Just finished an elective Sunday School class taught by none other than my husband (who I have mentioned before is a Pastor). We worked our way through the book entitled S.H.A.P.E. - Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique PURPOSE for LIFE by Erik Rees. (I included the link to the website for the book if you want to check it out for yourself.) This book comes out of the same ministry that birthed titles like "Purpose Driven Life" and "Purpose Driven Church". The book was written to be very interactive and they created an entire Sunday School curriculum to go with it - workbooks, dvd's, discussion guide and all!
The letters in S.H.A.P.E. stand for -
S - Spiritual Gifts
H - Heart
A - Abilities
P - Personality
E - Experiences
It's the writer's belief (and one I happen to share!) that these things meld together to create the unique design that God wants to use in ministry. Now that I have finished the class, God is starting to clarify some new/renewed ministry direction for me. And it's scary!
When you have gotten a better understanding of your shape, you need to answer the question "What now?" Well, you might not feel the need to but I certainly did! The answers I'm getting to that question are a little . . . frightening? . . . unnerving? Not sure what the right word is. I hate disappointing people and the new direction might mean ending some commitments which might disappoint people and . . . you get the idea.
I believe it also means that I am going to be moving into some new ministries or rekindling some passions that I neglected and let fade. And that's terrifying! I sit and think "What if my ministry attempt fails?" And that question shows the flaw in my thinking! If I'm moving in the direction that God is leading, it's not MY ministry - it's his!! If I am prayfully seeking his direction in putting my God-given shape to use, the "success" or "failure" (by whatever standards) matters little. As God and I were discussing this, he actually brought this blog to mind. I keep plugging away at blog posts, clueless as to whether or not anyone is reading. But he hasn't called me to draw in hundreds or thousands of blog readers. He's called me to be faithful and obedient. He's called me to share thoughts and impressions on this forum so I do, clueless as to why.
I've been called to obey. I've not been called to research the likely failure or success of a new direction, I'm not called to do what others think I should or to please them, and I'm not called to focus on what would be easiest or most popular. I'm simply to called to act when he moves me to act. As I grasp this concept more fully and commit wholeheartedly to complete obedience, I'm confident that this new/renewed direction will become crystal clear! Still a little nervous but also kind of excited!!!