Discovering and applying individual spiritual gifts can help ministries to thrive. We feature here a brand new book on spiritual gifts written by the NC Conference’s own Dr. Christine Harman, as well as other curricula and books to be used in small groups, leadership teams, and for personal assessment to enable Christians to do the work that God created them to do.
For the Common Good
A new book, For the Common Good: Discovering and Using Your Spiritual Gifts, was just published. Its author is Dr. Christine Harman, Director of Christian Formation for the North Carolina Conference. Dr. Harman uses up-to-date understanding and analysis to explore 25 distinct spiritual gifts with scripture references for each one. The book includes an assessment to help participants identify their spiritual gifts. After identifying their particular gifts, clergy and laypeople will learn how to apply them for the good of their church, community, and the world. This book is ideal for both group study and self-discovery. The book also includes suggestions for how to build a ministry team based on the gifts of each individual. A leader guide for this book will be published as a PDF download from The Upper Room online bookstore in mid-August.
Small Group Curriculum
In addition to the book above that can be used in a small group setting, these curricula are also designed as robust programs to help groups discover and apply their spiritual gifts. These resources are particularly useful to church committees and leadership teams in helping them to work together in using their gifts.
Make a Difference: Following Your Passion and Finding Your Place to Serve by James A. Harnish. Another NC Conference leader lends her voice to this DVD study. Rev. Lisa Yebuah, Spiritual Director and Advisor for Inclusion and Equity for the NC Conference Cabinet and Leadership Team, joins this video roundtable alongside Nick Cunningham, Lindsey Krinks, DJ del Rosario, and author Jim Harnish. This study is not specifically about spiritual gifts, but it encourages participants to discover their spiritual gifts as part of their endeavor to find their place to serve. The other sessions share real stories and help participants figure out how to apply their spiritual gifts to serve God.
Serving from the Heart: Finding Your Gifts and Talents for Service by Carol Cartmill & Yvonne Gentile. This DVD curriculum from The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection (Adam Hamilton’s church) takes church members on a 6-8 week journey of self-discovery as they learn more about how the Body of Christ is intended to function, and what that means to each person. The authors lead adults through assessing their spiritual gifts, talents and abilities, resources, individual style, dreams, and experiences all adding up to an enhanced capacity to serve God and neighbor.
Each One a Minister: Using God’s Gifts for Ministry by William J. Carter. Carter engages the reader in discovering the meaning of church, ministry, and gifts, from the early church up to the present through a Bible study of Ephesians. As a follow-up to the Bible study, readers and study groups look at ways in which God’s gifts are practical as well as spiritual. Four ministry categories, closely connected to the congregational primary task (receive, relate, equip, send), are identified; and Scripture readings, activities, and ways to implement specific ministries are suggested. Designed to encourage individuals to discover God’s call to ministry in their own lives, Each One a Minister leads us toward practical ways to use our gifts in ministries in our congregations and in our communities.
Spirit Gifts: One Spirit, Many Gifts by Patricia D. Brown. This dynamic group experience builds community as participants share together in study, reflective exercises, discussion, worship, prayer, music, and group activities. This workbook includes a spiritual gifts survey, personal inventory worksheets, Bible studies, key content summaries, and songs.
Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life: You and Your Spiritual Gifts by Kenneth C. Haugk. Developed by Stephen Ministries, this curriculum is a comprehensive set of integrated resources that congregations can use to help individuals discover their spiritual gifts and become involved in gifts-related ministries. The centerpiece of these resources is an eight-hour course that serves three purposes: 1) discovering your own spiritual gifts using the Haugk Spiritual Gifts Inventory, 2) education about spiritual gifts, calling, and discipleship, and 3) motivation for ministry. Instructions are given for scheduling this study as a weekend retreat, a two-part retreat, four 2 1/2-hour sessions, or eight 1-hour sessions.
