Posted by: Philip Rushton | September 5, 2012

Wednesday Night Discipleship Preview: S.H.A.P.E. Discerning your unique calling in life

As a pastor I believe that my primary roles is to equip people for ministry. Paul lays out this vision in Ephesians 4, where he says that God gave the church pastors and teachers, “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.” Pastoring, then, is not about doing the work of ministry alone, but empowering and equipping people to discover their calling and utilize the gifts they have been given.

Thanks be to God! When I see all the needs out in the world and the potential this great congregation has to engage these challenges, I am so grateful I am not alone! In his infinite wisdom God has created us as a body that is interdependent and multifaceted. God new that the challenges facing our world required that we team up and support one another. The New Testament vision is about doing ministry as a team where each part contributes to the whole.

The starting point is discovering that God has created each of us with a unique purpose in life. Earlier in Ephesians Paul writes, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God has created each of us with a purpose in mind.

So starting on October 3 I want to invite you to participate in an interactive study that is designed to help us discover the purpose God has for us at this particular stage in our lives.

The question of calling is comes up at many stages of life. Whether you are new to the faith journey, in college, between jobs, facing a transition in life, or you are simply finding yourself in a a rut, it is important to re-evaluate what God is calling you to. It did not surprise me that in our recent spiritual formation survey the most requested topic for an adult education course was the topic of discerning our spiritual gifts.

In this course we will be drawing on a book by Eric Ress titled, SHAPE. Reese explores how God wants to use our spiritual gifts, hearts passions, abilities, personalities and experiences (SHAPE) to engage our church and our world. Rees’ approach to discernment considers the multifaceted way we are wired. We will also be drawing on a book from Gordon Smith, titled Courage and Calling, which explores the both the challenges and the opportunities we face in the process of discerning God’s call on our life. Smith also provides some helpful insight into the ways we can approach our work as a context for ministry. He gets us to think vocationally. Both books are deeply rooted in biblical teaching.

If you are seeking clarity about what God is has in store for you I would love to have you join this discipleship group! See you in October!

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