How To Overcome Reluctance In Sharing Your Gift

Recently, I had a prophetic vision in which I looked into Jesus’ eyes, and reflected in them was something He wanted to show me.

Jesus seemed to be indicating, ‘See what I am seeing—this is on the Father’s heart right now.’

offer-your-giftsI saw long banqueting tables being prepared for a feast. Some platters were already in place; however, there were still a lot of empty spaces awaiting food.

As I watched this table, I became aware of the sound of a stampede in the distance. The sound was growing louder. It was evident that crowds of hungry people were on their way—but the feast was not ready.

Why, I wondered, were there so many spaces? Time was running out for God’s people to bring their plates of food to the table! Yet they were holding back for various reasons.


No More Excuses

Right now, there is an urgency in the Kingdom because many people need to ‘taste and see that the Lord is good.’ (Ps 34:8) They need the Good News. They need the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

The hungry can only ‘taste and see’ as God’s people bring their gifts to the table—as you and I are willing to share what God has given to us.

Why would people hesitate to bring a platter of food to a public table?

  • Perhaps they feel inadequate—they are measuring themselves against others who have more ‘fancy’ dishes and think that their own offerings are too plain, their recipes too simple
  • Maybe they feel intimidated—and they are afraid of criticism or rejection of their offering
  • Perhaps they are so overwhelmed with meeting their own needs that they do not have time to consider others
  • They could be simply lethargic, or have lost their own appetite, or…

Overcome Reluctance and Bring your Gifts to the Table.

Today, I believe it is on God’s heart to encourage you to share what you have with others.

Bring your spiritual gifts, your talents, your vision, to the table. If you are a leader, encourage others to do the same.

If you can relate to having a reluctance in sharing your spiritual gift, here are some encouraging truths to help you move forward:

Don’t hold back because you feel inadequate. God says you are appointed and anointed. Your adequacy is from Him. (2 Cor 3:4)

Don’t hold back because you feel what you have is too simple. There are people who need the simplicity of the gift and expression you carry, just as there are people who need plain food. There are many different needs and many different appetites.

Don’t hold back because you feel you do not have the time. What you carry in its barest form, released in a moment, may help feed a hungry person.

God can use what you offer to Him, but He cannot use what you withhold.

Don’t hold back because you are intimidated by other people’s gifts, styles or methods. What you carry is unique and highly valued to God.

You are significant and irreplaceable.

Your gifts are needed by Jesus.

And—there are lives at stake.


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Choose Your Story…Change Your Life.

The Script BookDuring the month of November, I am providing an opportunity for my regular readers to make a donation to David McCracken Ministries.

To thank you for your gift, we are making available a pre-launch copy of my brand-new eBook:

‘The Script: Choose Your Story, Change Your Life’.

  • Have you ever felt as though your life is stuck in a pattern?
  • Would you like a clear, simple message to help yourself—and others—break free of limitations and live your God-appointed destiny?

God has a story for your life. It is the story of an abundant life—a life full of faith and purpose.

‘The script’ is any story-line that is at work in your life, that is not in accordance with God’s Word—and what He says about you.

In ‘The Script: Choose Your Story Change Your Life’ you will learn:

  • What a script is, and five ways it can come into operation
  • How to identify and defeat a counterfeit script
  • How to identify and break a generational storyline (curse)
  • How to replace the script with God’s story for your life

In ‘The Script: Choose Your Story Change Your Life’ I share my own testimony of breaking free from personal and generational scripts, and encourage you to live a life empowered by the Word of God.

If Enliven Blog has been a blessing to you, I encourage you to pray about sowing back financially. Your donation will help us to provide this free resource to empower churches, leaders and people around the world.

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© 2016 Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

Do I Have a Spiritual Gift? (5 Things to Look for)

Spiritual GiftI often receive questions from readers who have had encounters with the spiritual realm. They are wondering, ‘Is this experience a sign that I have a spiritual gift?’

Today I am sharing some thoughts to help you process and answer this question, for yourself and others that you may lead.

