Friday, July 08, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Luke 1:18 - Discovering Our Gifts

Zechariah said to the angel,
"How will I know that this is so?
Luke 1:18
In my years as a pastor, I've watched plenty of kids head off to college. Some know exactly what they want to do and be and charge headlong toward a degree and a profession. Most do not. Most haven't heard a definitive "call."
Being a teacher can be a call and a passion. Being a nurse can also be a call and a passion. Some are called to be machinists, workers, and producers, utilizing their craft to bless a company (and all the people it employs). Others are called to management and to help others be more productive. But students are in an awkward place until they identify their call and passion. So what do they do?
Our goal today is to learn how to determine our Spiritual Gifts, and I bring up seeking direction in college because the process is the same. How do we learn about our gifts?
1. Take an Aptitude Test -- As high schoolers point toward college, they're often given aptitude tests. Based on what a student says they're interested in, possible careers are suggested. The church has aptitude tests called spiritual gifts inventories. Google "Spiritual Gifts Inventories" and take one online.
2. Talk to a Guidance Counselor -- An inventory of gifts and aptitudes reflect what we think about ourselves. Talking to a pastor or a faithful spiritual friend invites in the insights of others. Like a coach, spiritual friends and mentors can help us see ways that God is already using us.
3. Do an Internship -- Schools often place students in internships because, among other things, it helps students see the good, the bad, and the daily of this kind of work. In the church, one of the best ways to see if you're gifted in an area is to just start serving. Say, "Well, I'll never know if God wants me to teach if I don't try." Just do it for a season. Follow through on the commitment. Ask for advice and help when needed. If its a newly discovered gift, praise the Lord. If its not, you've just defined your "career path" more clearly in terms of what you don't want to do.
4. Pray -- Students often go to human guidance counselors but forget to go to the true guidance counselor. Only one guidance counselor knows us inside and out -- because he made us! When we want direction, we should start with prayer!
In Christ's Love,
a guidance counselor
I have taken Spiritual Gift tests numerous times ... even recently. I have talked the results over a little bit with a couple of folks (including Pastor).  I have done things that are directly related to the gifts, but it seems like others aren't accepting of my gifts.

But the one thing I haven't done much of is pray. That is a true weakness of mine. Something I know I need to work on.

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