Gifts and Passions for Serving

A spiritual gift is a special ability given by the Holy Spirit to every believer when they put their faith in Christ. That's what GPS is all about! It stands for Gifts and Passions for Serving and is an easy four-step process that'll help you better understand how you can fulfill God's desire to serve him and others.

How To Identify Your Spiritual Gifts

1. Watch the intro video

We are all part of God's tool box. Watch the message from Teaching Pastor Jason Strand to help you understand what spiritual gifts are and how you can discover yours. 

2. Take the Spiritual Gifts Assessment

After you watch the intro video above, take the Spiritual Gifts Assessment to identify and learn about your top gifts. The assessment also helps you identify your passions and abilities to help connect you to applicable opportunities.

3. Learn about your gifts

Take time to review your spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts are notable abilities that the Holy Spirit gives to each and every person who has put their faith in Christ. These are different than talents and personality traits. Spiritual gifts are specifically given to us for the purpose of strengthening Christ's Church, and to prepare us to serve others. 


The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ by effectively organizing resources and people in order to efficiently reach ministry goals.

  • They like to organize facts, people or events.
  • When working on a project, it is easy for them to see the necessary steps to solve potential problems.
  • They tend to get frustrated when they see disorganization.
  • They are generally careful and thorough in handling details.
  • They are always looking for more efficient ways to do something.
  • They love to manage people, projects, and systems.
Biblical Examples:
  • Joseph (Genesis 41)
  • Nehemiah (Nehemiah 3)
  • Jesus [Mark 3:13-14 (appointing the 12)]
  • Paul instructs Titus (Titus 1:5)

People with this gift run the risk of getting caught up in details and forgetting people.


The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ by launching and leading new ministry ventures that advance God’s purposes and expand his Kingdom.

  • They are excited about working in multiple church settings and diverse religious communities.
  • They are interested in how the Gospel can be brought to those who have never heard the Good News.
  • They are attracted to new approaches to evangelism or service.
  • They find the idea of presenting the Gospel to a different culture or in a different language exciting.
Biblical Examples:
  • Peter/Paul (Acts 17:16-34)
  • Paul’s letters to the churches
  • Timothy was an apostle to Ephesus
  • Paul to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 2)

Getting caught up in the “new” and moving on to next project idea without thoroughly developing leaders.


The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ by recognizing truth or error within a message, person, or event.

  • They can generally rely on their first impressions of people and determine whether or not a person’s motives or character are authentic.
  • They often get “gut” reactions about an atmosphere or experience and know whether it is bad or good.
  • They have a “spiritual sense of smell.”
  • They can distinguish different, ungodly sources of spiritual activity.
  • They have the ability to keep the church from drifting off into extremes.
Biblical Examples:
  • David (Samuel 16:5)
  • Peter (Acts 8:18-25)
  • Jesus while tempted (Matthew 4:1-11)
  • Paul (Acts 16:16-18)
  • Can become judgmental.
  • Work through difficult situations with love, patience, kindness, and understanding.

The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ by sharing the love of Christ with others in a way that draws them to respond by accepting God’s free gift of eternal life.

  • They enjoy studying the questions that challenge Christianity.
  • They frequently think about people who are not Christians.
  • They understand how the Christian faith will meet the real-life needs in a person’s life.
  • They can comfortably talk about their faith with strangers.
  • They have friends who are not Christians.
  • They get excited about outreach ministries and are thrilled when someone gives their heart to Jesus.
Biblical Examples:
  • Philip (Acts 8:26-38)
  • Timothy, Paul, Silas (Acts 16-19)
  • Jesus with the sinners (Matthew 11:19)
  • Philip (Acts 21:8)

Remember that not everyone has this gift, so don’t get frustrated with others.

Exhortation / Encouragement

The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ by helping others live God-centered lives through inspiration, encouragement, counseling, and empowerment.

  • People will tell them they are a good listener.
  • They tend to be motivated to bring unity between people so they can grow in their faith.
  • They can see positive things in people and circumstances often before that person is able to see it.
  • They tend to have more faith in people than people have in themselves.
  • They know how to make suggestions because they desire to see people reach their potential.
  • They are often great counselors.
Biblical Examples:
  • Barnabas (Acts 11)
  • Paul’s letters to the churches
  • Judas and Silas (Acts 15)
  • Jesus (John 14:1-4)
  • Honor confidentiality.
  • Have your own encouragers to give you strength.

The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ by stepping out in faith in order to see God’s purposes accomplished, trusting him to handle any and all obstacles along the way.

