I am a big fan of SHAPE.
SHAPE is a way of understanding your unique make-up and how given your unique you, you can best serve, minister or pursue your life purpose. ?I have been leading and teaching SHAPE seminars for over ten years for churches and ministries. ?I have probably led a couple of hundred people through the seminar over the years, and it is often a life-changing experience for people.
SHAPE stands for:
I think that churches that use SHAPE — or something like it — are really doing a great job in helping their members be fully mobilized and engaged. ?For me personally — in my own discernment process — I often think in terms of how am I using my SHAPE in my life right now.
Towards the end of my time at my previous church, I started working on a major revision of the course material we were using to teach SHAPE. ?I like SHAPE and it is based on material developed at Saddleback Church by Rick Warren and his team. ?Really great stuff!
But in teaching it many times, I have found that the 5 categories that SHAPE covers are a bit much and not always clear in the distinctions or actionables that come from each.
I am hoping to produce a revised concept soon, one that could be used in churches or ministries — either as a stand alone curriculum or one that I could come and teach/lead. ?It would take SHAPE and translate it to S3:
Spiritual gifts will still be taught the same way. ?The Strengths section combines the ideas of Heart/Abilities/Personality into one, drawing heavily from the research and teaching on strength-based developing by Marcus Buckingham and Gallup. ?Finally, the "experience" section (which in the SHAPE material is a bit nebulous and focuses more on resume experience than life experience) would focus more on "Story" — both your story to date (experiences — good, bad and ugly… often God wants us to minister out of our area of greatest pain/redemption… God never wastes a hurt!) and the idea of "what kind of story are you writing with your life". ?In other words, what do you want your IMPACT and LEGACY to be about?
So that is the brief outline of how I would teach those ideas… next week I will blog about how these are playing out in my own life at the moment. (I will be somewhat unplugged from the blog for a few days as I will be away for a family wedding).
In the meantime, I would love to hear your thoughts on SHAPE and S3 — and if you're a church or ministry that would be interested in beta-testing the material this fall, let me know!