5 Characteristics of a Spiritual Gift (Gift of the Spirit)

Our starting point for determining whether or not an ability is a spiritual gift must always be, ‘What does the Bible say?’

1. A Spiritual Gift is Sourced in the Holy Spirit

‘There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.’ (1 Cor 12:4)

Supernatural gifts such as discernment, prophecy and healing are from the Holy Spirit.

The best question as you are starting out is not, ‘Is this a spiritual gift?’ but to firstly weigh it up and ask, ‘Is this experience or encounter from the Holy Spirit?’

Just as a gift tells us something about the heart and personality of the giver, a gift from the Holy Spirit will result in the fruit of the Holy Spirit being manifested.

We will recognize His likeness.

‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.’ (Gal 5:22-23)


2. A Spiritual Gift is Helpful

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. (1 Cor 12:7)

The Greek word translated ‘common good’ here is symphero, which means, to contribute, bring together, profit, help or be expedient. (Strongs G4851)

The purpose of a spiritual gift is to benefit and complete the church body. (See also Romans 12:4-5) A gift of the Spirit provides something that is needed.

‘Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.’ (1 Peter 4:10)

A question you can ask is, ‘Does this ability or experience contribute something that is helpful—or could it potentially, as I mature and develop it?’


3. A Spiritual Gift Builds the Church

‘Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.’ (1 Cor 14:12)

According to the Apostle Paul, our aim should be to build, or edify, the church. The word translated edify means, ‘to be a house builder’.

A spiritual gift helps people and draws them closer to Jesus. It helps build the church—it grows, supplements and completes the church body. It adds, it does not subtract.

A spiritual gift is not for ourselves, it is something God gives to others through us. It is our anointed contribution.

Ask, ‘Am I using this ability to bless and build others? Am I honouring leadership with the use of this ability? Is it helping build the church—or can it?’


4. A Spiritual Gift is Based in God’s Love

‘If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.’ (1 Cor 13:2)

An important question to ask when determining whether or not you have a spiritual gift is, ‘Am I motivated by love?’

A gift based in love will result in those who are receiving from that gift having a revelation of God as a loving Father.


5. The Church is the Primary Context for Spiritual Gifts

Spiritual gifts can (and should be) used in our daily lives, and in the context of mission and evangelism. However, the primary Biblical context for identifying, growing and using spiritual gifts is the church community. (See 1 Corinthians Chapters 12-14)

So good questions to ask, are,

‘Am I established in, and committed to, a local church?’

‘Are leaders, and others around my life acknowledging this is from the Holy Spirit and that it could be a spiritual gift?’


What to Do if You are Unsure

If you are still at a stage of uncertainty about your gift, that’s OK. Remember, you do not need to know that you have a spiritual gift, in order to be loved and affirmed by God.

The fact that you desire a spiritual gift, and prize the ministry of the Holy Spirit, is pleasing to Him. (1 Cor 14:1) 

It takes time to weigh up whether or not a repeated experience, insight or encounter with God is a spiritual gift. So be prepared to go on a journey, focus on your intimate relationship with God, and be open to receive input from others along the way.


Grow Your Prophetic and Prayer Gifts

Prophetic and Prayer Gifts
Have you ever dreamed that you could prophesy, or pray for the sick and see them healed? The desires of your heart are the first clue to the gift and ministry calling that God has placed in your life.

If you are feeling stuck, or have undergone hardship in relation to your prophetic or prayer gift, this book will encourage you and provide you with keys to move forward in developing your gift.

Grow Your Prophetic And Prayer Gifts is filled with practical tips, inspiration and advice to assist you in developing your spiritual gifts, including prophecy, healing, intercession and discernment.

To find out more or purchase this eBook (available in PDF or ePub), view ‘Grow Your Prophetic And Prayer Gifts’ in our eStore here

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Do you have questions about spiritual gifts that I can answer in future Enliven Blog articles? I would love to hear about it in the blog comments section, or on Facebook or Instagram. If the blog comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


Related Posts

Does Seeing Demons Mean that I Have a Spiritual Gift?

