so bring forth your skills of artistry. Be Creative for God: Listen to the source of your gift, i.e., find ways to deepen your spirituality and count on God to set your imagination free. For example, seek out writings of other Christian crafts people to learn how they have opened themselves to God's inspiration.

Unlike some spiritual gifts, Craftsmanship produces fruit that can be readily and immediately seen. The results are tangible. It is also a gift that focuses largely on praise for the Lord, and the act of praising is always full of joy. You are blessed to have the gift of artistry or craftsmanship. rejoice!


Spiritual Gift | Creative Communication


“Praise him with trumpet sound; Praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; Praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with clanging cymbals; Praise him with loud clashing cymbals!”
Psalm 150:3-5

“David danced before the LORD with all his might; David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.”
2 Samuel 6:14-15


The Spirit-given ability to communicate God’s truth through visual, written, or performing arts.

People with the gift of Creative Communication strive to worship God, give God glory, show the Kingdom of God to others, bless, encourage, and bring peace through beauty.

More specifically people with this gift

  • Use the arts to communicate God’s truth
  • Identify, develop and use artistic skills in themselves and others
  • Use variety and creativity to captivate people and cause them to consider Christ’s message
  • Challenge people’s perspective of God through various forms of the arts
  • Demonstrate fresh ways to express the Lord’s ministry and message.

Some of the ways the gift of Creative Communication can be seen within our own worship experiences include banner design, music (hand bells, singing, playing instruments), and drama vignettes.

The gift of Creative Communication is manifested in other ministries. Consider photography, writing plays or music, and design for everything from websites to bulletin boards to motion graphics. Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church rejoices together with those who have the gift of Creative Communication who can hear what God is saying, and communicate that message creatively and effectively.


Spiritual Gift | Encouragement

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a [person’s] gift is encouraging…let him encourage…”
Romans 12:6, 8


A person with the gift of encouragement has the ability to listen effectively to others, to offer wise counsel, support, and empowerment – helping to bring about emotional, relational, or physical healing.

Do you have the Spiritual Gift of Encouragement?

  • Others say I’m a good listener, or friends seek me out when they’ve got problems.
  • I often see the best in others – things they’re slow to recognize in themselves.
  • I am usually tuned into the emotional state of people around me, whether things are going well or whether the chips are down.
  • When folks find themselves in stressful situations, I can often offer perspective in a way that is helpful to them.
  • I sympathize easily and am tolerant of others' shortcomings, and at the same time I enjoy helping them mature in their faith.
  • I like to reassure people who are discouraged how much God loves them.

“And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together… but encouraging one another…”
Hebrews 10:24-25


Affirm Your Gift: Identify a mentor with the same gift who will encourage you as you pursue an encourager role.

Challenge Yourself: Sign up for a class in counseling or mediation, or consider training that emphasizes listening to others or walking alongside them in times of crisis.

Step Out in Faith: Consider small group leader training, and then use your gift to make each group time together a time of encouragement for each participant.

“When he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast devotion.”
Acts 11:23


Spiritual Gift | Evangelism


“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:8

Evangelism is the Spirit-given ability to share the gospel with others so that they respond in faith and move towards discipleship.

People with this gift

  • Communicate the message of Christ with clarity and conviction
  • Seek out opportunities to talk to unbelievers about spiritual matters
  • Encourage unbelievers to faith and to become fully devoted followers of Christ
  • Seek opportunities to build relationships with unbelievers.

Evangelists are men and women, lay people and professionals, ordained and non-ordained, neighbors and coworkers, youth and adults, denominational and interdenominational, mono-cultural and cross-cultural, work in existing churches and church planting. Well-known public evangelists may come to mind, yet there are unnamed others who have been effective via sports, literature, music, and just hanging out.

A person with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelism might be a greeter, usher, class leader, may welcome newcomers, serve in prison or campus or park ministry, participate in renewal events, teach others about relational evangelism, coordinate outreach events, perform inner-city work, be a missionary or one-on-one witness, support missionaries (visit, letters, contacts), or do web outreach.

