A spiritual gift is a special ability that God gives, according to His grace, to each member of the body of Christ to be used for the development of the church. – Christian A. Schwarz, The 3 Colors of Ministry, p. 42
I once knew a young lady who was bright, talented, and had a love of life that was contagious. However, she had had some bad experiences within the church context and therefore had completely abandoned church life. While she may have considered herself a “Christian,” a closer look at her life revealed she was not following Christ.
During a series of difficult life events, a friend convinced her to try attending church again; after some time, she decided to recommit her life to Jesus. While before, she had many positive personality traits, it was only once she began using these attributes for the Lord and on behalf of His body that she truly came alive. Her natural connection with children grew her into a passionate servant for the Children’s Ministry. Her love of life and ease of talking to people made her a upbeat addition to people-related ministry and outreach projects. Parts of her before that had been simply positive attributes were grown and enhanced into true spiritual gifts.
In the New Testament, we are told that every member of the body of Christ has been given at least one spiritual gift. Between 2008 and 2017, NCD International surveyed over a quarter of a million people in the USA alone; of that number, only about half (51.5%) were certain about knowing their gifts, and felt that the tasks they performed in the church matched their gifts.
Yes, every member of the body has been given spiritual gifts. If you don’t know what your gifts are, it does not mean that you are not gifted; it simply means that you have not yet discovered your gift(s). It is also possible that you have been working in an area of church ministry for which you are not actually gifted. Once you discover the special abilities with which God has gifted you, you will be able to see fruit in your ministry.
Additionally, it is important that we remember that all of the statements about spiritual gifts in the New Testament show that these gifts are to be used in the context off the body of Christ and its growth (Rom. 12, 1 Cor. 12, Eph. 4). Spiritual gifts are not given to individuals for their own personal growth; their primary purpose is to benefit others. “Anyone who withdraws from Christian fellowship cannot use his or her spiritual gifts as God intended” (The 3 Colors of Ministry, p. 43).
God does not give gifts because we “deserve” them or because we have reached a specific level of spiritual maturity. He gives us gifts because of His grace (Rom. 12:6). There is nothing we can do to earn these gifts or to grow them on our own; since God is the Gift-giver, that work belongs to Him and Him alone.