  • They sometimes sense that God is orchestrating a project or idea. They find it easy to encourage and support it when others have doubts.
  • They believe deeply in the power of prayer and are aware of God’s presence in their life.
  • They are able to believe that God is faithful, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable difficulties.
  • They persevere when times get tough.
  • They never forget God’s promises.
Biblical Examples:
  • Job (Job 2)
  • Abraham (Genesis 22)
  • Hebrews 11
  • Noah builds the ark (Genesis 6:13-22)

Don’t get discouraged with others who don’t have the same level of faith.


The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ by joyfully supporting and funding various Kingdom initiatives through material contributions beyond a regular tithe.

  • They love to give!
  • They often give generously and joyfully.
  • They are resourceful in finding ways to free up their resources to benefit others.
  • They feel a sense of ownership in the ministries and projects they support financially.
  • They tend to manage their finances well, often basing financial decisions on what will be made available for giving.
Biblical Examples:
  • Early Church (Acts 4:32)
  • Church in Macedonia (2 Corinthians 8:1-2)
  • Widow’s offering (Luke 21:1-4)
  • Jesus willingly gave his life (Gospels)

Be guided by the Holy Spirit, not self promotion.


The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ by healing and restoring to health, beyond traditional and natural means, those who are sick, hurting, or suffering.

  • They are drawn to the sick.
  • When they pray, God often brings healing to those who are physically, spiritually, and emotionally sick.
  • They are aware of God’s presence and try to follow his guidance when praying for healing.
  • When people bring prayer requests for healing, they find themselves wanting to pray.
  • There are times when God does not bring healing, but these people do not become discouraged.
  • They understand that God is sovereign.
Biblical Examples:
  • Jesus (Mark 7 & 8)
  • Peter (Acts 3)
  • Jesus heals boy with demon (Matthew 17:14-23)
  • Paul (Acts 3:1-8)
  • Healing cannot be revered higher than other spiritual gifts.
  • Stay focused on the healing that is coming from God, not on the person doing the praying.

The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ by providing others with a warm and welcoming environment for community.

  • They are comfortable around strangers.
  • They put people at ease.
  • They can make all kinds of people feel welcome.
  • They love to create appealing, appropriate environments for people.
  • They view relationships as opportunities to share God’s love.
Biblical Examples:
  • Lydia (Acts 16)
  • Martha (Luke 10 (can go with caution)
  • Jesus prepares a place for us (John 14:2)
  • Simon (Acts 9:43)
  • Don’t get wrapped up in providing a welcoming environment so much that you forget people.
  • Example: Mary & Martha. Mary listened to Jesus; Martha was overly concerned with details.

The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ by communicating God’s truth to others in a way that promotes justice, honesty, and understanding.

  • They love to study the Bible and other books to gain insights for Christian living.
  • They can take information and insights from God’s Word, organize it, and then pass it on to others.
  • At times they find themselves knowing information about a situation, and they have not learned of this
    from natural sources.
Biblical Examples:
  • Samuel (1 Samuel 3)
  • Ezra (Ezra 7:10)
  • Timothy (2 Timothy 2:15)
  • Solomon (Ecclesiastes 7:25)
  • Keep a humble heart.
  • Ensure you are using knowledge to advance God’s Kingdom.

The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ by casting vision, stimulating spiritual growth, applying strategies, and achieving success where God’s purposes are concerned.

  • They can motivate people to work together toward a common goal.
  • They have confidence in their vision and know how to direct people toward the vision.
  • They are naturally put into the leadership role when meeting in a group setting.
  • They quickly recognize people with potential and begin to encourage those people.
  • They influence people because of their character, competence, and relational chemistry.
  • People under their leadership sense that they are headed in a good direction.
  • When necessary, they can make unpopular decisions and work through the disagreements that follow.
Biblical Examples:
  • Jesus in any of the Gospels
  • Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2)
  • The book of Joshua
  • Moses led people out of Egypt (Exodus 12 & 13)

Don’t view people as human resources.


The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ by ministering to those who suffer physically, emotionally, spiritually, or relationally. Their actions are characterized by love, care, compassion, and kindness toward others.

  • They perceive the sufferings of others and effectively minister to them.
  • They enjoy finding ways to show others how much God loves them.
  • They empathize with hurting people and enter into a healing process with them.
  • They see every person as a life that matters to God.
  • They know how to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.
Biblical Examples:
  • John (John 13, the disciple Jesus loved)
  • Dorcas (Acts 9:36)
  • Joseph (Genesis 42-45)
  • Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10)
  • Develop good boundaries–using your gift can be physically and emotionally draining.
  • Using mercy should help people function on their own and become independent again.

The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ through supernatural acts that bring validity to God and his power.

  • They frequently pray for things that are obviously beyond the natural capacity of people.
  • They long for God to be glorified through a supernatural intervention.
  • They have a unique confidence that God still works miracles.
  • They have seen God perform supernatural acts when they have prayed for intervention.
Biblical Examples:
  • Moses parting the Red Sea (Exodus 14:15)
  • Paul casted out demons (Acts 16:16-18)
  • Jesus turned water into wine (John 2:1-11)
  • Feeding the 5000 (John 6:1-14)

Make sure to give the glory to God, however your prayers are answered.

