For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.  Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;  if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:3-8, ESV
 

Gift Definitions:

EXHORTATION

  • Often called the gift of encouragement
  • Strength is a key word with this gift; exhorters infuse spiritual strength into others
  • A literal building up of the spirit; bringing the spirit of man closer to the Spirit of God
  • Generally accompanied by a strong faith
  • Promotes spiritual maturity
  • Though an exhorter can sympathize with the suffering of others, they see pain through the lens of God’s sovereignty; rather than suffering
  • Prefers to offer spiritual help over meeting physical needs
  • Uses scripture to build others up
  • May possess a strong ability for “Spiritual Warfare” praying
Many times an Exhorter can over simplify solutions, which can lead to discouragement; remember that things are not so simple to everyone else. The Word of God and seeking God’s Wisdom will be key in maturing this gift. You have an important job of continuously giving hope, in any situation, by sharing the Biblical and eternal perspective. Ensure that you have someone with the gift of mercy ministering with you. Mercy will help you understand what an individual may currently be feeling; and you will understand the perspective that God wants to bring them into. Mercy can go into a pit with someone, and you can help them get out of the pit; however we must meet people where they are first.
 

GIVING / GENEROSITY

  • A drive to conserve and share resources in order to meet needs
  • May be seen as “penny pinchers” but the motivation is to be generous to those in need
  • Generally hard workers and rarely incurs debt
  • May desire to be involved in the lives of those they are giving to; it’s not just about providing resources, their hearts are involved
  • Scripture says that givers should “give with liberality.” 
Proverbs 11:25 (NIV) says, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
 

LEADERSHIP

  • The main word used to describe this gift is influence; other words are loyal, efficient, wise with time
  • Godly influence is intended to lead individuals to a deeper relationship with God, deeper into their purpose, calling, and success
  • Leaders are visionaries and less concerned with the mundane details
  • Confident leaders can discern the strengths and talents of others; determining how to place them into the right job 
  • May not be directly involved in doing the job, but they ensure the job gets done
  • Can be masters of both short-term and long-term goals; seeing the big picture
  • Many are entrepreneurial and willing to take risks
  • Those who possess this gift are well equipped to lead others through a crisis 
  • Generally have thick skin and can handle pressure very well
  • Generally has the ability to discern true character
Someone with this gift has more influence than they may realize; fully understand the weight of your influence and handle it with care, especially your words and opinions. Outside of Christ you may naturally manipulate others to move them in your desired direction; your relationship with Christ will be key in keeping your motivations pure. Keep this Acronym from John Maxwell in front of you and ensure that everything you do comes through this filter: C.H.A.R.I.S.M.A: C: Concern and care about needs and interests of others, H: Helping where you can A: Ability to make things happen R: The ability to produce results I: Influence S: Sensitive to those around you M: Motivate others toward hope A: Affirm others and build them up.
 

MERCY

  • Empathetic 
  • Those with the gift of mercy are able to “tune into” the unspoken heart cries of those around them
  • They are long-suffering with those who are in need and will be the hands and feet of God to the afflicted
  • Typically this person is patient, a great listener, and moves at a slower and more focused pace. This enables them to really hear the heartbeat of God.
  • A person with this gift can sense the emotional and spiritual atmosphere around them, many times they will then reflect this atmosphere
  • They may literally weep when others weep and sincerely rejoice when others rejoice 
  • You are one of the pillars of prayer in the body of Christ, feeling as if you must pray; truly you must! Prayer is the only way to release the emotions and capture God’s heart.
  • The mature gift of mercy is kind and gentle
  • May be attracted to the hurting, broken, people in distress
Due to your extreme sensitivity; it is possible that you will take on the hurts and offenses of others’, this can lead to anger and bitterness. If you are not involved in using your gift, it is also possible that you will turn to unhealthy introspection; which can lead to a depressed state. You are a warm and kind person and this will draw others close to you. Keep friends close to you that have the gift of faith and exhortation; you will need them and they will need you. It’s important to continuously set your mind on things above, meditating on what is good, pure, lovely, and praise-worthy. Don’t be afraid to let compassion move you toward the hurting, this is what Jesus did.
 

