How God Shapes You for Your Ministry
As Believers, we have been called to minister or serve others, both fellow Believers and non-believers in meeting their needs. One thing that I have learned is that God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called. He will always equip His saints with what we need to accomplish His will for us as members of the Kehilah.
God has uniquely shaped you, as a potter shapes the clay (see Isaiah 64:8), in an amazing way. You are fully equipped to accomplish all the good works He has prepared for each and every moment of your life. This equipping is an unique, custom combination of capabilities that is called your S.H.A.P.E.:
|S ~||Spiritual Gift(s)|
As you begin to explore these five capabilities within your own life, you begin to understand what God planned for you to do to serve Him. You are the way you are because you were made for a special ministry. Rabbi Sha’ul wrote, “For we are of God’s making, created in union with the Messiah Yeshua for a life of good actions already prepared by God for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) You have been custom-designed, one-of-a-kind, original masterpiece. Let me briefly explain each of these capabilities.
Unwrapping Your Spiritual Gift(s)
In general, spiritual gifts are God-empowered, supernatural abilities for serving Him that are given only to Believers for use within the Kehilah. The Bible says, “Now the natural man does not receive the things from the Spirit of God – to him they are nonsense! Moreover, he is unable to grasp them, because they are evaluated through the Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 2:14) Natural man means a non-believer. We don’t even get to choose which gift(s) we are given; only God does that through the ministry of the Ruach HaKodesh. No single gift is given to everyone and no individual receives all gifts of the Rauch. We will be taking a more in-depth look at all the gifts of the Ruach in the next few weeks.
Listening to Your Heart
Your heart represents the source of all your motivations – what you love to do and what you care about most. As I frequently say, “It’s whatever trips your trigger.” Your heart reveals the REAL you. What are you passionate about? God wants you to serve Him passionately, not dutifully. The Bible repeatedly says, “serve the Lord with all your heart” (see Deuteronomy 11:13; 1 Samuel 12:20; Romans 1:9; and Ephesians 6:6 NLT) How do you know you are serving God from Your Heart? When you are doing what you love to do with all your heart, you do it effectively with enthusiasm.
Applying Your Abilities
Your abilities are the natural talents you were born with. Some of us are good at athletics. Still others ae good at math or music or mechanics of cooking, etc. Like spiritual gifts, our abilities also come from God. The Bible says, “Praised be Adonai, Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who in the Messiah has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heaven” (Ephesians 1:3) and “Whatever you do … do it all so as to bring glory to God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) God will never ask you to dedicate your life to a task that you have no talent for. The abilities you do have are a strong indication of what God wants you to do with your life to serve Him.
Using Your Personality
Do you realize that you are unique? When God made you in your mother’s womb, He broke the bold. There never has been and there will never be anybody exactly like you. Our different personalities reflect God’s light in many colors and patterns. God made introverts and extroverts; thinkers and feelers; and those who like routine and those who like variety. See the table at the end of this post for a brief explanation of these various personality types. When you minister in a manner consistent with the personality God gave you, you experience fulfillment, satisfaction and fruitfulness.
Employing Your Experiences
No matter your age, you have been shaped by your life experiences, most of which were beyond your control. You should examine at least six kinds of experiences from your past:
|Family experiences:||What did you learn growing up in your family?|
|Educational experiences:||What were your favorite subjects in school?|
|Vocational experiences:||What jobs have you been most effective in and enjoyed most?|
|Spiritual experiences:||What have your been most meaningful times with God?|
|Ministry experiences:||How have you served God in the past?|
|Painful experiences:||What problems, hurts, thorns and trials have you learned from?|
It is this last category, painful experiences, that God uses the most to prepare you for ministry. God never wastes a hurt! In fact, your greatest ministry will most likely come out of your greatest hurt. Rabbi Sha’ul wrote, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT)
We will be most effective in our ministry within the Kehilah when we use our spiritual gifts and abilities in the area of our heart’s desire, and in the way that best expresses our personality and experiences. The better the fit, the more successful we will be. Remember these words of Kefa, “As each one has received some spiritual gift, he should use it to serve others, like good managers of God’s many-sided grace.” (1 Kefa 4:10)
In my next blog we will begin to explore how to discover your Spiritual Gifts.
Challenge: Begin think about and to write down what your heart’s desire is, what your abilities are, what personality traits best describe you, and your life experiences have been.
God uses all personality types to build His Kingdom. There is no right or wrong temperament. The personality traits listed below are grouped in four couplets each with two opposing tendencies. In each couplet, select the trait that best fits you.
|Extroverted||I prefer interacting with many people an gain energy from being part of a variety of activities.|
|Introverted||I prefer interacting with only a few people and gain energy from quiet reflective time. I am a good listener.|
|Thinker||I make decisions based on logical and thoughtful analysis.|
|Feeler||I make decisions based on what is important to me and how it will affect other people.|
|Routine||I am more comfortable being involved in activities where I clearly know what is expected of me. I like closure and completion before stating something new.|
|Variety||I am more fulfilled by tasks that change and maybe even some surprises. Finishing one task before starting another is not crucial.|
|Cooperative||As I work with others, I easily see their point of view. I like being part of a team effort.|
|Competitive||I like a sense of challenge. It increase my effort and helps me overcome the obstacles.|
 Much of the material in this posting is taken from “What On Earth Am I Here For?” by Rick Warren or as I like to refer to it as “Purpose Driven Life 2.0.”
 I am using the “’s” on the word gift to indicate that all Believers have at least one gift, but many have more than one depending upon the calling that God has placed on their lives.
 Now, I grant that this statement may not hold true for truly identical twins, I just haven’t done the research on that phenomenon. But I know it is true for the vast majority of us.