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The gifts described

Tamara September 2, 2021
  • Administration

Literal Meaning:  To pilot or steer a ship

Description:  The gift of Administration is the divine enablement to understand what makes an organization function, and the special ability to plan and execute procedures that accomplish the goals of the ministry.

Distinctives:  People with this gift

  • Develop strategies or plans to reach identified goals
  • Assist ministries to become more effective and efficient
  • Create order out of organizational chaos
  • Manage or coordinate a variety of responsibilities to accomplish a task
  • Organize people, tasks, or events

Traits: Cautions:  People with this gift

  • Thorough       Need to be open to adjusting their plans, so that 
  • Objective           they don’t stifle a leader’s vision
  • Responsible       Could use people simply to accomplish goals 
  • Organized           without being concerned for their growth in the 
  • Goal-oriented           process
  • Efficient       Could fail to see God’s purposes being fulfilled 
  • Conscientious           in the process of meeting a goal

References:  I Cor. 12:28, Acts 6:1-7, Ex. 18: 13-26

  • Apostleship

Literal Meaning:  To be sent with a message

Description:  The gift of Apostleship is the divine ability to start and oversee the development of new churches or ministry structures.

NOTE:  While the “office” of apostle that the original disciples of Christ held is unique and no longer exists, the “role” of apostle continues today and functions through the Spiritual Gift of Apostleship

Distinctives:  People with this gift

  • Pioneer and establish new ministries or churches
  • Adapt to different surroundings by being culturally sensitive and aware
  • Desire to minister to unreached people in other communities or countries
  • Have responsibilities to oversee ministries or groups of churches
  • Demonstrate authority and vision for the mission of the church

Traits: Cautions:  People with this gift

  • Adventurous       Should be aware that misusing their authority can  
  • Entrepreneurial           quench the Spirit in others
  • Persevering       Need to be affirmed and sent by the church
  • Adaptable       Can be demanding and pessimistic
  • Culturally Sensitive          
  • Risk – Taking    
  • Cause-Driven          

References:  I Cor. 12:28 – 29, Eph. 4:11, 12, Rom. 1:5, Acts 13:2, 3

  • Craftsmanship

Literal Meaning:  To craft, design, build

Description:  The gift of Craftsmanship is the divine enablement to creatively design and/or construct items to be used for ministry.

Distinctives:  People with this gift

  • Work with wood, cloth, paints, metal, glass and other raw materials
  • Make things which increase the effectiveness of others’ ministries
  • Enjoy serving with their hands to meet tangible needs
  • Design and build tangible items and resources for ministry use
  • Work with different kinds of tools and are skilled with their hands

Traits: Cautions:  People with this gift

  • Creative       Could fail to see that their gift is significant and one 
  • Designer           that makes a spiritual contribution to the body
  • Handy       Could use people to get things done instead of 
  • Resourceful           helping them grow in the process 
  • Practical       Should remember that the things they produce are      
  • Behind-the-scenes           just a means to the end and not the end itself
  • Helpful          

References:  Ex. 31:3, 35:31-35, Acts 9:36-39, II Kings 22:5, 6

  • Creative Communication

Literal Meaning:  To communicate artistically

Description:  The gift of Creative Communication is the divine enablement to communicate God’s truth through a variety of art forms

Distinctives:  People with this gift

  • Use the arts to communicate God’s truth
  • Develop and use artistic skills such as drama, writing, art, music, etc.
  • 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

Traits: Cautions:  People with this gift

  • Expressive       Need to remember that art is not for art’s sake, but 
  • Imaginative           it’s to glorify God and edify others
  • Idea-oriented       Could find evaluation and constructive criticism 
  • Artistic           difficult to accept
  • Creative       Might be uncooperative (because of ego, pride, or
  • Unconventional           individualism) and need to work at being a team 
  • Sensitive           player          

References:  Ps. 150:3-5, 2 Sam. 6:14, 15, Mark 4:2, 33

  • Discernment

Literal Meaning:  To separate or make a distinction, differentiate

Description:  The gift of Discernment is the divine enablement to distinguish between truth and error.  It is able to discern the spirits, differentiating between good and evil, right and wrong

Distinctive’s:  People with this gift

  • Distinguish truth from error, right from wrong, pure motives from impure
  • Identify deception in others with accuracy and appropriateness
  • Determine whether a word attributed to God is authentic
  • Recognize inconsistencies in a teaching, prophetic message or interpretation
  • Are able to sense the presence of evil

