Jay McSwain, the creator of one of the most widely used spiritual gift assessments in the United States is often heard using the word “uselessness” in describing spiritual gift assessments. Let’s explain why Jay uses the word “uselessness” when referring to spiritual gift assessments. After 20+ years of working with thousands of churches, organizations and colleges along with hundreds of thousands of individuals who have taken the spiritual gift assessment Jay developed he has come to many conclusions.
One giant conclusion is spiritual gift assessments ALONE may possibly have done more harm in helping people discover their spiritual gifts than they have benefited people in discovering their spiritual gifts.
Even more important spiritual gift assessments ALONE may have even hindered people in discovering what God created them to do in ministry (Ephesians 2:10). You might ask: “Why would Jay make such a bold assumption that spiritual gift assessments have been harmful in helping people discover their purpose in Kingdom work?” Again, let’s give some explanation.
For years churches have encouraged (usually with a sermon series about spiritual gifts) their members to take a spiritual gift assessment so “we can help you find a place to serve within our church.” The problem is countless individuals have taken spiritual gift assessments believing that they would definitely discover their spiritual gifts. The belief was based on the assessment AND their church would help them find a place of service.
Sadly, many churches made a commitment that was not fulfilled either by the church or the spiritual gift assessment in helping people discover where to serve.
Through the years Jay has spoken with hundreds if not thousands of people who have been disappointed in their church regarding the commitment to help them discover their spiritual gifts. Not only have many been disappointed, but often disillusioned about the value of a spiritual gift assessment in helping them to not only discover their spiritual gifts, but more importantly learn how and where to use them in ministry.
With all of the above said we at PLACE Ministries do believe there is a place (no pun intended) for spiritual gift assessments. The place for spiritual gift assessments is at the beginning of the discovery process in learning how and where God desires to use you based on how He has created and gifted you.
PLACE Ministries believe there are eight principles for a Christian who desires to discover their spiritual gifts beyond just a spiritual gift assessment.
There is not a spiritual gifts assessment that will replace getting involved in ministry in discovering your spiritual gifts.
Spiritual Gift Assessments are useful when they are used in the beginning of the discovery process and not an end in themselves.
Spiritual Gift Assessments are not useful when they are the ONLY way a person attempts to discover their spiritual gifts.
If you, your church or college are only using our spiritual gifts assessment we passionately would ask you to consider adding to the spiritual gift assessment the entire PLACE assessments
Also, we encourage you to utilize many of our tools and resources that will give further insight into how to utilize your PLACE results in discovering how and where God desires to use you in life and ministry.
Our online tools allow you to complete assessments and see results right on your mobile device or computer.
As part of the 5-step personal discovery process, PLACE provides five online assessments along with insights about you from the results of each assessment.
You can print the PLACE results along with over 20 pages of supplemental insights into you.