Gift Discernment

God has given each of us unique gifts, and we are all called to use those gifts to fulfill His plan. The problem is that many people have a hard time determining or discerning what those talents, skills, and abilities are. As a result, many people are reluctant to participate in parish ministries.

God asks that we use our gifts, our charisms, to build the Church. It’s important that we use our gifts in the appropriate ministry and in the correct role in the ministry, otherwise, people can become tired or burnt-out.

Avoid adding someone to a ministry leadership role just because they volunteered or worst of all because nobody else volunteered! Evaluate people’s strengths and talents and match them to ministries and roles within the ministry, otherwise, your parish could suffer the negative effects for many years.

Here are some tools to help people discern what their gifts are, what ministry is the best fit for them, and to determine their role in that ministry. Help your parishioners discern their gifts and schedule a parish workshop.

Spiritual Gifts Inventory Workshop

  • Presented by the Archdiocesan Catholic Renewal Center.
  • Contact Jane Guenther ([email protected] or 314.792.7734) for more information.

Gallup Strengthsfinder

  • See their website at
  • Or, contact Michelle Foster, PSR Coordinator at St. Joseph (Manchester), for more information. Michelle runs the Strengthsfinder program for Saint Joseph and is happy to provide any information ([email protected] or 636.391.1404).

Many people are either too quick to say “yes” to volunteer or too quick to say “no.” In either case, before responding, pray and ask God for direction. Most people find joy when they align their actions and service to God’s will, not their own.

Be sure to say “yes” to the right opportunity. Jesus said “no” many times, but he knew what his mission was. We should do the same – focus on a ministry that best utilizes your gifts and strengths to fulfill God’s plan.

Many people overcommit and say “yes” to too many of the wrong ministries.

Give the Holy Spirit room to work in your life.

Ministry versus Job

The following was found by Fr. Gary Faust, former Pastor of St. Bernadette. The author is “unknown.” Some people have a job in the Church and others are invited into a ministry.

What is the difference?
If you’re doing it just because no one else will, it’s a job. If you’re doing it to serve the Lord, it’s a ministry.
If you quit because someone criticizes you, it’s a job. If you keep serving, it’s a ministry.
If you’ll do it as long as it doesn’t interfere with your other activities, it’s a job.
If you are committed to staying, even if it means letting go of other things, it’s a ministry. If you quit because no one thanked you or praised you, it’s a job.
If you stick with it, even though no one recognized your efforts, it’s a ministry. It’s hard to get excited about a job.
It’s almost impossible NOT to get excited about a ministry. If your concern is success, it’s a job.
If your concern is faithfulness and service, it’s a ministry. If God calls you to a ministry, don’t treat it like a job.