Spiritual Gifts Descriptions

After you have taken the Spiritual Gifts Assessment and discovered your top gifts, the descriptions below will help you learn more about them. 


The ability to organize and manage people, resources, and time for effective ministry. Compelled by a strong sense of duty, those with the gift of administration like to find things
for people to do. They have the ability to coordinate many details and execute the plans of leadership.
In a word: Initiator
Overuse: Expects too much
Goal: Lead by example, not manipulation
Acts 6:1-7; Titus 1:5; 1 Timothy 5:4


The ability to facilitate ministry through the creative construction of necessary tools for ministry. Those with the gift of craftsmanship love to build and create for the Kingdom of God. They use natural and learned skills to create the structures that others use for ministry.
In a word: Skilled
Overuse: Focuses too much on the task, too little
on relationships
Goal: Support ministry with their handiwork
Exodus 28:3-4

Creative Communication

The ability to communicate God’s truth through a variety
of art forms. Those with this gift love to express the Gospel through music, drama, computer graphics etc.
In a word: Creative
Overuse: More concerned with the art form than the message
Goal: To make the word of God come alive
Psalm 150; 1 Cor. 14:26


The ability to distinguish right from wrong, truth from error and perceive deception. Those with the gift of discernment are often more serious. They tend to listen well and hear the seemingly insignificant things that shed light on a specific need. They feel strongly about obeying truth and living
by the Word of God.
In a word: Perceiver
Overuse: Too critical or judgmental
Goal: Get more information before responding
1 Cor 12:7; 1 John 4:1


The ability to communicate the Gospel very effectively. Those with the gift of evangelism feel compelled to win souls. They desire to be involved in ministries to reach people for Christ.
In a word: Dynamic
Overuse: Zeal
Goal: Build disciples, not statistics
Acts 8:26, Eph. 4:7; 11; Luke 19:1-10


The desire to stimulate faith and promote growth and Christian maturity in others. Exhorters like to tell you what to do
with truth. Their fulfillment comes from challenging, inspiring and encouraging others in their faith.
In a word: Encourager
Overuse: Too much talk
Goal: Apply truth, don’t create expectations
Acts 11:23-24; Romans 12:6; Hebrews 10:24-25


The gift of trusting God for what cannot be seen and to act on God’s promises, regardless of the circumstances. The gift of faith is seen in those who believe strongly in the presence and power of God. They encourage others to act upon their faith and challenge people to increase their faith.
In a word: Optimist
Overuse: Overly trusting and often proud of their faith
Goal: Combine faith with works/ learn to be patient
with others with less faith
Romans 4:18-21, Hebrews 11:1, 1 Cor. 12:7,9


The desire to contribute money and/or resources so that the body may grow and be strengthened. Givers usually have unique financial insights and are sensitive to how money
 is spent and saved. They tend to be conscientious and conservative. They serve especially well on boards
responsible for maintaining budgets.
In a word: Steward
Overuse: The power of money
Goal: Sincere stewardship, not financial harassment or control
Romans 12:6, 8b, Acts 4:32-35, 2 Cor. 8:1-5


The ability to make others, especially strangers, feel warmly welcomed, accepted, and comfortable in the church family. Those with the gift of hospitality seem to always be ready and willing to invite guests over or offer their home for a place to meet for any occasion. They seldom show irritation over last minute requests to host a group.
In a word: Sociable
Overuse: Take on too much / Get worn out
Goal: Provide fellowship without sacrificing family time
1 Peter 4:9-10, Acts 16:13-15

Apostle / Innovator

The ability to start new ministries and oversee development. Apostles have a self-spirited calling to reach out where others may never dare. They demonstrate tremendous abilities
in influencing others to follow.
In a word: Pioneer/Visionary
Overuse: Abuse of power/pushes too hard
Goal: Build deeper and stronger
Eph. 4:7,11, Romans 15:20


The ability to instill vision, to motivate and to direct people to accomplish the work of ministry. Often result-oriented and driven they usually are multi-talented and excel with their people and task skills. They are great motivators but can
be insensitive and impatient with those who don’t
respond as well or positive as they.
In a word: Dreamer
Overuse: Too demanding and authoritarian
Goal: Lead by example and willingness to be a servant
Romans 12:6,8c; Hebrews 13:7,17


The ability to detect hurt and empathize with those who are suffering. Those with the gift of mercy are compelled to help people reduce pain. Sympathizing and empathizing are their specialties. They are interested in “who” needs loving care more than about why, what, when or how.
In a word: Caring
Overuse: Too sensitive, easily manipulated
Goal: Wise insights, not foolish responses
Romans 12:6,8d; Luke 10:30-37; Matthew 5:7


The ability to care for the spiritual needs of a group of believers and equip them for ministry. Pastors/shepherds are compelled to encourage others to work together for the body’s sake.
They emphasize harmony and see their service as one of maturing others.
In a word: Discipler/shepherd
Overuse: Takes advantage of others’ trust
Goal: Strong leadership, not manipulating the flock
1 Peter 5:2-11; Eph. 4:11


The ability to proclaim and apply God’s truth with power and clarity in a timely and culturally sensitive fashion for correction, repentance and edification. Those with the gift of prophecy like to share truth, regardless of what anyone thinks. They tend to see issues in black and white. When controlled by the Holy Spirit, the Gift of Prophecy is a powerful tool to reprove,
rebuke and exhort others.
In a word: Bold
Overuse: Confrontational, fighter
Goal: Declare truth, don’t divide Christians
Eph. 4:7,11; 1 Cor. 14:3-5; 2 Peter 1:19-21

Service / Helps

Caring and concerned for others, those with the gift of service take the initiative to meet the practical and physical needs of others. They tend to do whatever is called for, freeing others
to fulfill their own calling.
In a word: Selfless
Overuse: Takes on too much, does not delegate
Goal: Be a servant, not a martyr
1 Cor. 12:28


The ability to educate God’s people by clearly explaining and applying God’s word in a way which causes them to learn. While the prophet declares truth, the teacher explains the reasons why it is true.
They love to study and discover nuggets of truth and present
what they discover to others.
In a word: In-depth
Overuse: May miss the obvious while digging too deep
Goal: Reveal truth, don’t exhaust it
Romans 12:6,7b; Col. 3:16; Eph. 4:11-12; James 3:1-2; 2 Tim. 2:2