8 Signs You May Have the Spiritual Gift of Discernment


© 2016 Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

Did you receive this from a friend? Read more from Enliven Blog or sign to receive our weekly prophetic teaching updates at http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog

Spiritual Gift Questionnaires And Courses: Can We Do Better?

Gifts_from_GodEach one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10-11)

I was baptised in the Holy Spirit in the 1970’s and immediately became familiar with gifts of the Spirit, including healing and prophecy.

As time went on, gift questionnaires began to emerge as a fresh emphasis on spiritual gifts swept through the church. [1] From the start, I loved this aspect of identifying the unique God-given treasure in each individual.

However, the outcomes were not always comfortable. When The Hunk and I took a spiritual gift assessment, my husband came up with a top result of Apostle-Missionary.

That gave me a big fright—I thought, ‘who—and what—have I married?’ Not surprisingly, during the next two decades my husband’s ministry included itinerant ministry, sending missionaries, and raising resources for missions and humanitarian aid projects in Asia.

I have learned that when it comes to spiritual gifts, the Holy Spirit knows what He is doing.


Benefits and Limitations of Spiritual Gift Questionnaires

Since the 1990’s, many spiritual gift courses have emphasised ministry placement in church life; teaming up the ‘what’ of spiritual gifts with the ‘where’ of service. As a result, churches have benefited by the increase in members engaging and serving in the life of the church. [2]

However, I now ask, ‘Have we reached the optimum in our stewardship of spiritual gifts, or is there more?’

Over the past few decades I have observed some positives and negatives resulting from running spiritual gift courses in church life.


Benefits of Spiritual Gift Assessments and Courses

1. Teaching the church concerning spiritual gifts is Biblical—the Apostle Paul gave instruction about the spiritual gifts, their purpose, practice and benefits (1 Cor 12-14, Rom 12)

2. It enables Christians to become aware of and learn about gifts of the Spirit

3. It encourages believers to identify and use the particular gifts God has invested in us

4. A spiritual gifts course assists church leaders in releasing people into service in the church, i.e. ministry placement (especially helpful in larger churches)

5. A spiritual gifts course can help bring direction to Christians who do not have clear guidance about a suitable next step in where to serve in their church or in ministry

6. Spiritual gifts assessments can foster appreciation for others’ gifts, as well as how we function together as a church body

7. When church members serve in the area of their God-given gifts, the church can flourish and grow (Eph 4:7-16)


Limitations of Spiritual Gifts Courses

1. Spiritual gifts courses are a great introduction to gifts—however they tend to lack specific teaching on how to nurture and grow individual gifts over a period of time

2. Many courses are outcome-focused on ministry placement in the church—however, our Spirit-empowered gifts can also be utilised in our everyday lives and in evangelism

3. A spiritual gift is a turbo-charged version of a basic attribute that should be operating in the life of every believer (hospitality, evangelism, hearing God’s voice, prayer, praying for the sick, and so on)

A danger of focusing on spiritual gifts and ministry placement is that Christians who believe they are not ‘gifted’ in an area (such as prayer or evangelism) opt out and leave that aspect of Christian life to those who have a spiritual gift.

This may result in weak or immature development in some believers.

4. No questionnaire could cover every possible spiritual gift—and could potentially stifle the unique giftedness in some individuals, and the creativity of the Holy Spirit [4]

5. Many spiritual gift analyses do not make an allowance for gifts that are present but are not currently being used in a ministry environment, or are yet to emerge. Therefore the outcome of a questionnaire produces an incomplete picture.

Adapting our Approach to Spiritual Gift Assessments

What could happen if we took note of potential weaknesses resulting from running spiritual gift courses and assessments in church life into account—and adjusted for them?


