Some Online and Offline tools for
Discerning Spiritual Gifts

          The following tools are available to individuals to explore, on their own, what their spiritual gift(s) might be. One critique I have of them, however, is that they may miss the "community" element in discernment. Without other persons to reflect with us, each listening to God from their own particular place in the body of Christ, we can have a distorted view of ourselves and our gift(s). At the least, these inventories indicate our interest, our leanings, directions in which we may feel moved as individuals. Such needs to be "bounced" off others. If anything this is a beginning of the process, not its culmination. I encourage you to seek out others.
          Some approaches to spiritual gifts are tightly woven, the gifts themselves narrowly defined, and discernment of them  a matter of finding the hole in which your peg fits. A few of the questionnaires below may reflect that point of view, so use with caution if you see things differently. My understanding is a bit more fluid (perhaps too loose for some folks). The Holy Spirit is not, nor are we, locked into the gifts exactly as they are stated in the New Testament. Three of the major listings (Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:8-11, 28-30, and Ephesians 4:11-12) do share similar elements, but there are also differences - one person writing to three settings. The Spirit is free to move as it will, I believe. Furthermore, we are not pegs. If anything, as Paul said, we're part of a living, breathing, growing body, which has various systems that function together - with stress upon variety, function, and community. Keep that in mind as you explore these tools.
        p.s. these are not listed in any particular order. I'd appreciate feedback on how helpful (or not) you found any of them. If you write, please be specific as to which tool. Also, let me know if a link is broken.
  • Gifted 2 Serve - from, this tool was designed by Andrew Kulp (online)


Here are some very helpful resources (books offline) along the way:
         - Listening Hearts: Discerning God's God in Community 
                     (with follow-up books: Grounded in God, Leader's Manual, & Retreat Book),
                             See Listening Hearts Ministry for more details.
         - Discerning God's Will Together: A Spiritual Practice for the Church, and
         - Life Keys (which combines gift discernment and personality - see below)
Of further interest is Robert Longman's webpage(s) on Spiritual Discernment.  Check them out!




Some Online tools concerning

           Personality tests are fine. I use them in my ministry, especially the Myers-Briggs (MBTI). However, these should not be taken for more than they are. They are snapshots in time. A person changes between pictures taken. Furthermore, no photo captures everything, just what the person being photographed presents (and what the camera or the film is able to pick up). Be wise. See what these say as "leanings," "inclinations" on your part at this moment. They may reveal something helpful in discerning a gift you may have, or how you might use it. For instance, an introvert can become a good preacher/speaker, but will approach it differently than an extrovert. ... Take it for what it's worth and, like the Spiritual Gifts inventories above, involve others. You do not exist outside of community, especially in the body of Christ.
          As above, I'd appreciate feedback on how helpful (or not) you found any of them. If you write, please be specific as to which tool. Also, let me know if a link is broken.

       An easy-to-use abridged version of the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) can be found here - don't be put off by the title ("Humanmetrics" ... "Jung Typology Test"). The test questions and the shared results are straightforward. There is no cost for this. I'd suggest using this one. You a four-letter score, suggesting certain aspects to your personality in four areas.

       The Keirsey Temperment Sorter (KTS) is another abridged  version of the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory. It is available online here on a commercial basis. To access it, you'll need to provide a few details about yourself, and the results are only partially shared. You have to pay for the rest. An unofficial KTS was available here, but is currectly offline.

         An Enneagram is another means of exploring your personality type. If you're interested, take the official 145 question  Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI) see the homepage for more info, or a shorter 38 question RHETI Sample see that homepage for more, also. I am not as familiar with this tool, though have spoken with others who have found it helpful.

          Life Pathways (Crown Financial Ministries, of which Christian Financial Concepts - Larry Burkett - is now a part) offers a Personality I.D. which you may find helpful, also.

         If you are really into taking tests, you'll find just about anything at "IQ & Personality Tests."  As with any test -- taker beware. Use a grain of salt when interpreting them for yourself.

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