It’s important to remember that all spiritual gifts are given by God. Billy Graham, arguably the modern world’s greatest evangelist, confirms his dependence on the Holy Spirit in his ministry, “The words from Zechariah should be written indelibly on our hearts and minds…”

“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, ’ says the Lord Almighty.”
Zechariah 4:6


Spiritual Gift | Faith

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1


A person with the Spiritual Gift of Faith acts on God’s promises with confidence and unwavering belief in God’s ability to fulfill his purposes…an extraordinary ability to trust God.

Do you have the spiritual gift of Faith?

  • Do you know God is faithful even when life seems impossible?
  • Do you firmly believe God is active in our lives?
  • Do your friends tell you you’re an “incurable optimist”?
  • If you sense that God is behind a project or idea, are you able to support it even when others are doubtful?
  • Does your personal experiences help you believe in the power of faith?

Suggestions for developing your gift of Faith

Read and study some of the wonderful stories of faith in the Bible – Mark 5:25-34 (woman with a hemorrhage), Acts 27:21-25 (the storm at sea when Paul sails for Rome); Hebrews 11 (Faith’s Hall of Fame!).

Record in your journal instances where you are sure God is at work. Reread them later to see what actually happened.

Pray with other people who have the gift of faith or intercessory prayer.

Consider how the gift of faith would manifest itself in your situation, on the job, at home, in your responsibilities in the church or community.

“No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.”
Romans 4:20-21


Spiritual Gift | Giving

“We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity...”
Romans 12:6,8


A person with the Spiritual Gift of Giving has the ability to give or generate resources and material wealth freely, wisely and with joy to help support ministries and meet the needs of others. This may be lived out by radical generosity or the uncanny ability to discover and channel new sources of money, time, and energy.

Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Giving?

  • Is it easy for you to approach others and ask them to contribute their resources to a ministry or special project?
  • Do you feel a sense of ownership in the ministries and projects you support financially?
  • Have you had ideas that have helped you (and your family) contribute more financial resources?
  • Do you handle/manage money well in order to free more of it for other people and causes?
  • Do you view your treasures, talents, and time as on loan from God and not your own?
  • Do you often give generously and joyfully?


Read: Consider these biblical illustrations of people and churches with this gift: The widow (Mark 12:42-43), Tabitha (Acts 9:36), Barnabas (Acts 4:34-37), and the Macedonian church (2 Corinthians 8:1-2).

Research: Research the ministries that interest you and how you might free up financial resources to support them.

Pray: Be committed to praying about needs and whether you might be called to help meet those needs.

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
Luke 6:38


Spiritual Gift | Healing

“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good…to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit…”
1 Corinthians 12: 7, 9


  • Do you have the spiritual gift of healing?
  • Are you naturally drawn to those sick in spirit or body?
  • Does God sometimes work through your prayers and touch to bring physical, spiritual, relational, or emotional healing to others?
  • Are you aware of God’s presence and do you try to follow God’s guidance for how to pray in each situation where healing is desired?
  • When petitions for healing are spoken, do you find yourself wanting to pray?
  • Have you experienced being intuitively aware of another’s pain?


The gift of healing includes mental, emotional, and spiritual illnesses as well as physical diseases. Individuals with the spiritual gift of healing are instruments through whom God works when God desires to heal. Healing is just one more way God’s love is shown.

A person with the Spiritual Gift of Healing is able to call on God for the curing of illness and the restoration of health in a supernatural way.


As this gift is to be used for God’s purposes…

  • Make sure you have mature Christian friends by whom you can be held accountable for using this gift.
  • Seek out others who are already using this gift and observe their methods.
  • As a source of encouragement for yourself, record in your journal places where God is healing.

“It so happened that the father of Publius lay sick in bed with fever and dysentery. Paul visited him and cured him by praying and putting his hands on him. After this happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured.”
Acts 28:8-9


Spiritual Gift | Helps

“And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues.” 1 Corinthians 12:28


The ministry areas highlighted in October’s Celebration of Ministry will be Equipping and Ministry Resources. A spiritual gift that is useful to have for many of the tasks in the Equipping and Ministry Resources ministry areas is Helps. Helps is discerned from the passage in 1 Corinthians 12:28 which states that God has appointed “forms of assistance,” or helps.

