God doesn’t save anyone to set back on his or her salvation and do nothing else. Part of God’s plan for your life is for you to serve Him. Each one of us has something we are to do in service to Jesus. One thing that is really awesome about God is that not only does He want you to serve Him, but also He equips you to do whatever it is He wants you to do.
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11 (NKJV)
There are four truths from this passage I want you to see. First, God has given each of a gift. Each and every Christian has been gifted by God to do certain things in service to God. Secondly, these gifts are supposed to be used. The word steward refers to someone who was put in charge of something that belonged to someone else, in this case the spiritual gift. Since it didn’t belong to the steward they were expected to use it the way that the owner expected them too. Here we see that in order to be a faithful steward of the gifts that you were given you must use them. Burying your spiritual gift in the sand is not being a faithful manager of what God has given you.
Thirdly, God will supply us with the strength we need to use the spiritual gift that He has given us. The Bible says that our only power and success comes from God (2 Corinthians 3:5) God through the Holy Spirit will enable you to do whatever it is that He has gifted you to do. Finally, God is glorified when we use our spiritual gifts. When you use your spiritual gifts in the way that God wants you to, He will be glorified through you.
Since it is obvious that all Christians have spiritual gifts, and that all Christians are supposed to use his or her spiritual gifts, this leaves us with the question of how do we know what our spiritual gifts are? That is a good question. There is what is called spiritual gifts inventory tests that you can find online. Some will let you take them online others let you order booklets where you can take the tests at home.
Rick Warren developed an acronym for discovering what your ministry for the Lord is supposed to be. The acronym is S.H.A.P.E. If you have the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, he dedicates chapters 30, and 31 for this purpose. I won’t go into great detail on this but I will summarize it for you.
S-Spiritual gifts. One thing he says about this that I really like is this. “Most churches say, ‘Discover your spiritual gift and you will know what ministry you are supposed to have.’ This is backwards. I believe the exact opposite: Start experimenting with different ministries and then you’ll discover your gifts! Until you actually get involved in serving, you’re not going to know what you’re good at.” I believe he is exactly right. Honestly, I’ve never known anyone to discover his or her spiritual gift without first starting to serve in one area or another.
H-Heart. Basically he says that what you have a burden to do may be what God wants you to do. You shouldn’t ignore your natural interests or the things your heart goes out to. Some examples of this are, Do you have a burden for youth? Are you burdened about the homeless in our community? Do you have a desire to help feed the hungry in our community? What things do you desire to do? What ministries would you like our church to have? These desires could be the way God is leading you to serve Him.
A-Abilities. What things are you naturally good at? I’m convinced that anything God has given us the ability to do can be used for His service. Rick Warren records a study that said the average person has from five hundred to seven hundred skills. What you need to do is identify what your skills are and then see how they could best be used in the ministry of a local church.
P-Personality. Throughout the Bible God used people with a wide variety of personalities. Some people are introverts and some are extroverts. There is no right or wrong personality to serve the Lord. The important thing is to find the ministry that best fits your personality. Rick says, “When you minister in a manner consistent with the personality God gave you, you will experience fulfillment, satisfaction, and fruitfulness. It feels good when you do exactly what God made you to do.”
E-Experiences. The Bible says that God works all things together for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28). God can use all the experiences in your life for good. Rick says that at Saddleback Church they divide experiences into five areas to find out what ministry would best fit someone. Those areas are, Educational experiences. What were your favorite subjects in school? Vocational experiences. What jobs have you enjoyed and achieved results by doing? Spiritual experiences. What have been meaningful and decisive times with God in your life? Ministry experiences. How have you served God in the past? Painful experiences. What problems hurts, and trials have you learned from?
You must always remember that God saved you so that you could serve Him (Ephesians 2:8-10). Remember that God has equipped you so that you could serve Him. Remember that God expects you to serve Him. This year resolve to find and use your spiritual gift in the area of ministry God has for you.
 Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church pg. 370-375