Spiritual Gifts: Are You a Driver, Iron or Putter?


Video: My Spiritual Gift is Dodge Ball:


Our vision as a church is to: Love, Learn, Live…Jesus.

And as we have learned over the past year, to live Jesus is to serve Him and to serve others. And God always has a plan for everything. When He puts together a body of believers, he does so knowing each believers personalities, talents, gifts and passions. He calls us to serve Him and others through something called Spiritual gifts. What are spiritual gifts?


The Origin of Spiritual Gifts:


Spiritual gifts are given by the Holy Spirit as an act of God’s grace.


Pneumatika refers to their source, the Holy Spirit (pneuma) of God


Charismata refers to the fact that they are granted as an act of God’s grace (charis)


There are two Greek words that are primarily used to describe the gifts of the Spirit. Pneumatika refers to their source, the Holy Spirit (pneuma) of God, and charismata refers to the fact that they are granted as an act of God’s grace (charis). Since they are given by grace, we are reminded that they are not based on our worthiness or personal abilities, but on God’s sovereign choice.


Since they are given by the Spirit of God, they are a part of the new life granted to us in Christ (and may be drastically different from our perceived capabilities or desires prior to salvation).


We are called to the serve the Lord in his strength, not ours. Your calling is not predicated on how strong or weak you perceive yourself to be, but on God’s strength and his will for your life.


Although the Spirit had not been given yet (as determined by Jesus in the N.T.), we still see the Spirit of God at work on the O.T. And I like the example of Gideon…

14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”

The key words:

“Am I not sending you?…”

“I will be with you…”


We don’t determine what we can accomplish when God calls us to do something…God does.

As most of you know one of my spiritual gifts is playing golf. Notice I said spiritual gifts, not talent…some of the guys in the church can attest to that!


Several weeks back I was on the course and the thought came to mind that each club in my bag is like each person that makes up the church.


Each club is designed to do certain things based on their design. This is similar to the gifts given by God to each person in the church…they are given by His design.


The Gifts are in the “Bag” (Church) (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12; 1 Peter 4: 10-11):


Let’s look together at these passages on gifts…


Romans 12

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

1 Corinthians 12

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

1 Peter 4

10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
To help illustrate these gifts that God gives, let’s take a look at what’s in my golf bag:


On Screen Slide:


Driver – Leadership

3 Wood – Prophesying

5 Wood – Serving
3 Hybrid – Tongues

4 Iron – Teaching

5 Iron – Encouragement

6 Iron – Giving

7 Iron – Mercy

8 Iron – Wisdom

9 Iron – Knowledge

Pitching Wedge – Faith

Gap Wedge – Healing

Sand Wedge – Miraculous Powers

Putter – Discernment (distinguishing spirits)


Just as each club as a specific use, so does each spiritual gift. And whatever the specific use of each one they each fit together as the parts of the body (the church) & work together to make a functional whole…


Romans 12: 5

so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.


So what are you?


Are you a Driver (Leader, Administrator, Shepherd)?

Are you an Iron (Encourager, Teacher)?

Are you a Putter (Discerner, Server)?

Are you a Hybrid (Giver, Evangelist)?


It’s clear from Scripture that each person in the Body of Christ has a role to play. If we are all doing our part, the church will prepared to do the work that God calls it to do.


If only one or two clubs in the bag is being used you are not going to have a good round of golf.


Illus: The summer of nine…nine iron & putter…


I would eventually the get ball in the cup using a nine iron…but it certainly wasn’t an efficient way, or the way golf was designed to be played.


Just as in the church, God never intended for one person do to everything…not efficient, nor God’s design.


The church must have everyone on board to fulfill its mission and vision!


But I think it’s also important for us to understand that the ultimate purpose of the gifts in the church. Particularly three things.


The Purpose of Spiritual Gifts:


  • So that the Body of Christ understands what it means to belong to one another in its service to God (Romans 12: 4-5)


We are linked together as the Body. We really do need each other. If there are those in the body that are not using their gifts, then as a Body we are not as strong as we could be.


Illus: Gary Inrig, in Life in His Body shared the following story: Several years ago, two students graduated from the Chicago-Kent College of Law. The highest ranking student in the class was a blind man named Overton and, when he received his honor, he insisted that half the credit should go to his friend, Kaspryzak.


They had met one another in school when the armless Mr. Kaspryzak had guided the blind Mr. Overton down a flight of stairs. This acquaintance ripened into friendship and a beautiful example of interdependence. The blind man carried the books which the armless man read aloud in their common study, and thus the individual deficiency of each was compensated for by the other. After their graduation, they planned to practice law together. No believer is complete by himself, we are to minister to one another and with one another, as a family.


  • To bring unity, not division (1 Cor. 12: 25)


If we ever use our gifts as show of pride or power, then we are not using our gifts for God’s glory and we may very well cause division in the church. Our gifts are not for show, but for edifying the Body. And when all the parts are doing their thing, you will have a healthy functioning body.


You see, there are some days, I can’t hit my driver and their other days when I couldn’t hit a putt from six inches. That’s why one of my favorite events in golf is a scramble.


Illus: The golf scramble is like a body of believers.


If one of you can’t drive that day, someone else picks up the slack. And as a team you can play a pretty good round of golf.


As a church when we put all our gifts together and do our best, we can be a pretty good church.


  • So that God may be praised through Jesus (1 Peter 4: 11)


As a church, when we use our gifts appropriately, our goal is to point others toward Jesus.


The Bottom-Line: The best way for us to understand spiritual gifts is to know how we can care for and serve one another to the glory of God. Whether we do that through teaching, feeding, healing, or any other method, we have a responsibility to God and to one another to offer ourselves as servants (2 Corinthians 4:9).



Spiritual Gifts Survey: https://gifts.churchgrowth.org/

Send Results to: bruce.applegate@mpcevv.com