Traits: Cautions:  People with this gift

  • Perceptive       May struggle with how to express their perceptions, 
  • Insightful           feelings or insights
  • Sensitive       Could be harsh when confronting others, instead of 
  • Intuitive           speaking the truth in love
  • Decisive       Need to confirm their perceptions before speaking
  • Challenging          
  • Truthful                    

References:  I Cor. 12:10, Acts 5:1-4, Matt. 16:21-23

  • Encouragement

Literal Meaning:  To come along side of

Description:  The gift of Encouragement is the divine enablement to present truth so as to strengthen, comfort, or urge to action those who are discouraged or wavering in their faith

Distinctive’s:  People with this gift

  • Come to the side of those who are discouraged to strengthen and reassure them
  • Challenge, comfort or confront others to trust and hope in the promises of God
  • Urge others to action by applying biblical truth
  • Motivate others to grow
  • Emphasize God’s promises and to have confidence in His will

Traits: Cautions:  People with this gift

  • Positive       Can sometimes be overly optimistic, too simplistic or 
  • Motivating           flattering
  • Challenging       Should first take time to understand where others are 
  • Affirming           and what they really need
  • Reassuring       May want to just say “positive” things to others and 
  • Supportive           avoid being confrontational when it’s needed
  • Trustworthy                    

References:  Rom. 12:8, Acts 11:22-24, Acts 15:30-32


Literal Meaning:  To bring good news

Description:  The gift of Evangelism is the divine enablement to effectively communicate the gospel to unbelievers so they respond in faith and move toward discipleship.  

Distinctive’s:  People with this gift

  • Communicate the message of Christ with clarity and conviction
  • Seek out opportunities to talk to unbelievers about spiritual matters
  • Challenge unbelievers to faith and to become fully devoted followers of Christ
  • Adapt their presentation of the gospel to connect with the individual’s needs
  • Seek opportunities to build relationships with unbelievers

Traits: Cautions:  People with this gift

  • Sincere       Need to remember the Holy Spirit, not guilt, is the 
  • Candid           motivator in a person’s decision for Christ
  • Respected       Should avoid becoming critical of others by 
  • Influential           remembering that we are all “witnesses,” but we are 
  • Spiritual           not all “evangelists”
  • Confident       Need to listen carefully, because the same approach      
  • Commitment-oriented is not appropriate for everyone                    

References:  Eph. 4:11, Acts 8:26-40, Luke 19:1-10

  • Faith

Literal Meaning:  To trust, have confidence, believe

Description:    The gift of Faith is the divine enablement to act on God’s promises with confidence and unwavering belief in God’s ability to fulfill His purposes

Distinctive’s:  People with this gift

  • Believe the promises of God and inspire others to do the same
  • Act in complete confidence of God’s ability to overcome obstacles
  • Demonstrate an attitude of trust in God’s will and His promises
  • Advance the cause of Christ because they go forward when others will not
  • Ask God for what is needed and trust Him for His provision

Traits: Cautions:  People with this gift

  • Prayerful       Need to act on their faith
  • Optimistic       Should remember that those who speak with reason      
  • Trusting           and desire to plan do not necessarily lack faith
  • Assured       Should listen to and consider the counsel of wise and      
  • Positive           spirit-filled believers
  • Inspiring          
  • Hopeful                    

References:  I Cor. 12:9, 13:2, Heb. 11:1, Rom. 4:18-21


Literal Meaning:  To give part of, share

Description:    The gift of Giving is the divine enablement to contribute money and resources to the work of the Lord with cheerfulness and liberality.  People with this gift do not ask “How much money do I need to give to God?” but, “How much money do I need to live on?”

Distinctive’s:  People with this gift

  • Manage their finances and limit their lifestyle in order to give as much as possible
  • Support the work of ministry with sacrificial gifts to advance the Kingdom
  • Meet tangible needs that enable spiritual growth to occur
  • Provide resources, generously and cheerfully, trusting God for His provision
  • May have a special ability to make money so that they may use it to further God’s work

Traits: Cautions:  People with this gift

  • Stewardship-oriented       Need to esteem their gift, remembering that giving 
  • Responsible           money and resources is a spiritual contribution to the 
  • Resourceful           body of Christ
  • Charitable       Need to remember the church’s agenda is determined      
  • Trusts in God           by leaders, not by the giver’s gift
  • Disciplined       Need to guard against greed      
  • Trustworthy                              

