Which ministry is right for me? +

There is no shortage on ministerial needs. In fact, there is a wide spectrum from which to choose where your talents, spiritual gifts, interests, and current skills will lend themselves to serve in Christ's ministry. The place to begin is to consider what you can already do. Start with assessing the things you enjoy doing. This list could contain hobbies, interests, and skills you presently have such as computer technology, building, organizing events, gardening, or whatever else you are talented in or have a deep interest in developing. Next, make a list of what you are skilled at doing such as financial management, counseling, medical care, coaching, etc. Also, think about what type of personality you have. Are you an extrovert or an introvert? Do you tend to form committees and lead them, or feel more comfortable doing the work of the committee? These are just a few things to think about as you begin to form a practical sketch of what you can do and where you fit in ministry.

What is the difference between talents and spiritual gifts? +

Both are similar, and yet, different. Talents are natural abilities we all have regardless of our belief system. They are an increased ability in a certain area (or areas) due to genetics or training, and often are the result of both. Everyone can think of a famous musician, engineer, designer, or explorer. Each had a talent for something specific. The literary works, medical breakthroughs, scientific developments and other great works throughout history stem from naturally talented individuals. Their talents were nurtured and developed through their use and training. A writer writes; the medically minded explore; the scientist pieces facts and theories together, and thus, their talents are exercised and developed.

Christians are spiritually empowered with God-given abilities called spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts come from God, as do our talents. Although everyone has talents, they are most often used for one’s own personal benefit. Alternatively, spiritual gifts are exclusively given to believers to equip us for kingdom service. Like talents, gifts also must be developed and strengthened. They are given for the common good of believers, and thereby, allow us to help others. We must use both our talents and spiritual gifts to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20).

The New Testament gives us five listings of spiritual gifts. Each list is not extensive, but rather, deals with the gifts in general terms. It is imperative to prayerfully seek God’s guidance in discovering your unique spiritual provisioning.

New Testament Lists of Spiritual Gifts
Romans 12:6-8 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 1 Corinthians 12:28-30 Ephesians 4:11 1 Peter 4:9-11
Prophecy Word of Wisdom Apostleship Apostleship Speaking
Serving Word of Knowledge Prophecy Prophecy Serving
Teaching Faith Teaching Evangelism  
Exhortation Healings Miracles Pastor/Teacher  
Giving Miracles Healing    
Leading Prophecy Helping    
Showing Mercy Discerning of Spirits Tongues
Interpretation of Tongues
Interpretation Tongues
Interpretation of Tongues
Nelson Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts 1993 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Look for where to serve +

Ministries are based on what problems need to be addressed, and how to facilitate a solution, or fulfill a service. It is finding what the need is and how we can apply ourselves to it. There may be a problem within your very own home, or church, or community where your spiritual gifts and talents can be employed. Look within these areas and ask yourself: What is the problem, and what can I do about it? If it is in your home: What can you do to make your home more Christ-centered, or what can you do to encourage stronger family bonds through love and sharing? If it is in the church: What area is underserved, and how can you participate in it. The solution may be as simple as sharing the work of organizing, training, or helping. Usually the church secretary knows every deficiency and can direct you to whomever can further help you. If it is a community issue, most likely, there are organizations already ministering to the need. You may only need to contact various organizations to find out where and how you can contribute to the work. Look for those you are most passionate about, and find out the specifics of the task you’ll be doing. It is important, at this juncture, to know what the problem is. It must be fully defined.

Missionary service +

Here is where we can view the world through the wide lens of God’s word. Jesus Christ gave His disciples a directive just before His ascension; He said, “You shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Jesus had local and global missions in mind. Local missionary training should be sought through the church. It is an evangelistic ministry for presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ within the surrounding neighborhoods to reach the unsaved. Each godly church is stationed within its own cultural corner throughout the world, and so, the members of each church are already accustomed to each’s unique language, values, and practices. Each is intrinsically aware of the barriers to the gospel such as political hostility, poverty, and social norms.

Not everyone is gifted to serve on foreign mission fields, and so, many Christians serve from their own church, or through other local, national, or global evangelical organizations. Not everyone is chosen to stand on the street and proclaim salvation in Jesus Christ, or slice through a dense jungle to reach a tribe of people who have never heard of Him. However, each of us can support those chosen for these ministries through prayer, and the giving of financial gifts. Missionaries share their prayer requests and list of needs with their supporting congregations. They raise financial support for printing materials, building projects, medical supplies, agricultural needs, and more. The Apostle Paul’s missionary journeys were supported by church gifts (Philippians 4:16). As believers of Jesus Christ we are obligated to assist missionaries through our prayers, giving, and hospitality, and in so doing we partake in their ministry. We partner with them to accomplish Jesus global vision of missions.

Whether near or far, there is work to be done for the kingdom of God. Now is the time to begin listing our talents, spiritual gifts, interests, and skills in which to serve Him, and we may even find multiple ways in which to serve. We can assess and understand our personalities, and our likes and dislikes. We know what comes easy for us and what doesn’t. We know what kind of people we can influence, and to whom we can encourage or assist. As we think about how we fit in God’s mission field, we must remember the people who live next door or across the world who need to be reached for Jesus Christ. We may think we don’t have much to offer, but He will use what we give to Him exponentially, and accomplish far more than what we could have ever dreamed or imagined.

How will you serve in His kingdom?

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