HELPS: Doing practical and necessary tasks which free up, support, and meet the needs of others.

People with this gift

  • Serve behind the scenes to support the gifts and ministries of others
  • See the tangible and practical things to be done and enjoy doing them
  • Sense God’s purpose and pleasure in meeting everyday responsibilities
  • Attach spiritual value to practical service
  • Enjoy knowing that they are freeing up others to do what God has called them to do.

There is no doubt that performing practical deeds is a spiritual contribution to the body of Christ. Consider any one of the four stretcher-bearers taking the paralyzed man to Jesus in Mark 2:1-12. To have the gift of helps is to be in “the glorious company of stretcher-bearers.”


Spiritual Gift | Hospitality

“But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you...”
Luke 14:13-14


A person with the gift of Hospitality provides a warm welcome for people that demonstrates God’s love by providing food, shelter or fellowship. “The Spiritual Gift of Hospitality has nothing to do with show and ostentation; rather it has everything to do with the way in which a guest is welcomed, and made to feel comfortable and at home.”

Do you have the Spiritual Gift of Hospitality?

  • I am comfortable around strangers and care deeply about how my church welcomes them.
  • I can make all kinds of people feel welcome.
  • I enjoy providing a safe environment for those in need.
  • I feel fulfilled when I can open my home to others for food and fellowship.
  • I am more concerned with whether guests feel welcome than whether my house is in order.
  • I love to create appealing and appropriate environments for people.
  • I view relationships as opportunities to pass on God’s love.

Here are some suggestions for developing your Spiritual Gift of Hospitality

  • Step out in faith! You may think your dining table isn’t big enough or your cooking skills not good enough. Never mind – God blesses take-out chicken served from the bucket with napkins on a card table.
  • Study the importance of simplicity and how it can set you free to concentrate on the people you are serving instead of your concern about details and preparations.
  • Challenge yourself – make it a point to meet someone new every Sunday. Can you make guests as welcome as we would want Jesus to feel if he were a visitor to our church?

“Hospitality is the way in which God's people do more for the stranger than they might do for their dearest friends. For God often comes to us in the guise of the stranger.”

“...for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me… Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these..., you did it to me. ”
Matt 25: 35-36, 40


Spiritual Gift | Intercession/Prayer


“For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share.” Colossians 1:9-12


The divine enablement to consistently pray on behalf of and for others, seeing frequent and specific results. People with this gift:

  • Feel compelled to earnestly pray on behalf of someone or some cause
  • Have a daily awareness of the spiritual battles being waged and pray
  • Are convinced God moves in direct response to prayer
  • Pray in response to the leading of the Holy Spirit, whether they understand it or not
  • Exercise authority and power for the protection of others and the equipping of them to serve.

Intercession makes a measurable difference in the ministries of the church as those with this spiritual gift follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in praying for all aspects of our church, the congregation, and the surrounding community. Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church praises God for those folks within the congregation who minister in this way.

However, don’t doubt for a moment that everyone is called to prayer, not only those who have identified the Spiritual Gift of Intercession. The center and guards are no less important on a football team than the running backs and the ends. So let us rejoice and remember to pray with the folks whom God has gifted in this way.

"…in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7


Spiritual Gift | Leadership

We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; …the leader, in diligence…”
Romans 12:6,8


A person with the Spiritual Gift of Leadership has the special ability to set goals in accordance with God’s purpose for the future and communicate these goals to others so that they voluntarily and harmoniously work together to accomplish them for the glory of God.

Do you have the Spiritual Gift of Leadership?

  • Do you enjoy inspiring and leading others for the sake of Christ’s work?
  • Are you usually quick to sense when a group you are in is getting nowhere and you want to do something about it?
  • When you join a group, do others often expect you to take leadership?
  • Have you accepted leadership responsibilities and succeeded in helping a group work toward a goal?
  • Do you find it easy to motivate others to follow through on a ministry project?
  • Do you tend to think futuristically about ministries within the church and community?