Here are some things to take into consideration:

For Churches and Leaders

  • Encourage ministry leaders to identify, release and develop spiritual gifts in the people within their areas of responsibility
  • Teach on the role and ministry of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts in the context of our everyday lives and evangelism as well as in church life
  • Learn about spiritual gift development. Provide opportunities for individuals to take specific steps forward in the growth of their spiritual gifts [5]
  • Identify possible areas of weakness where ‘departmentalisation’ in an area (e.g. prayer, evangelism) has resulted in church members opting out of an important aspect of Christian living. Provide encouragement, resources and training on these key areas to the whole church, e.g. through Cell Groups
  • Realise that spiritual gift questionnaires will not give you the complete picture of an individual’s gifts or calling. Consider providing opportunity for gift assessment and personal review at regular intervals.

For Individuals

  • Take assessments regularly. This will help identify newly emerging gifts, as well as changes in gift-mix (the unique combination of your spiritual gifts) and gift prominence
  • Realise that not having a spiritual gift doesn’t mean that you cannot function and grow in that area, e.g. every believer has a responsibility to pray for the sick, hear God’s voice, exercise hospitality, and so on
  • Embrace the personal blessing that identifying and learning about spiritual gifts can bring. You have a unique and valuable contribution—and no one else can take your place.

Do you have any further observations or questions about spiritual gifts assessments? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the comments box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


Notes:

[1] C Peter Wagner was a leading proponent of this, and his resources have been regularly updated. I recommend:
WAGNER, C.P. Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow 2005. Ventura: Regal Books.

[2] God gives us spiritual gifts—Holy Spirit-empowered abilities—that are uniquely suited to the life mission and ministry pathway that He has prepared for us. (Eph 2:10) I discuss briefly the commonly asked question, ‘which comes first: the call or the gifts?’ in this post:

http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2010/08/31/a-dialogue-on-spiritual-gifts/

[3] Here are two examples I have personally benefited from:

1. Willow Creek Network course

Bruce Bugbee, Don Cousins, Bill Hybels, Wendy Seidman

http://www.willowcreek.com/wca_prod.asp?invtid=PR26038

A great book related to this is:

BUGBEE, B. What You Do Best In The Body of Christ. 1995, 2005. Grand Rapids:  Zondervan.

2. STEPPS to Ministry by Michelle Sanders

This course, originating here in Australia, takes into account

  • Spiritual Gifts
  • Talents
  • Experience
  • Passion
  • Personality

STEPPS also provides for a ministry track and placement in church life. For further information contact Michelle Sanders at michelle.kscope@hotmail.com

[4] Wayne Grudem defines a spiritual gift as ‘any ability that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in any ministry of the church.’
GRUDEM, W.  Systematic Theology.  1994.  Nottingham: Inter-Varsity.

[5] For a clear outline of gift development in the area of prophetic and prayer-related gifts, see my e-book, ‘Grow Your Prophetic And Prayer Gifts’ or read a summary of the stages of growth in the following post: How To Develop Your Prophetic Gift Pt 2: Understand Your Season


Related posts:

You Don’t Need A Special Gift To Be A Supernatural Christian

Give Yourself (And Your Spiritual Gifts) Permission To Shine

A Checklist For Developing Your Spiritual Gifts


© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

Did you receive this from a friend? Read more from Enliven Blog or sign to receive our weekly prophetic teaching updates at http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog

A Checklist For Developing Your Spiritual Gifts

Develop your Spiritual Gifts‘Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.’ (1 Tim 4:14-15, see also 2 Tim 1:6)

Paul makes it clear through his instruction to Timothy that each of us has the ability to stir up a spiritual gift, or to neglect it.

That is a sobering thought!

The Bible reminds us that we have a responsibility before God to be intentional about using and developing the spiritual gifts He has invested in us.

7 Ways to Develop your Spiritual Gift

Here is a checklist of actions that you can take to develop your spiritual gifts. This includes prophecy, or any other gift such as leadership, discernment, teaching, intercession or healing. [1]

To make this exercise practical, rate how you are going out of 10 for each one and ask the question, what can I do to improve in this area?

