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Spiritual Gifts Interview Method

By Ken Sloane

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While it is highly recommended that the Spiritual Gifts Inventory be used whenever possible, the Interview Method is provided here as an alternative for those who feel the Spiritual Gifts Inventory is simply too long or detailed for a particular group. The Interview Method is a collection of twenty paragraphs that provide thumbnail sketches of each gift. It has been suggested that you might use the paragraphs as part of the exploration and discovery after completing the Spiritual gifts Inventory, but the Interview Method can also be used on its own when time is a critical factor and for groups beyond the active leadership.

Most participants find the Spiritual Gifts Inventory more satisfying because of their active involvement in the process; the shorter time requirement of the Interview Method is its main advantage. The Interview Method will effectively reveal patterns and strengths for individuals and help begin the dialogue of discovery. It is, however, much less detailed and precise than the Spiritual Gifts Inventory. Differentiation among gifts will not be as apparent.

Distribute the Spiritual Gifts Interview Method Scoring Sheets. Have participants listen as you read each numbered paragraph all the way through before recording their reactions. They should use the sliding scale (5-1) printed at the top of the score sheet. It is important that they respond to the overall paragraph, not isolated sentences within it.

It takes about thirty to forty minutes to complete the interview. Participants should then circle any 5's or 4's they have recorded. Use the Spiritual Gifts Inventory Key to identify the names of the gifts described in the paragraphs, and then read aloud the Spiritual Gifts Definitions. As the group reviews the definitions together, one gift may begin to “feel more right” than others. That gift should be marked with an asterisk.

Be sure to allow time to discuss patterns, clusters, and anomalies.

From Equipped For Every Good Work: Building a Gifts -Based Church by Dan and Barbara Dick, Copyright 2001 (Nashville: Discipleship Resources). Reprinted with permission.

Visit their website: www.equippedforeverygoodwork.wordpress.com

Ken Sloane is the Director of Stewardship & Generosity for Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church.

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