August 24, 2011

Spiritual Ministry Gifts guide your writing

Christian writers with creative ideas sometimes find it difficult to decide which writing project to focus on first. Quite likely, all of your ideas have potential to strengthen the Body of Christ, draw readers to God, and/or help other people in general, so you won’t go wrong with any Bible-based theme or treatment. Nevertheless, one manuscript might be well-timed and another not. Or, one idea might fill you with enthusiasm (a word rooted in “en theos” – in God), whereas another project might leave you feeling ho-hum or put you into a panic or quandary. Regardless, here’s the thing:

When you ask God to direct your work, expect that to happen.

Since the Holy Spirit promises to give every Christian one or more Spiritual Ministry Gifts, recognizing those gifts will guide you and give you insights into yourself, your work, and the writing to which you have been called at this particular time and place.

We talked about this a little in a previous article on your “Writing talent and spiritual gifts,” so you might want to re-read that short discussion. Since then though, I had an opportunity to take a Spiritual Ministry Gifts test that differs from one I took years ago, and the current results confirmed the very projects to which I am now drawn.

Most likely, you have some ideas that interest you more than others too, but just in case you have not yet taken a test to discern your God-given gifts and confirm your next project, I did an Internet search to see which Spiritual Ministry Gifts test to recommend. As it turned out, I found several! So this morning I took them all, and here’s what I found:

This excellent site provided by Ken Ellis not only has a Spiritual Gifts Test with online analysis but also a separate test for new Christians and another for youth. Since you’re encouraged to respond quickly and not over-think, the main test takes 15 to 20 minutes with immediate results and hotlinks that explain each gift and give you relevant scriptures and ideas for use. The results felt right-on, even though I initially had trouble responding to “Always” for areas that interested me.

Spiritual Gifts tested on this website clarify tasks often needed within the church. The analysis did not include such obvious gifts as healing and miracles, but I wish it had discussed a gift of prophecy since Christian poets and writers may receive a prophetic word but need affirmation to speak with confidence and love.

This Spiritual Gifts Self-Evaluation Test is shorter than most but produced the same results. To respond to each of the 55 questions, you click the numbers from 0 to 5 to show your least to greatest amount of interest. Then the online program immediately gives you the test results but no additional information for gifts of Evangelism, Knowledge, Wisdom, Prophecy, Teaching, Exhortation, Helps, Giving, Administration, Mercy, and Faith.

However, another site I highly recommend does not give a test but offers insights and information relating to your Spiritual Gifts and Leadership and includes definitions, scriptural references, and practical instructions.

Similarly, a site on Rediscovering Our Spiritual Gifts has no test but lists practical ways to put your God-given gifts to good use.

The Spiritual Gifts Inventory by Paulist Fathers also provides a test, which, like the others, encourages you to respond spontaneously and honestly to get the most accurate results. The site also includes helpful information and instruction for using your ministry gifts.

As you take a Spiritual Ministry test, remember, there are no right or wrong answers!

Also, this may not be true of other sites, but the hotlinks above give you and only you an analysis, so no one else needs to know the results. What you do with that information is up to you and God and the type of writing ministry to which you have been called.

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(c) 2011, Mary Harwell Sayler

http://www.marysayler.com