These classic books can be used by individuals or groups to assess and apply personal spiritual gifts or the gifts of a team.
Rediscovering Our Spiritual Gifts: Building Up the Body of Christ through the Gifts of the Spirit by Charles V. Bryant. This book identifies, defines, and discusses 32 spiritual gifts including giving, healing, hospitality, service, evangelism, and music. Bryant encourages you to discover the particular gifts the Holy Spirit has given you and challenges you to use these gifts to build up the body of Christ. The book includes a “Grace Gifts Inventory” to help you identify and apply the spiritual gifts in your life. A workbook and spiritual gifts inventory can also be purchased from The Upper Room online bookstore.
Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts by Craig Kennet Miller. This booklet from Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church is also available as a free PDF download. You may use this booklet as an individual or with a group. If you are using this booklet as an individual, prayerfully read through each section and take the Spiritual Gifts Assessment to gain an understanding of how God has gifted you for ministry. If you are using this booklet as a group, use the group study guide. Group discussion questions and a bibliography of additional resources are also included.
Equipped for Every Good Work: Building a Gifts-Based Church by Dan R. Dick and Barbara Miller. Authors Dick and Miller say this book is not a recipe for assigning church members to jobs in the church, it is a process of discovery and discussion of the gifts, graces, and abilities of the leadership core of a local congregation. Introduces the Spiritual Web, Leadership Interaction Styles, and Task Type Preferences.
Body Building: Creating a Ministry Team Through Spiritual Gifts by Brian Kelley Bauknight. This book is about creating a networked ministry team from within a congregation by identifying and matching spiritual gifts with the core purposes of the church. Bauknight describes the processes for accomplishing this, processes which he has tested in his own congregation. Body Building shows how a church can accomplish its mission without adding to the financial overhead with full-time, salaried ministers who are hired “to do the ministry.”
Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts: A Personal Inventory Method by Kenneth Cain Kinghorn. This booklet is designed to help Christians identify the specific gifts God has given them. To be effective in ministry, Christians must find and use these gifts. The book will help clear up certain misconceptions about spiritual gifts and assist Christians in discovering the gifts God has within them. It features an inventory of spiritual gifts designed to be taken either in a group or privately.
Youth & Children
Yes, even young people can discover and begin to use the spiritual gifts God has given them. Use these curricula with youth and children.
Serving from the Heart for Youth by Carol Cartmill, Yvonne Gentile, and Anne Broyles. The authors of the adult study, Serving from the Heart, listed above, also offer a version of that curriculum for youth. Young people who go through this study will learn about spiritual gifts and what they mean for the church, discover their gifts, and find ways to offer their gifts to further God’s work through the church. It includes a leader and participant guide.
Uniquely You: Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts. This study from the CrossTrainer curriculum from Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church provides a solid path for faith and discipleship in children ages 8-11. This DVD-based program is easy to teach and filled with fun, flexible lessons. Hands-on activities are sure to keep children active, challenged, and on track as they develop lifelong relationships with God and become followers of Jesus Christ. Children will learn about spiritual gifts and how to use them to fulfill God’s purpose. They are provided with the necessary training gear to further develop and enhance their individual giftedness and uniqueness.
Spiritual Gifts: Discipleship Ministries. Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church offers many resources on their website including a spiritual gifts inventory, assessment tools, and helpful articles for applying gifts to ministry.
Lay Servant Ministries Online Classes. Lay Servant Ministries of the North Carolina Conference periodically offers online classes on spiritual gifts. These classes are open to anyone. Keep an eye on the calendar for an upcoming class.
BeADisciple.com. This online education website by Southwestern University, a United Methodist institution, also offers an online class, Rediscovering Our Spiritual Gifts. This class is next scheduled to be offered on August 30, 2021.
Request These Resources
These resources can be borrowed for free by anyone involved with a United Methodist Church in the North Carolina Conference. We will mail them to your home! All you need to do is fill out the Resource Request Form.