1. I have acknowledged that I have a gift

Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. (1 Cor 14:1)

Many people hold back from acknowledging a spiritual gift because they mistakenly believe that standing back is the humble thing to do, or they still have doubts as to whether they really have a gift.

However if God has put a gift or ministry on your heart, even if it hasn’t fully manifested, be honest and begin the development process.

In the early stages, your stewardship is primarily of the desire or call God has given to you. Don’t under-value this. Be obedient to the Holy Spirit and take the first steps to learn about the gift.

You will never grow in a gift if you do not admit you have one—or at least disclose that you have a God-given desire for it.

2. I am in the environment of a local church

‘And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.’ (1 Cor 12:28)

The place to use and develop your spiritual gift is in the context of Christian community—church life. Gifts are given to help grow the church, whether through evangelism or through ministry to the church body.

We were never meant to be ‘lone rangers’, but part of the church body, interdependent upon each other. (1 Cor 12-14)

3.  I am making the most of resources available

There are many great resources and materials available to help you grow in your spiritual gift. Look for reputable books, online resources, e-books, conferences and local training to help you grow in your gift.

There are many perspectives in the world today—and not all of them are healthy. So the best way to use resources is in conjunction with accountability to a leader or mentor who can help you select the best materials and process what you are learning.

4. I have a sense of passion and purpose

It is not enough just to know that you have a spiritual gift. You also have to identify and nurture the purpose that God has given you to use it. This is your sense of motivation, your mission.

It is the ‘because’ of your gift.

  • ‘I pray because…’
  • ‘I teach because…’

As time goes on, that sense of passion becomes focused.

For example, my own big ‘because’—my all-consuming passion—is souls: a lost generation in need of salvation. As years have gone by, my focus is on helping raise up a generation of contagious, ‘supernatural’ Christians who will reach people for Jesus because their lives look like Jesus.

My passion and vision is global. Yours may relate to your family, your church, a specific group, a region, and so on.

Teaching and prophetic ministry is for me, a means to an end. What is your ‘end’?

5. I am using my spiritual gift regularly

The way to develop a gift is to use it, not to shelve it.

We all have to start somewhere small. My writing ministry began with writing newsletters to our family’s mission supporters. My prophetic ministry began with reaching to God for words of encouragement whilst praying for people at altar calls.

If you have a teaching gift, your ministry is not going to start at the pulpit, Look for small ways to get activated—for example taking devotions with your family, or offering to take a study in your small group.

It is time to stop holding back.

6. I am accountable in the use of my gift

No one ever outgrows the need for accountability to oversight in the use of a spiritual gift or ministry.

When asked, ‘To whom are you accountable to in the use of your gift?’ what is your answer?

I have a great source of accountability through David McCracken Ministries. In the past my accountability has included elders, pastors and prayer leaders. These are people who have instructed me and loved me enough to correct me or give me tips to help me grow in my spiritual gifts.

Accountability does not create a ‘ceiling’; it explodes it! I know that the sky is the limit in my call with God as long as I have a heart attitude to submit to and learn from those He has placed around me.

We can learn not only from those to whom we are accountable, but from peers and outsiders as well. We need to foster a life-long attitude of learning from others in our gifts and ministries.

7. I am persevering through the tough times

‘For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.’ (2 Tim 1:6)

We all go through difficult times and wilderness seasons in the development of our spiritual gifts.

If you can relate to this today, may I encourage you—keep pressing forward. Your Heavenly Father has a plan in the midst of your trial and He is faithful.


Grow Your Prophetic and Prayer Gifts – eBook

Prophetic and Prayer GiftsIf you are feeling stuck, or have undergone hardship in relation to your prophetic or prayer gift, including prophecy, discernment, intercession and healing, this book will encourage you and provide you with keys to move forward in developing your gift.

Grow Your Prophetic And Prayer Gifts is filled with practical tips, inspiration and advice to assist you in developing your spiritual gifts.