References:  Rom. 12:8, II Cor. 6:8, Luke 21:1-4

  • Helps

Literal Meaning:  To take the place of someone  

Description:    The gift of Helps is the divine enablement to accomplish practical and necessary tasks which free-up, support, and meet the needs of others

Distinctive’s:  People with this gift

  • Serve behind the scenes wherever needed 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

Traits: Cautions:  People with this gift

  • Available       Need to esteem their gift, remembering that doing 
  • Motivating           practical deeds is a spiritual contribution to the body 
  • Challenging           of Christ
  • Affirming       Find it difficult to say “no”
  • Reassuring       Need to be responsive to the priorities of leadership 
  • Supportive           instead of setting their own agendas
  • Trustworthy                    

References:  I Cor. 12:28, Rom. 12:7, Acts 6:1-4, Rom.16:1, 2

  • Hospitality

Literal Meaning:  To love strangers

Description:  The gift of Hospitality is the divine enablement to care for people by providing fellowship, food, and shelter 

Distinctive’s:  People with this gift

  • Provide an environment where people feel valued and cared for
  • Meet new people and help them to feel welcomed
  • Create a safe and comfortable setting where relationships can develop
  • Seek ways to connect people together into meaningful relationships   
  • Set people at ease in unfamiliar surroundings

Traits: Cautions:  People with this gift

  • Friendly       Should avoid viewing their gift as just “entertaining”
  • Gracious       Need to remember to ask God who He wants them to      
  • Inviting           befriend and serve
  • Trusting       Should be careful not to cause stress in their own      
  • Caring             family when inviting others into their home
  • Responsive          
  • Warm                                          

References:  I Peter 4:9, 10, Rom. 12:13, Heb. 13:1, 2

  • Intercession

Literal Meaning:  To plead on behalf of someone, intercede

Description:  The gift of Intercession is the divine enablement to consistently pray on behalf of and for others, seeing frequent and specific results  

Distinctive’s:  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 spirit, whether they understand it or not
  • Exercise authority and power for the protection of others and the equipping of them to serve

Traits: Cautions:  People with this gift

  • Advocate       Should avoid feeling that their gift is not valued, by 
  • Caring           remembering that interceding for others is their    
  • Sincere           ministry & spiritual contribution to the body of 
  • Peacemaker           Christ
  • Trustworthy       Should avoid using prayer as an escape from            
  • Burden-bearer           fulfilling responsibilities
  • Spiritually sensitive       Need to avoid a “holier than thou” attitude sometimes 

          caused by extended times of prayer and spiritual                                          intimacy with God 

References:  Rom. 8:26, 27, John 17:9-26, I Tim. 2:1, 2, Col. 1:9-12, 4:12, 13

  • Knowledge

Literal Meaning:  To know

Description:  The gift of Knowledge is the divine enablement to bring truth to the body through a revelation or biblical insight

Distinctive’s:  People with this gift

  • Receive truth which enables them to better serve the body
  • Search the scriptures for insight, understanding, and truth
  • Have an unusual insight or understanding that serves the church
  • Organize information for teaching and practical use
  • Gain knowledge which was not attained by natural observation or means

Traits: Cautions:  People with this gift

  • Inquisitive       Need to be careful of this gift leading to pride
  • Responsive           (“knowledge puffs up”)
  • Observant       Should remember that it’s God’s message, not theirs, 
  • Insightful           when the give a word of knowledge to the church
  • Reflective       Need to remember with the increasing of knowledge 
  • Studious           comes the increasing of pain
  • Truthful                    

References:  I Cor. 12:8, Mark 2:6-8, John 1:45-50

  • Leadership

Literal Meaning:  To stand before

Description:  The gift of Leadership is the divine enablement to cast vision, motivate, and direct people to harmoniously accomplish the purposes of God

Distinctive’s:  People with this gift

  • Provide direction for God’s people or ministry
  • Motivate others to perform to the best of their abilities
  • Present the “big picture” for others to see
  • Model the values of the ministry
  • Take responsibility and establish goals

Traits: Cautions:  People with this gift

  • Influential       Should realize their relational credibility takes time 
  • Diligent           and is critical for leadership effectiveness
  • Visionary       Should remember that servant leadership is the 
  • Trustworthy           biblical model, the greatest being the servant of all
  • Persuasive       Do not need to be in a leadership “position” to use 
  • Motivating           this gift
  • Goal-setter                    

References:  Rom. 12:8, Heb. 13:17, Luke 22:25, 26

  • Mercy

Literal Meaning:  To have compassion

Description:  The gift of Mercy is the divine enablement to cheerfully and practically help those who are suffering or are in need, compassion moved to action

