While every believer should recognize and develop his or her spiritual gifts, it is important to understand the role of the enabling gifts.
The enabling gifts are catalyst gifts that tie your spiritual qualities to your spiritual gifts. A catalyst is an agent which, when added, speeds up the process of the other agents, such as heat or pressure.
The enabling gifts are the agent that is introduced to cause a spiritual task to be successfully performed. In other words, the enabling gifts speed up the process of using your spiritual gifts, thereby making them more effective. The enabling gifts are available to all Christians and should be sought by all.
The enabling gifts such as faith, discernment, wisdom, and knowledge (1 Corinthians 12:8-10) are qualities possessed rather than activities performed.
For example, knowledge is something you possess within you. Likewise, faith is something you possess within you. In contrast, the spiritual gift of teaching is an activity you perform.
The enabling gifts provide a foundation for action. They do not describe what you do but rather what you are.
The Holy Spirit reveals Himself to you through the enabling gifts as you use your spiritual gifts. The Holy Spirit reveals the qualities of the enabling gifts to you and to others as you minister to their needs.
For example, I once taught a series on creation. As I studied, the Holy Spirit revealed Himself and gave me more faith. This teaching strengthened my faith in Christ. My increasing faith was evident to my students as I taught them.
The Bible tells us how important the enabling gift of faith is in the functioning of spiritual gifts.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith. Romans 12:6
How can we prophesy? According to the measure of our faith.
How can we teach? According to the measure of our faith.
The more faith a Teacher has the better he or she will be at teaching.
The enabling gift of faith is the determining factor of the level of ability for the spiritual gift God has given the Teacher…and for each of the spiritual gifts which God has given YOU.
All Christians have the ability to develop all of the enabling gifts—faith, discernment, wisdom, and knowledge.
Dr. Larry Gilbert is founder and chairman of Ephesians Four Ministries, and founder of ChurchGrowth.org. For more on spiritual gifts, see Dr. Gilbert’s books, from which this article was excerpted: Team Ministry: Gifted to Serve (for pastors and group leaders) and Your Gifts: Discover God’s Unique Design for You (for individuals and groups).
Here are more free articles, one for each of the nine Team Ministry Spiritual Gifts…
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Shepherding?
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Administration?
Discover more about your spiritual gifts and each of the nine team gifts.
For individuals and groups.
Lead others to discover their spiritual gifts.
For pastors and group leaders.