Last August I somehow became involved in the College Ministry. It's an interesting story of me drifting aimlessly into the youth leadership planning meeting and leaving with the vague idea that I would be co-leading the group. While things didn't exactly work out that way, and the Children's ministry pulled me away for a whole month, I am now spending my time with the college kids, building relationships.
One of the students, still a fairly new christian, wanted to investigate the subject of spiritual gifts, so the teacher collaborated with one of the pastors and we ended up with a packet of information to sift through, and some dvds to watch.
The booklets begin with 129 statements and a rating scale of 1-5. The instructions are to label each statement according to the rating scale: 1 is least like you and 5 is most. Through lots of complicated instructions and processes I won't detail here, you could easily see on a grid all of the spiritual gifts, and which one was strongest for you. Mine was encouragement. But I already knew that. I took a very similar test in Atlanta 7 years ago, and had the exact same gift. What did surprise me was the 2 runners up. In the prior test they were Hospitality and Service. This time it was Faith and Evangelism. I know my faith is very strong, and I know I have come a long way from my upbringing, but I had no idea I would score so highly in the evangelism category. I will address the reasons for surprise in a future blog.
Overall, although the test was helpful, it served only to confirm to me what the Holy Spirit was already working in me during the past six months. My gifts and personality traits (there was a personality test in the packet also) are uniquely suited to things like choir, prayer, counseling, and discipleship. It struck me today as we were watching one of the dvd lessons that go along with the packet: part of the reason I have a fountain of joy in the middle of pain is because I am following the Spirit's lead. I am actively encouraging people, began prayer walking in January, and am currently building relationships that will hopefully have an influence on others' walks with Christ.
All this is not to toot my own horn, but to encourage you to pray and ask God for direction in where and how you should serve. You should not be feeling frustrated and burnt out over what you are doing for Jesus, but instead feel fulfilled. I know my spiritual journey in the last year has taken me down a very strange path. But now, in the middle of great stress (school, divorce, and other stuff) I have indescribable JOY.