Spiritual Gifts (Part 4)

Updated: Jan 12

Dr. Stephen Phinney


I can clearly remember when I heard my calling – prophet among My people. However, at the time, I had no idea what that meant, nor did I understand the cost that would come with such a calling. A cost, by the way, that is the core reason most people avoid functioning within their gifts, let alone their calling.

Once a person understands their gift, they need to have a ministry or “a calling” for their gifts to function within. When a person functions in a gift that is not theirs, they labor to do the work; they seem to “run out of energy” in doing good. Additionally, if a person is using their gift but it is being used within the wrong calling, it usually causes more work for the people they are working alongside. They end up giving the appearance of “doing their own thing.” Therefore, understanding the calling can be equally as important as understanding the gifting.

There are two types of calling: a general calling and a specific calling. A general calling is for the Body of Christ, as a whole – being called to serve one another. A specific calling determines a way, or a particular setting, in which the person uses their gift (i.e. Sunday school teacher, worship team, clean up duty, secretarial work, or preaching from the pulpit).

IMPORTANT POINT: God does not give a gift without giving a calling. If the person does not understand their calling with the gifting, the person will spend the gifting on themselves, which is self-exalting.


A spiritual gift is a God-given ability planted within your soul by the Holy Spirit. It is imparted to you on the day of your salvation. Every member of the Body of Christ receives at least one.

The Greek word used for a spiritual gift is “charisma,” which means “grace.” Each Body member is given a special measure of grace – unmerited favor (Ephesians 4:7). God moves through this measurement to accomplish His will through His implanted gifts in this unmerited favor.