In Grow Your Prophetic And Prayer Gifts, you will discover the six phases of development of prophetic and prayer gifts from desire and birth through to maturity.

Learn how to:

  • Identify the season you are currently in for each of your gifts, including a season of wilderness and trial. Find out how to break through to the next level
  • Maximise opportunities in the current stage of growth in your spiritual gift
  • Navigate the challenges and joys unique to the growth of prophetic and prayer gifts
  • Each chapter includes questions for personal reflection and group discussion.

This book includes practical tools and the information you need to develop a plan for the next stage of growth in your spiritual gift.

Review and purchase Grow Your Prophetic and Prayer Gifts here.

(124 pages. Available for download in either PDF or ePub formats)

Note: All transactions are secure using PayPal and we do not pass your information on to third parties. Prices are listed in Australian dollars, but our store will convert to your currency.


Notes:

[1] Some articles that may help you in the following gifts:

Prophecy: How To Develop Your Prophetic Gift Pt 1: Where To Begin

Discernment: 8 Ways To Grow Your Gift Of Discernment

Healing: The Enliven Blog Healing Category

Intercession: 8 Tips for Personal Intercessors

 


© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

Why Is My Spiritual Gift Or Ministry Not Being Released?

Gifts_from_GodI regularly come across gifted prophetic people who wonder why they are not being given opportunities to minister in the area of their spiritual gifts and passion.

There are two contexts in which this can happen:

  • You may be aware that you have a gift of prophecy, or another spiritual gift. In fact, you may have exercised that gift or ministry in the past, and even seen great results as the Holy Spirit touched people through your ministry.
  • You may be newly emerging in your spiritual gift. You are aware that you have a gift and Spirit-given ability—so why is it that others do not see it?

Maybe you can identify with the following questions:

  • ‘Why does it seem as though my gift is hidden?’
  • ‘Why am I not receiving opportunities to exercise my gift?’
  • ‘Why don’t leaders in my church recognise my ministry?’
  • ‘Will I ever fulfil the call of God on my life?’

These are questions that I have asked myself at various times in the past. If you can relate to this today, I have some things that  I would like to share with you on a personal level.


Blaming Others will Disempower You

It can be very easy to blame others when we are not being given opportunities to exercise our gifts in church life.

We perceive that leaders especially, have the power to release or hold back possibilities for us to minister. It may seem that they are blocking the achievement of God’s call on our lives.

But the reality is that as long as we are blaming others for our lack of ministry fulfilment—whether it is a spouse, pastor, ministry leader or anybody else—we are actually disempowering ourselves and limiting God.

Invariably, we will begin to voice our frustration and resentment, for as Jesus said, ‘Out of the abundance of our hearts our mouths speak.’ (Luke 6:43-46)

Eventually, discouragement, disappointment and frustration pervade the atmosphere around our lives, creating a cycle of barrenness. But I have good news for you today: you can break free!

Reasons why Your Gifts are not Being Used

Firstly, you need to remember that God is sovereign. No human on the planet can hold back the fulfilment of His call on your life—except you.

You are empowered. You do not need to look to someone else to release your ministry.

So, if your spiritual gift or ministry call seems to be hidden, here are some possible reasons why this might be happening, along with some suggestions to help you move forward: [1]

1. You are Waiting for Appointment Unnecessarily

Sometimes we wait for an invitation, role or position when Jesus just wants to love people through us.

For example, if you have a gift of prophecy, you can use it at the basic level of encouragement in a small group and everyday life amongst family and friends. Remember, though, that if you have a word that goes beyond simple encouragement, the principles of accountability apply.

If you want to be used in the area of healing, start offering to pray for people—and so on.

The key is to stay within the appropriate context in the use of your gift. [2]

2. You Need to make your Desires and Dreams Known

Sometimes we think that ministry leaders are aware of our gifts and calling and should open doors for us. They would—if only they knew what was on our hearts.

