Thursday, August 29, 2013

Your SHAPE For God's Service: superb course on spiritual gifts and calling

Last year we used an excellent course for Lent, 'Your SHAPE for God's Service', designed to help people discern their own gifts and calling. 

The course is based on material from the Purpose-Driven Life, that personal gifts and call can be found at the intersection of 5 factors:
Spiritual Gifts
Heart (what you're passionate about)
Abilities ('natural' abilities)
Experience (the key experiences that have shaped you)

The course involved a certain amount of 'homework', - e.g. handing 2 other people a list of common natural abilities and asking them to tick the ones they think you've got. For a few people this was a bit threatening, for others it was incredibly affirming - Brits aren't brilliant at giving feedback, or saying 'you're really good at x', and for some this was the first time they'd had any kind of affirmation in certain gifts and skills. 

One result of the course was a number of people enthusiastically getting stuck in to new areas of ministry: from pastoral work to youth and children, to making cups of tea and coffee. For others, you could see the lights going on as they realised that what they did in their workplace day to day was using a God-given talent and could be done in His service. 

The course has been rewritten and improved, and is now available as a free download courtesy of the lovely people at the Arthur Rank Centre. It's the kind of things we're likely to run again, and I know of one other church which uses it as a follow-up to Alpha. Highly recommended. 


  1. Thanks for such a positive review & commentary, David. We think it is one of the best resources available. I will make links to your blog, and may well use some of your stuff for quotes ... if that is OK?

  2. fine by me, and thankyou for making it available, really excellent resource and was spot on for where we were as a church, wanting to help people explore spiritual gifts, sense of call, discipleship in everyday life, and to grow in confidence in living out their faith.

  3. Yay. I have been wanting to write something like this. Pleased to see a resource already available