Pastoring / Shepherding

The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ by taking spiritual responsibility for a group of believers and equipping them to live Christ-centered lives.

  • They enjoy helping others to grow in their faith.
  • They have compassion for those who are getting off track and there is a longing to bring them back.
  • They enjoy nurturing and caring for a group of people over a period of time.
  • They love long-term, in-depth relationships that are grounded in faith.
  • They are a natural leader for a small group.
Biblical Examples:

Paul in any of his letters to believers/churches.

  • Be an encourager.
  • Do not dictate a Christ-centered life.

The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ by offering messages from God that comfort, encourage, guide, warn, or reveal sin in a way that leads to repentance and spiritual growth.

  • They need to express thoughts and ideas verbally, especially regarding right and wrong.
  • They view change and challenge as a healthy part of spiritual life. They are aware of the future consequences of choosing one path or another.
  • They can often verbalize God’s truth in situations where that truth is encouraging—or even where that truth is unpopular or difficult for listeners to accept.
  • They make quick judgments and can be painfully direct.
  • They typically get enthusiastically involved, impulsive.
  • They hate sin, but are usually harder on themselves than others.
  • They can be very persuasive in defining what is right and what is wrong.
Biblical Examples:
  • Daniel (Daniel 8)
  • Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah)
  • Jesus predicts his death (Mark 8:31-38)
  • Elijah (1 Kings 17:1, 1 Kings 19:1-9)
  • Can become judgmental.
  • Measures EVERYTHING to God’s Word.
Service / Helps

The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ by offering others assistance in reaching goals that glorify God.

  • They tend to notice and assist with practical tasks that need to be done or people they serve.
  • They receive enjoyment when doing short-term projects and tend to become frustrated with long-range responsibilities.
  • They would rather be responsible for set tasks than be involved in leadership.
  • They prefer to work behind-the-scenes and often avoid public recognition.
  • They enjoy working on odd jobs, often seeing a need and tending to it without being asked.
Biblical Examples:
  • Timothy served the Ephesian church
  • Samuel (1 Samuel 1:20-28)
  • Jesus washing feet (John 13)
  • Joshua served outside camp (Exodus 33:11)
  • Set boundaries.
  • Learn how to say “no.”

The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ by teaching sound doctrine in relevant ways, empowering people to gain a sound and mature spiritual education.

  • They love to gather information and then effectively communicate this knowledge to others.
  • They love to study the Bible. They will often have several versions of the Bible in front of them while they study.
  • When they listen to others teach, they often think of new or better ways to teach the material.
  • They motivate others to learn.
  • They easily find relevant ways to communicate an insight.
Biblical Examples:
  • Jesus in his parables (Gospels)
  • Paul in pastoral letters to Titus and Timothy
  • Peter and John (Acts 4:3)
  • Aquilla and Priscilla (Acts 18:24)
  • Frequently reference teaching against God’s Word.
  • Remain humble and look for ways to improve.
Tongues / Interpretation of Tongues

The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ by communicating God’s message in a special language unknown to the speaker. The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ to interpret the special language that is unknown to the speaker of tongues.

  • They have the ability to pray in a language that they have never heard before.
  • Their love for God or their burden for others is so strong that they have difficulty expressing their feelings with words.
  • They find that speaking in this language inspires themselves or others to step out in faith.
  • They can interpret the words of others who have spoken in “tongues,” even though they have never heard the language before.
  • They understand how messages given through the use of tongues serve to glorify God or the church.
Biblical Examples:
  • Acts 10:46
  • 1 Corinthians 14 (Paul)
  • Jesus tells of the gift (Mark 16:17)
  • Acts 19:6
  • Uttering the words received without others to interpret.

Note: Eagle Brook honors the gift of tongues but doesn’t use it publicly since it's typically a private prayer language.


The God-given ability to serve and strengthen the body of Christ by making wise decisions and counseling others with sound advice all in accordance with God’s will.

  • They find it easy to apply the truths found in the Bible.
  • People will often come to them for advice about spiritual matters.
  • They seem to find simple solutions in the midst of difficult situations.
  • They can be good mediators for conflict resolution because they can see and explain what is going on.
Biblical Examples:
  • Paul, Peter, and James (Acts 15:5-19)
  • Joshua (Deuteronomy 34:9)
  • Daniel (Daniel 1:17-20)
  • Solomon (1 Kings 3:5-28)
  • Keep a humble heart.
  • Ask if you are using the wisdom to advance God’s kingdom.

4. Serve with your gifts

Join a serving team to use and apply your gifts to help support people and the church!