15 January 2005

Spiritual gifts study: Week 4

This lesson is part of a six-week study.

Week 4 - Communication


  1. What is the purpose of spiritual gifts?
  2. What are the aid gifts?
  3. What's the difference between service and helps?
  4. What is the gift of mercy? hospitality?


Communication gifts: equipping & grounding in God's Word.

Read Ephesians 6:19; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 4:2-3.

  1. What is our primary source of knowledge and doctrine?
  2. What are some of the specific purposes Scripture serves?
  3. Is the truth of Scripture available to everyone, or just a select few?
  4. Do you know people who have a gift for understanding and explaining the truths of Scripture?

Read 1 Peter 4:11a; Ephesians 4:11-12.

  1. What is the main purpose of those with these gifts?

Read Acts 17:11.

  1. How should we respond to what such people teach us?


  1. What is the primary purpose of the church?
    • to reach the lost
    • if someone answers, "to glorify God", ask, "How?"
  2. Do you know of anyone who is always sharing the gospel message or bringing unchurched people to church events?
  3. Why do so many of us find it difficult to share our faith?

Read Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 3:15.

  1. Does the call to be witnesses apply to all Christians, or just those with a gift of evangelism?
  2. How do most Christians feel when they encounter someone who is hostile toward Christianity? someone who is seeking?
  3. How are those with the gift of evangelism special?

Read Ephesians 4:11; 2 Timothy 4:5; John 1:40-41; Acts 8:30-31.

  1. What is the work of an evangelist?
  2. How can those who do not have the gift of evangelism work together with those who do?
  3. What other gifts are important in evangelism?
  4. What is the likely effect of putting someone with the gift of evangelism in an administrative role, say, organizing evangelism projects?
  5. How does it help me to know someone with the gift of evangelism?


Read 1 Corinthians 12:28; Romans 12:6.

  1. What other trait is essential to exercising the gift of prophecy? Why is that?

Read 1 Corinthians 14:1-6,12,18-19,39; Acts 15:32.

  1. What are the main purposes of prophecy (v. 3)?
  2. Why is this gift so important?

Read 1 Corinthians 14:29-32.

  1. How is prophesying like or unlike preaching?

Read Traits of a Prophet (p. 68-69).

  1. Does this sound like you? Do you know anyone like this?

Read Ezekiel 33:1-6.

  1. What is the effect when a prophet fails to act on his gift?
  2. How well do modern churches follow Paul's teaching on prophecy?
  3. How do you think this affects us?


encouragement, counselor

Read Romans 12:8a; 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12; 5:14; 1 Timothy 5:1; Hebrews 3:12-13; 10:23-25.

  1. What's the difference between exhortation (= encouraging) and comforting?
  2. What gift would be more associated with comforting those in distress?
  3. Why is it so important that we encourage/exhort one another? What can happen if we don't?
  4. Are we all supposed to encourage one another, or just those with a special gift?

Read Traits of an Encourager (p. 72).

  1. Does this sound like you? Do you know anyone like this?
  2. Why are such people important to the church?


Read Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:28.

  1. Would you say we find more prophets or teachers in today's church?
  2. Does the church need more prophets or teachers?

Read Hebrews 5:11-14; 2 Timothy 2:2; James 3:1.

  1. What qualifies someone to be a teacher?
  2. Is this something everyone should aspire to, or just those with the gift of teaching?

Read Acts 18:24-28.

  1. What sets apart someone with the gift of teaching?

Read Traits of a Teacher (p. 75)

[Disclaimer: I disagree with the last point.]

  1. Does this sound like you? Do you know anyone like this?
  2. How would the church be different without these people?
    • Where do teaching materials come from?

Read 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9.

  1. Why is it important that an elder be able to teach?
  2. Does this mean every elder should have the gift of teaching?


Evangelism Prophecy Exhortation Teaching Shepherding Mercy
saving grace timely message wise counsel eternal truth patient direction sincere empathy
convicts confronts prods instructs guides/protects comforts
urgent passionate practical rational loyal compassionate
salvation issues application understanding growth caring
public/private public private/group public group/public private

  1. From this group, what is Billy Graham's primary gifting?
  2. From this group, what is your senior pastor's primary gifting?
  3. Do you have any gift(s) from this group?

Assume for the sake of discussion that every senior pastor has one and only one of the speaking gifts.

  1. How would the congregation be different depending on which gift he has?
  2. What other needs would have to be addressed for each gift?
  3. What is God's plan for meeting those needs?
  4. Do you think shepherding fits better with the guidance gifts or with these gifts?


Read the description in Spirit Given Gifts for any communication gift you have.

  1. How well does the description fit you?
  2. Have you been using your gift?

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