How do I know what my spiritual gift is?

There is no magic formula or test that can tell us exactly what our spiritual gifts are. The Holy Spirit distributes the gifts as He determines (1 Cor. 12:7-11). At the same time, God does not want us to be ignorant of how He wants us to serve Him. The problem is that it is very easy for us to get so caught up in spiritual gifts that we seek to serve God only in the area in which we feel we have a spiritual gift. That is not how spiritual gifts work. God calls us to obediently serve Him. He will equip us with whatever gifts we need to accomplish the tasks He calls us to do.

Identifying our spiritual gifts can be accomplished in various ways. Spiritual-gift tests or inventories, while not to be fully relied upon, can definitely help us understand what our gifts might be. Confirmation from others also gives light to our spiritual gifts. Other people who see us serving the Lord can often identify a spiritual gift in us that we might take for granted or not recognize. Prayer is also important. The one person who knows exactly how we are spiritually gifted is the gift-giver Himself—the Holy Spirit. We can ask God to show us our gifts so that we might better use our spiritual gifts for His glory.

Yes, God calls some to be teachers and gives them the gift of teaching. God calls some to be servants and blesses them with the gift of helps. However, knowing our specific spiritual gifts does not excuse us from serving God in other areas. Is it beneficial to know what spiritual gift(s) God has given us? Of course it is. Is it wrong to focus so much on spiritual gifts that we miss other opportunities to serve God? Yes! If we are dedicated to being used by God, He will equip us with the spiritual gifts we need.

What is the procedure to deal with those who were removed from membership because they were perpetrators of sexual abuse?

When dealing with perpetrators of sexual abuse, we must always remember that restoration to membership does not remove all consequences of such a serious offense. While attendance at church activities may be permissible with properly established guidelines, people convicted of or disciplined for sexual abuse should not be placed in roles which could put them in contact with children, youth, and other vulnerable individuals. Neither shall they be given positions which would encourage vulnerable individuals to trust them implicitly.

Because removal from membership is the most serious form of discipline, the period of time (determined in a church business meeting) before members may be reinstated should be sufficient to demonstrate that the issues which led to removal from membership have been resolved beyond reasonable doubt. It is expected that readmission to membership will be done in connection with rebaptism.