JPIC 200.4.11 - Discerning Your Gifts and Goals for Ministerial Growth

Uploaded by duqjpic on 10.07.2011

I hope that your extensive work with TR in the last several units has been fruitful.
By now you should have a good familiarity with its method and have developed, as a group,
some sense of a flow for engaging in it.
In these final units, we will take a step back from practicing TR and consider its relationship
to other aspects of you as minister and your own ministry, as well as looking toward the
next course in this series. In the present unit we?ll consider the minister and how she
or he is gifted and seeks to develop those gifts.
The notion of gifts for ministry is, of course, rooted in the New Testament, especially the
writings of Paul. Early Christian communities were experiencing the outpouring of the Holy
Spirit and the realization that they were called to live differently in their new identity
as baptized believers in Christ. They were to respond to the unearned charis ? the superabundant
gift of God?s gracious, merciful love for them ? through the exercise of their charismata?the
particular and varied gifts bestowed by the Spirit on each, for the greater good of all.
In Paul?s memorable presentation in 1 Cor 12: There are different kinds of spiritual
gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there
are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each
individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit (vv. 4-7).
As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many,
are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether
Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all give to drink of one Spirit (v.
When I interview a prospective student for our program in Pastoral Ministry at Duquesne
University, I always ask her to name her gifts?both as discovered within herself and acknowledged
by others. Discernment of gifts is a vital and ongoing spiritual exercise for Christian
ministers for the sake of faithful and effective service, and for growth in this service.