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A couple of weeks ago, my friend John Rozeboom emailed a question:

“Sam, can you recommend or point me to a member spiritual gift inventory that can be self-administered, is simple and straightforward.”

I had a couple of ideas but wondered what others might say. So, I forwarded the question on to some leaders of various ministries and regions in the CRC. I received a flood of replies. Most of the people shared resources they found online by googling spiritual gifts inventory.

Poor John. I sent him about 10 emails that day with more than he wanted to know about spiritual gifts surveys. John sorted them out and even tried a few. Here are John's findings, enjoy:

“Here's a little report on my trying out the gifts inventories.

I took 3 of the gifts identifiers myself again (e.g. Church Growth Institute inventory) and checked for "skewability." I wondered how easy it would be to shape the questionnaires to gifts as I wished and to match my current ministry commitments or current personal inclinations. No surprise, it is easy to direct gifts outcomes. I could become a gifted red-hot evangelist, people-lover; or a stone-cold administrative, directing gift, with a many variations between.

The one I got most excited about is the Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, (Calhoun, IVP). This survey sets gifts in a spiritual growth, working at disciplines context. Seems to me this one, with work and prayer, takes gifts from the "Oh, that's interesting or Well, that's what I thought" world and places them in the context of where are my thoughtful commitments in community, where am I growing. The Spiritual Disciplines Handbook provides a disciplined, forward moving approach where gifts are discovered while working in ministry.  This is pretty much the way gifts are presented in the NT. Let’s identify the "sleeves rolled up" abilities and excellences that come to the fore in the sweaty early church world of (often dangerous) ministry service following Jesus.”

This is John’s story.

  • What is your experience in working with spiritual gifts inventories?
  • What resources have been the most helpful in helping leaders identify their “sleeves rolled up” gift?

Thanks for starting the conversation, John. 

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