I attended a Bible study a few monthes ago and thought I would share with you some of the highlights of discussion, being gifts that help people.
PREACHING: 1 Corinthians 14: 3
"But the one who prophesies speaks to men for their upbuilding and constructive spiritual progress and encouragement and consolation."
The ability to publicly communicate God's word in an inspired way that convinces the unbeliever and challenges and comforts the believer.
SERVICE: Acts 6: 1-7
"Now about the this time, when the number of the disciples was greatly increasing, complaint was made by the Hellenists against the Hebrews because their widows were being overlooked and neglected in the daily ministration . So the Twelve convened the multitude of the disciples and said, It is not seemly or desirable or right that we should have to give up or neglect the Word of God in order to attend to serving at tables and superintending the distribution of food. Therefore, select out from among yourselves, brethren, seven men of good and attested character and repute, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may assign to look after this business and duty. But we will continue to devote ourselves steadfastly to prayer and the ministry of the Word. And the suggestion pleased the whole assembly, and they selected Stephen, a man full of faith and full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte (convert) from Antioch. These they presented to the apostles, who after prayer laid their hands on them. And the message of God kept on spreading and the number of disciples mutiplied greatly in Jersualem and a large number of the priests were obedient to the faith ."
The ability to recognize unmet needs in the church family and assist then without the need for recognition.
MERCY: Luke 10: 30-37
"Jesus taking him up replied a certain man was going from Jerusalem down to Jericho and he fell among robbers, who stripped him of his clothes and belongings and beat him and went their way, as it happened. Now, by coincidence, a certain priest was going down along that road and when he saw him he passed on the other side. A Levite likewise came down to the place and saw him and passed by on the other side of the road. But a certain Samaritan, as he traveled along, came down to where he was and when he saw him he was moved with pity and sympathy and went to him and dressed his wounds , pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii (two day's wages) and gave to the innkeeper, saying, take care of him and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I return. Which of these three do you think proved himself a neighbor to him who fell among robbers? He answered the one who showed pity and mercy to him and Jesus said to him go and do likewise."
The ability to detect hurt and empathize with those who are suffering, providing compassion and comfort to those going through pain.
HOSPITALITY: 1 Peter 4: 9-10
"Practice hospitality to one another. And do it ungrudgingly and graciously without complaining but as representing Him. As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious endowment) employ it for one another as good trustees of God's many-sided grace."
The ability to make others feel warm and welcomed, accepted and comfortable.
PASTORING: 1 Peter 5: 2-4
"Tend the flock of God that is your responsibility not by coercion or constraint but willingly not dishonorably motivated by the advantages and profits but eagerly and cheerfully. Not domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd is revealed you will win the conqueror's crown of glory."
The ability to nurture a small group in spiritual growth and care for their welfare.
GIVING: 2 Corinthians 8: 1-7
"We want to tell you further, brethren, about the grace of God which has been evident in the churches of Macedonia. For in the midst of an ordeal of severe tribulation, their abundance of joy and their depth of poverty have overflowed in wealth of lavish generosity on their part. For, as I can bear witness according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, and voluntarily. Begging us most insistently for the favor and the fellowship of contributing in this ministration for the saints. Nor that we expected, but first they gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. So much so that we have urged Titus that as he began it, he should also complete this beneficent and gracious contribution among you. Now as you abound and excel and are at the front in everything---in faith, in expressing yourselves, in knowledge, in all zeal, and in your love for us---abound and excel in this gracious work also."
The ability to generously give resources/money beyond the 10% so that the church may grow and strengthen.
LEADERSHIP: Romans 12: 8
"He who exhorts (encourages) to his exhortation; he who contributes, let him do it in simplicity and liberality; he who gives aid and superintends, with zeal and singleness of mind; he who does acts of mercy, with genuine cheerfulness and joyful eagerness."
The ability to set goals in line with God's purpose for the future and communicate these goals to others so the church functions in healthy unity.
In closing, I would like to quote Joyce Meyer's "putting the word to work" on page 1833 of The Everyday Life Bible. She asks if you could imagine a church where everyone did the same thing and had the same gifts? It would not be very exciting or effective. The Word of God teaches us that there are different gifts and functions within the church and that we should graciously use the gifts we have been given. Ask God to reveal your gifts to you, and teach you how you can make your unique contribution as a member of the body of Christ.