I can remember one time in particular where I was frustrated because a ministry leader wasn’t giving me an opportunity. When I eventually broached the subject, he asked me why I hadn’t mentioned it, and happily provided a pathway forward for me.

Leaders aren’t mind readers. Sometimes we think that they are supermen and superwomen who should be listening to God about our personal gifts and situations.

They may simply need the opportunity to hear from us firsthand.

3. You are Beginning and Need to Step out.

Sometimes we wait too long for encouragement, when we should be stepping out of the boat ourselves.

Understandably, when you are new in your gift, this can be a bit daunting.

When a seedling emerges from the soil, there is a last push to break through the earth. When a butterfly is emerging from a chrysalis, there is a final wrestling to break free.

This is the kind of motivation that the Apostle Paul talked about when he said, ‘Desire spiritual gifts.’ (1 Cor 14:1) Is your desire strong enough that you will seek tangible ways of moving forward in your gift? [3]

4. The Delay is about God’s Timing

Wilderness seasons are a Biblical theme—remember Moses, Joseph, David, John the Baptist and the Apostle Paul? [4]

Some reasons that God ordains a time of hiddenness may include:

  • Timing as He brings circumstances and people together
  • Strengthening other gifts and skills in your life that will be needed in the long run
  • Preparation of our character or gift

If God has ordained a season of waiting, He is faithful and will release you at the right time.

5. You may Benefit by Adjusting Something in Your Ministry Approach.

This is a vital point. Many times I have seen people held back because there is something unsuitable in their approach to using their gifts—and yet they are completely unaware of it.

Here are some checks we should do regularly in relation to our gifts and ministry:

Faithfulness

  • Am I willing to serve in small ways?
  • Am I present at meetings, even when my gift is not being called on?
  • Am I honouring my leaders in my conversation and actions?
  • Am I being self-centred, i.e. it’s about my gift and my ministry, or others-centred—“What can I do to help you?”

Culture and Style

  • Does the style of the way I use my gift fit with the culture of my church?
  • What about my language—terminology and expressions?
  • Do I use any methods or ‘formulas’ when I minister that my leaders do not use?
  • Do I use actions, gestures or manifestations, e.g. when I pray for people, which are not in keeping with the culture of my church?

If a movement we have been brought up in, imparted to, or taught by, is different from that of our church, this is something that we need to especially consider.

We need to be willing to lay these methods aside and align our ministry style with the culture of our church or ministry organisation.

Vision and Values

  • Do my values and vision for ministry differ from that of my church?

A friend of mine observed that a church is like a train—led by God and our leadership with a definite destination in mind. We need to decide whether we are willing to get on board and to serve in the direction that our church is going.

So long as we are nurturing our own desires for a different destination or culture of church life, our leaders will perceive this. They need to know we are pulling with them—not against them.

Why not ask?

You may benefit by approaching someone in leadership—perhaps sharing this article with him or her—and reviewing any possible reasons why you seem to be stuck in relation to your gift or ministry.

This will only work if you take an open and humble approach and are willing to listen to suggestions without becoming hurt or offended.

Often leaders do not address situations such as I’ve mentioned above because they know that their observations will not be well received. If you initiate the conversation, and are willing to make adjustments, you may be surprised at the results.


Do you have any experiences or questions to share on this topic? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the comments box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


Notes:

[1] Another reason our gift or ministry may be hidden is because we are hiding ourselves—due to fear or hurt. We will be covering these topics in the next few weeks.

[2] Every church has unique protocols for the operation of spiritual gifts. See Prophetic Ministry In Church Life: Why Have Guidelines

[3] If you believe you have a gift of prophecy emerging, see the following post for ideas:

How To Develop Your Prophetic Gift: Where To Begin 

[4] Here is a post on the topic of wilderness seasons that you may find helpful:

Going Through A Testing Season In Your Spiritual Gifts

Related Posts:

11 Signs That Your Prophetic Gift Is Being Held Back

Do You Have A Ministry Call?

Break Free Of Hurts That Are Blocking Your Prophetic Gift


© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church