The Holy Spirit gives gifts with particular spiritual functions for the benefit of the entire church. Paul's teaching in 1 Corinthians 12 speaks about the organic unity of Christ's body, the Church. The gifts complement each other and work together for the common good, much as the parts of the body are designed t do. Because this is true, the gifts are given to the church as a whole, It is only within the context of the believing community that the gifts are made the work and only within that community that they can be discovered in the first place.
Our understanding of gifts and gifting depends on how we view the Holy Spirit. He is God's gift to us as individuals and as a body (see Acts 2:38 and 10:45). Individuals who have come into this life, the life of Christ, are automatically part of a larger whole. These gifts operate as parts of a whole. Gifting, reception of the Spirit, and membership in the Body of Christ are all connected in the life of the believer and for the good of the whole church.