Spiritual Gift Inventories?Posted: June 2, 2009
Last Sunday, I was handed for my examination a copy of a “Spiritual Gifts Inventory” by Larry Gilbert of Team Ministry. It promises that one can “Discover your spiritual gifts in only 20 minutes!” (Isn’t that amazing!)
Perusing the questions, I see they regard personal propensities that are implied to reveal spiritual giftings. Some of these, I note, might have something to do with the work of the Spirit in one’s life, such as:
1. I have a consuming passion (strong desire, great concern) to reach lost souls.
2. I put great importance (high priority) on repentance (sorrow, regret, resulting in turning from sin).
5. I have an unusually strong desire to study God’s Word.
But feelings, desires, passions, etc., are not in themselves spiritual gifts, nor necessarily related to them. Moreover,
6. I place great importance (value) on education.
7. When I do something, I like to see “tangible” results for my efforts, such as a finished project or measurable results.
8. If I were to teach a group, I would prefer to deal with topics rather than verse-by-verse studies.
10. I am people centered; I need many relationships.
11. I am usually soft-spoken.
14. I am usually involved in or drawn to a variety of activities that help other people.
15. I keep my personal and business affairs well organized.
17. I make decisions based strictly on facts and data.
(Italics theirs.) Even more clearly, these questions have little or nothing to do with spiritual gifts. A similar test has been mildly critiqued as “more of a ministry preference test than an indicator of spiritual gifts,” & described the concept as “motivated abilities.”* So might they be, but not spiritual gifts.
I found the same test online, which you can take yourself at
http://www.churchgrowth.org/cgi-cg/gifts.cgi?intro=1 if you feel adventurous. Be forewarned that they will not give you the results unless you give them your name and e-mail address, and consider their offer of a newsletter. (I took the test, but declined to submit any information.)
This is an example of specious teaching that Bible-based believers often have to deal with, even from well-meaning brethren. Let me be clear, however: true spiritual gifts are miraculous abilities beyond our own natural abilities, & are not mere “enhanced” propensities or natural preferences.
You may submit your
honest Bible questions to the pastor