Suggestions for developing the Spiritual Gift of Leadership

Study: Study passages throughout the Bible that exemplify leadership by people under God’s direction to understand what God expects of leaders, the faith that is required, and the ways in which the leadership is carried out (consider starting with Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the temple).

Read: Read biographies of great leaders to gain insight into effective methods used. Learn how to develop rapport, how to earn the trust of others, and how to delegate.

Consider how this gift might be used - Meditate on the ways your gift of leadership could most effectively be employed to help build up the church. Where is leadership needed, and what skills can you bring to the table to help move things along in the right direction? Prayer is essential to support any initiative you may feel moved to take.

Ways to use the gift of leadership

  • Personally: help others to set healthy goals and objectives; lead family projects.
  • Within the church: chair a committee; assist in the setting of long-range church plans; head up a project.
  • Within the wider community: serve as a school board member; become involved in community service groups.

Jesus said to him (Peter), “Take care of my sheep.”
John 21:16


Spiritual Gift | Mercy


“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead…a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these…was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
Luke 10:30-37

MERCY: Joyfully, practically, and compassionately helping those in need.

People with this gift

  • Express love, grace, and dignity to those facing hardships and crisis
  • Focus on alleviating sources of pain or discomfort in suffering people
  • Address the needs of the lonely and forgotten
  • Serve cheerfully in difficult or unsightly circumstances
  • Concern themselves with individual or social issues that oppress people.

Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church rejoices together with those who have the gift of Mercy for the ways in which these folks minister (often invisibly) to the congregation and so many beyond our walls. These ways include Stephen Ministers, Deacons, Deacons at Large, the Nurture Coordinator and the Nurture ministry area, helping with Way of Service and Homeless service projects -- this doesn’t even begin to cover all the ways in which those with the gift of Mercy serve.


Spiritual Gift | Shepherding


Shepherding is the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by nurturing, caring for, and guiding members of the Body of Christ as they seek to grow spiritually. People with this gift

  • Establish trust and confidence in relationships
  • Take responsibility to nurture the whole person in their walk with God
  • Provide guidance and oversight to a group of God’s people
  • Model with their life what it means to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus
  • Lead and protect those within their span of care.

This gift can be used in many areas in the church including Adult Learning, Stephen Ministry, Deacon, Elder, small group or study leader, the greeting team, or engaging in a foreign mission project. In the community those with the gift of Shepherding might be a college dorm leader, a scout den leader, serve in a children’s home or a halfway house, be a foster parent, help in prison ministry, or sponsor a refugee family.

Do you have a burden to see others learn and grow? Are you a peace-maker and a diplomat, tolerant of people’s weaknesses? Do you share from your own faith journey to make the way easier for others? Maybe you have a spiritual gift mix that includes Shepherding. To begin the discovery process of discerning your spiritual gifts and accompanying passion, take the next step and sign up for Heartworks, coming in March.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.”
Psalm 23:1-3


Spiritual Gift | Teaching


“We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us...the teacher, in teaching…”
Romans 12:6-7

Teaching is the special ability that God gives certain members of the Body of Christ to communicate information relevant to the health and ministry of the Body and its members in such a way that others will learn.

Do you have the Spiritual Gift of Teaching?

  • I like gathering information and then effectively communicating it to others.
  • I love to study the Bible. I receive new insights and understanding fairly easily and love to share them with people.
  • When I listen to other teachers, I think of alternative ways to present the materials.
  • When I communicate what I have learned, others are motivated to learn more about the Bible and their faith in God.
  • I want to relate God’s truth in a way that helps people grow and develop.
  • When I’m learning a spiritual truth, I easily envision how to present the concept in a useful way to others.

Modern media — television, radio, the internet — have expanded the ways in which the gift of Teaching is shared. There are those with this gift who teach lay people; others teach professionals. Some teach through their writings, some through preaching, some through music, and some others through drama.

God calls us to discover the spiritual gifts given to us in order to maximize our God-given potential and to point others to the hope we have in Jesus Christ. Interested in opening your spiritual gifts? Look for the next Heartworks class or contact Suzanne Ungson, Director of Lay Ministry.