Your SHAPE for God’s Service: Materials for six sessions for church groups, to help people discern their gifts for God’s service
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Do you wish … You could discover your gifts; You could live a more joyful and fruitful Christian life; You could serve God more fully; You could become the person God has designed you to be? Take part in exploring “Your SHAPE for God’s Service”!
What will it involve?
“Your SHAPE for God’s Service” involves six meetings in a small informal group. It will be enjoyable and interesting! We will help each other to explore our unique God-given “SHAPE”, and how we can use this in his service. We will look at:
Most of us are very aware of our own weaknesses and failings, and so lack confidence in our Christian lives. We need to discover more of our gifts and strengths, the way God has shaped us, and what we have to offer!
What will we do?
There will be some input from the leader on the topics and on Biblical teaching. There will also be practical exercises, plenty of lively discussion and prayer. Between each session, you will be asked to do about an hour of Personal Reflection and activities to help you discover more about yourself. By the final session you will have created a picture of your “shape”, and gained insights about how God has designed and grown you.
Easily downloadable complete course. Or buy the CD for £5 with the same material on it from Diocese of Carlisle (email firstname.lastname@example.org). A4 sheets of Leader’s Notes, Handouts and Member’s Notes. Six sessions:
105 minutes. Recommended to be run fortnightly. Publicity included.
Adult,Beginners, Growing, small groups, whole church
Free, downloadable from Carlisle Diocese.
Straight-forward and clearly laid-out A4 sheets of material, with some simple clip-art.
Aim stated clearly: To help each other to explore our unique God-given “SHAPE”, and how we can use this in his service.' This is reflected in the separate sessions which work their way through the six components. The leaders' notes spell out further aims, for example that the course is ‘relevant to people's whole lives, not just church activities'. Best use is seen as part of overall church strategy, to be regularly repeated for new church members. Clearly flagged up in first session that the discovery of SHAPE is an organic rather than static thing.
Very helpful leader's notes, with comprehensive advice. Good clear list of course materials and who gets what. Each session has bullet-pointed aims, plus list of material needed. Further reading document included.
2 leaders recommended, preferably to include a church leader, so that discovered gifts can be used in overall church strategy. But it could also be led by a small group leader. It is seen as important that an experienced leader facilitates this material, someone with both group-leading and pastoral gifts.
Further reading document included if wanted.
Material recommends that, in order to make the most of it, the course is set up as a standalone rather than just another small group resource. Best use is seen as part of overall church strategy, to be regularly repeated for new church members Being prepared to set up the individual. Reviews after the last group session, and have in mind how discovered gifts may be used in God's service, whether within or without the church community.
Also available from www.arthurrankcentre.org.uk.
Recently revised (2013) in view of feedback from users.
Lots of interaction, with a variety of suggestions depending on how well group members know each other to begin with. Both whole group interaction, and work in pairs.
Mix of reading, writing, discussion, prayer, reflection. Quite a bit of input, but this is balanced by exercises and reflections.
Although specifically designed to ‘meet the needs of ordinary British churches of any denomination', as part of overall church strategy, this course can be adapted and tailor-made for your situation. Thanks to Osmaston's generosity and vision, there is no copyright on the material, so it can be suited to your church or group if necessary. However, you may not want to, as it is a well thought-through and presented course. It is targeted especially at those Christians who may not be ‘confident about “having anything spiritual to offer.”'
Exceptionally well, both within the group time, and between session ‘homework' which is integral to the course.
All topics Bible-based. Some sessions have more Scripture references in than others.
Whole course firmly based on biblical understanding of an individual's value and giftings in God's eyes. Some sessions dig into relevant passages, with material to work on in pairs. Positive affirmation of the wide range of gifts, from those seen as more ‘spiritual' to those more ‘natural'; all are given by God and all are essential.
Self-reflection is rooted in application of biblical material. Potentially life-changing. Practical and inspirational.
Anglican stable but designed for wide application. Has been used around the world and in over 600 UK locations to date.
Obviously targeted towards finding the ‘shape' of one's personality and gifts; helpfully divided into the different session topics. Very accessible and non-threatening. Affirming of individuals and their potential, and of how all gifts are for the common good.
Very practically-based course that should help a wide range of personality types to engage with their faith as it is, and discover how it could grow. Challenging and thought-provoking.
Emphasis on how God sees us in contrast to how we see ourselves. Potential for life-changing realisations. Great mix of faith and application.
Exceptionally good feature of the course, in providing many opportunities for honest self-reflection, and talking things through with others.
Not a particular focus – unless that turns out to be a gift God has given you.
Again, this may be an outworking of SHAPE discovery.
Not a focus.
Not a focus.