Paul said He didn’t want His readers to be ignorant about Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1), yet so many believers today do not understand how powerfully God can use them. I want to change that.
My approach to teaching spiritual gifts is perhaps a little unconventional. So many of the “spiritual gift assessment tests” out there seem to treat such manifestations of the Spirit as though they’re little more than personality traits. But there is a difference between, say, a “gift of hospitality” and a person’s natural disposition to being hospitable. Gifts take us beyond our natural ability and bring us into God’s ability.
Jesus described in John 16:13-14 how the Holy Spirit operates: “…when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you.” So every gift from the Spirit is a revelation of some piece of Jesus, which is presumably why scriptures about spiritual gifts are so often connected with the concept of us being the Body of Christ. We all have a piece of Jesus to reveal, which means Jesus is most clearly seen when all of us are revealing what the Holy Spirit has given to each of us.
Furthermore, while it is observably true that some people practice certain gifts more frequently or with greater magnitude than they do other gifts, it should be remembered that the gifts are found in the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is in us, which means all the gifts are available to all of us. Any believer can operate in any gift at any time “as the Spirit determines.” If we were only given one or two gifts and no more, then it would have been cruel for Paul to instruct the Corinthians to crave more spiritual gifts, “especially prophecy” (1 Corinthians 14:1).
Like Paul, a primary theme of my teaching on spiritual gifts is how to love each other within the context of those gifts. Whenever possible, I like to walk through the description of love in 1 Corinthians 13 and explain how each point relates to our pursuit and practice of spiritual gifts within a healthy Church community. The goal is to remove the weirdness and competition that so often arises and help everyone understand how to partner with the Holy Spirit in practical, relatable, and down-to-earth ways.
The typical spiritual gifts workshop can be covered in about 4-5 hours, though I can add or remove material to fit the best time for your church culture. I usually conduct these trainings on a Saturday morning (with lunch), and some churches like to add a Friday night, Saturday night, and/or Sunday morning message about the baptism in the Holy Spirit, healing, and/or identity in Christ.