Descriptions of the Spiritual Gifts
Categorized according to Function
The Speaking Gifts – Word-based Gifts
Apostleship – the spiritual ability to begin and to help establish new works for the Lord. In the restricted sense, it is limited to the twelve “sent out” by Jesus, but it can perhaps be expanded to include missionaries today.
Prophecy – the spiritual ability to speak forth or proclaim the truth of God’s Word (in a predictive or explanatory manner) in such a way as to edify God’s people and convince non-believers of the truth of God’s Word. Most believe “prophets” have ceased because there is now no new revelation, but this gift may presently apply to preachers who expound God’s revealed truth.
Evangelism – the spiritual ability to share the Gospel message with non-believers with clarity and effectiveness.
Shepherding – the spiritual capacity to assume long-term personal responsibility for the spiritual welfare of a group of believers by caring for their needs, feeding them, and leading them by example, so as to help them mature in Christ-likeness.
Teaching – the spiritual ability to acquire, clearly communicate, and effectively apply the truth of God’s Word in such a way that others in the Body are enabled to understand and personally appropriate God’s truth.
Exhortation – the spiritual ability to come alongside of another so as to help him by speaking words that implore, encourage, or comfort according to his particular need.
Knowledge – the spiritual ability that enables one to search, systematize, and summarize the teachings of the Word of God. By this gift, the Christian is enabled to acquire deep insight into divine truth.
Wisdom – the spiritual ability that enables ones to have insight into how given knowledge may best be applied to specific life situations.
The Speaking Gifts – DEED-BASED GIFTS
Service – the spiritual ability to serve joyfully and faithfully behind the scenes assisting in the accomplishment or completion a particular task associated with a ministry.
Giving – the spiritual capacity to give generously of one’s substance to the work of the Lord or to the needs of an individual with cheerfulness of heart so that others are encouraged or blessed.
Helps – the spiritual ability to serve joyfully and faithfully behind the scenes assisting someone who has a need or assisting someone else in meeting the needs of another.
Showing Mercy – the spiritual ability to feel sympathy with those in need, especially the suffering or unlovable, whether they be members of the Body or not, and then to cheerfully manifest this sympathy in some practical way so as to uplift or help those in need.
Faith – the spiritual ability to see something that needs to be done, whether it be a specific task or a particular need in the Body, and to sustain unwavering confidence that God will bring it to pass regardless of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Discernment – the spiritual ability to distinguish the spirit of truth from the spirit of error and to detect false teaching or behavior before it is evident to all so as to enable one to serve as a watchman within the Body.
Leadership – the spiritual ability to instill vision, set goals, motivate people, and guide a ministry toward the accomplishment of its purpose for the honor of Christ.
Administration – the spiritual ability to plan, organize, and execute procedures that increase a ministry’s organizational effectiveness for the accomplishment of its goals.