MINISTRY / SERVING

  • Most satisfied when doing practical or tangible work
  • Short-term tasks are good, because finishing a project is important
  • Tend to do things themselves, over building teams
  • Simply put: they get things done
  • Order is important to a server
  • A Strong characteristic is availability, almost always saying yes
At a party you may find a server in the kitchen cleaning up, or staying late to put everything back in order. Individuals with this gift are very dependable and will see a project all the way through to completion. Keep Colossians 3:17 & 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV) in tucked in your heart. These verses tell us that whatever we do should be done for the glory of God; doing everything in the name of Jesus and giving thanks always! This will guard your heart from thoughts of frustration and jealousy that can rise up when your service is unseen and seemingly unappreciated. God sees and honors your service; you are valuable to the Kingdom of God. Though you are more about meeting the physical needs, keep your Spiritual life healthy and stay in tune with the surrounding spiritual needs as well.
 

PROPHECY

  • The ability to receive a divinely and timely inspired message from God
  • These messages can take the form of exhortation, correction, disclosure of issues of the heart, prediction of future events, comfort, inspiration, or other revelations given to equip and edify the body of Christ; or an individual 
  • The Holy Spirit gives the gift of prophecy to believers in order to make God’s heart known and to edify  
  • One of the purposes of this gift is to be an edifying message from God that is understood by the hearer, this is why Paul instructs the Corinthians to desire to prophecy in a gathering
  • A consumer of Scripture and will be confident in their use of scripture
  • Not easily swayed by emotions; simply takes God at His Word
  • The “Office” (Reference Ephesians) of Prophet will work closely with the “Office” of the Apostle. They will be directing multiple ministries or people groups.
  • May have a deep capacity to trust God
  • Reveals to and unbeliever that God is truly in their midst. 1 Corinthians says, that prophecy can lead a non-believer to fall on their face and worship God
  • Sin can be the easiest thing to identify and may be what God reveals, but we are searching for the hidden “God-Calling” on a persons’ life. This is what the gift of prophecy can uncover.
Consume scripture with great fervency and understanding; you will use the authoritative word of God to confirm the prophetic word of God. Seek confirmations when learning how to use your gift; start writing down visions and thoughts that come to you and review them with your leader. Ask God for wisdom and understanding as to when and how to share a prophetic word; not everything is an urgent matter. It’s extremely important to learn about the interpretation and application of this gift; as you seek wisdom from God and guidance from leaders, you will become more effective. Spiritual leadership will help guide, correct, trust, and develop your gift. Remember you are responsible for the delivery and not of rot receiving end. Remember to speak the truth in love! Ephesians 4:15 (NIV) This means that you are aware of your need to speak in a more “blunt” manner; but if your words are filtered through honoring others and the motivation of restoring love, then your message will be well received.
 

TEACHER

  • Very diligent in searching scripture for truth, to rightly divide the Word of God
  • Driven to discover and validate truth 2 Timothy 2:15
  • Truth trumps experience and feelings
  • There is an instinct to question everything that seems inaccurate, this should be the motivation to search the scriptures and seek God for revelation
  • Has great scriptural insight
  • Has excellent study habits, known to faithfully study the Word of God. It may actually be difficult for a teacher set aside study time and engage in other responsibilities
  • A problem solver
  • May be interested in discovering original language
  • The “Office” (Reference Ephesians) of teacher will work closely with the “Office” of the Apostle and the Prophet. The teacher will help to establish multiple congregations or people groups in the scripture, doctrine, vision, and values; that is established by the Apostle and Prophet.

James 3:1 (NIV) says; “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” It’s important that a teacher remains pure in their motivation and diligent in seeking both the logos and rhema Word of God. Be careful of pride, remember that your gift is most effective between humility and love! There may be a tendency to “over share” information, learn to take a step back and focus on the main point of your lesson. Teaching the Word of God is a high-honor and privilege, this gift has the ability to transfer life-transforming revelations. Align yourself under spiritual leadership that will help to keep you accountable. Keep 1 Peter 1:22 (NIV) in your heart; “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.”