Some of the best council that I’ve heard for figuring out your gifting is this: It is done in community. The church will either affirm or deny your giftedness in the things you attempt. Ray Orlund Jr. shares his experience in an interview:
2. In a paragraph, how did you discover your gifts in preaching?
How does one discover gifts in any area? It just appears, as experience allows and in the fullness of God’s time. My own preaching started with complete ineptitude, graduated over time to struggle, and by now has advanced to varying degrees of effectiveness and ineffectiveness. My progress seems directly related to growing theological discovery of God’s glory in the gospel, through dissatisfaction with myself as a preacher, through the joy of seeing God use me, and through the assurance that at any time God can rend the heavens and come down in revival power.
(via Between Two Worlds)
John Piper began teaching 7th grade Sunday school, and then 9th graders, and then he helped out with a Greek class. Throughout this process, he was affirmed by those who were learning from him that he was gifted in teaching. Experience in community will lead us to our gifts.
I did not expect to be confronted with the idea of going into the pastorate.
I was talking with a dear brother after church one Saturday and the conversation turned to the future. He is doing the TBI program and asked if I had considered going through it. He affirmed in me some traits that would benefit someone in the pastorate.
The qualifications of an elder can be found in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 (though I’d say read the whole book and not just a chapter). One of them is to be able to teach. Thinking on Pastor John’s example, I think the next step for me would be trying to teach! I am praying about teaching Sunday School at BBC with the kids I’ve been with for the last two years (coincidentally, they’ll be in 7th grade next year).
While I don’t know if I am gifted in this area, I certainly love it. Being able to explain something in an understandable way brings me so much joy. And that may be enough to meet the biblical qualifications for an elder (there are other ways that I don’t, but that’s another discussion).
If I were to pursue the pastorate, I feel it would be necessary to go through seminary. However, the one that I am most familiar with (TBI) requires a year of Greek before enrollment. This means that I have some time to think and pray about any decision that would be made. Providentially, God placed me in the TBI Essentials course, which will meet that requirement by the end of next year. Praise God for His sovereignty!
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Guide me Lord!