Distinctive’s:  People with this gift

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

Traits: Cautions:  People with this gift

  • Empathetic       Need to be aware that rescuing people from their pain 
  • Caring           may be hindering God’s work in them
  • Responsive       Need to guard against feeling “unappreciated,” since 
  • Kind           some of the people helped will not show or express 
  • Compassionate           any appreciation
  • Sensitive       Should guard against becoming defensive and angry 
  • Burden-bearing           about the sources of others’ pain 

References:  Rom. 12:8, Matt. 5:7, Mark 10:46-52, Luke 10:25-37

  • Prophecy

Literal Meaning:  To speak before

Description:  The gift of Prophecy is the divine enablement to reveal the truth and proclaim it in a timely and relevant manner for understanding, correction, repentance or edification

Distinctive’s:  People with this gift

  • Expose sin or deception in others for the purpose of reconciliation
  • Speak a timely word from God causing conviction, repentance, and edification
  • See truth that others often fail to see and challenge them to respond
  • Warn of God’s immediate or future judgment if there is no repentance
  • Understand God’s hearts and mind through experiences he takes them through

Traits: Cautions:  People with this gift

  • Discerning       Need to be aware that listeners may reject the 
  • Compelling           message if not spoken with love and compassion
  • Uncompromising       Need to avoid pride which can create a demanding or 
  • Outspoken           discouraging Spirit that hinders the gift
  • Authoritative       Should remember that discernment and scripture 
  • Convicting           must support and agree with each prophecy
  • Confronting                    

References:  Rom. 12:6, I Cor. 12:10, 28, 13:2, II Peter 1:19-21

  • Shepherding

Literal Meaning:  To shepherd a flock 

Description:  The gift of Shepherding is the divine enablement to nurture, care for, and guide people toward on-going spiritual maturity and becoming like Christ

Distinctive’s:  People with this gift

  • 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
  • Establish trust and confidence through long-term relationships
  • Lead and protect those within their span of care

Traits: Cautions:  People with this gift

  • Influencing       Should remember that God judges those who neglect 
  • Nurturing           or abuse their oversight responsibilities
  • Guiding       Need to be aware that the desire to feed and support 
  • Discipling           others can make it difficult to say “no”
  • Protective       Should realize that some of those being nurtured will 
  • Supportive           grow beyond the shepherd’s own ability and need to 
  • Relational           be freed to do so

References:  Eph. 4:11, 12, I Peter 5:1-4, John 10:1-18

  • Teaching

Literal Meaning:  To instruct

Description:  The gift of Teaching is the divine enablement to understand, clearly explain, and apply the word of God, causing greater Christ-likeness in the lives of listeners

Distinctive’s:  People with this gift

  • Communicate biblical truth that inspires greater obedience to the word
  • Challenge listeners simply and practically with the truths of scripture
  • Present the whole counsel of God for maximum life change
  • Give attention to detail and accuracy
  • Prepare through extended times of study and reflection

Traits: Cautions:  People with this gift

  • Disciplined       Should avoid pride that may result from their 
  • Perceptive           “superior” biblical knowledge and understanding
  • Teachable       Could become too detailed when teaching and fail to 
  • Authoritative           make life application
  • Practical       Should remember that their spirituality is not 
  • Analytical           measured by how much they know
  • Articulate                    

References:  Rom. 12:7, I Cor. 12:28, 29, Acts 18:24-28, II Tim. 2:2


Literal Meaning:  To apply truth practically

Description:  The gift of Wisdom is the divine enablement to apply spiritual truth effectively to meet a need in a specific situation

Distinctive’s:  People with this gift

  • Focus on the unseen consequences in determining the next steps to take
  • Receive an understanding of what is necessary to meet the needs of the body
  • Provide divinely given solutions in the midst of conflict and confusion
  • Hear the Spirit provide direction for God’s best in a given situation
  • Apply spiritual truth in specific and practical ways

Traits: Cautions:  People with this gift

  • Sensible       Could fail to share the wisdom that God has given 
  • Insightful           them
  • Practical       Need to avoid having others develop a dependence 
  • Wise           upon them, which may weaken their faith in God
  • Fair       Need to be patient with others who do not have this 
  • Experienced           gift
  • Common Sense                    

References:  I Cor. 12:8, James 3:13-18, I Cor. 2:3-14, Jer. 9:23, 24

Tamara Marcella Ministries