31. Understanding Your Shape


God designed each of us to be unique. Only you can be you. There never has been, and never will be, anybody exactly like you. If you don't make your unique contribution to the Body of Christ, it won't be made.

Your abilities were not given just to make a living; God gave them to you for your ministry. All of our natural abilities come from God; they are just as important and as "spiritual" as your spiritual gifts. The Bible says that God equips you "with all you need for doing His will”.

Using your personality
The Bible says, "God works through different people in different ways, but it is the same God who achieves his purpose through them all.” You will be most effective when you use your spiritual gifts and abilities in the area of your heart's desire, and in a way that best expresses your personality and experiences. When you minister in a manner consistent with the personality God gave you, you experience fulfillment, satisfaction, and fruitfulness.

Employing your experience
You have been shaped by your experiences in life. You should examine them:

  • Family: What did you learn growing up in your family?
  • Educational: What were your favorite subjects in school?
  • Vocational: What jobs have you been most effective in and enjoyed most?
  • Spiritual: What have been your most meaningful times with God?
  • Ministry: How have you served God in the past?
  • Pain: 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 intentionally allows you to go through painful experiences to equip you for ministry to others. The Bible says, "He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others”. People are always more encouraged when we share how God's grace helped us in weakness than when we brag about our strengths.


Question to Consider:
What God-given ability or personal experience can I offer to my church?


Verse to Remember:
God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God's many kinds of blessings.

1 Peter 4:10