Shaped For A Purpose
God has uniquely wired each of us and calls us to use our talents, personalities, and abilities to make a difference, to bring hope and healing to a broken world.
Have volunteers read Hebrews 13:20-21, Job 10:8-12, and Psalm 139:13-16.
How does the idea that God uniquely and intentional created you impact how you view yourself?
God has SHAPED all of us in five different ways.
Have volunteers read Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:8-11, 27-31. Encourage participants to listen to the lists and note if there are any gifts listed that they identify with.
Are there any of these gifts that you think you might have? Why do you think that?
In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul tells us to “eagerly desire the greater gifts.” Are there any spiritual gifts you don’t currently have that you would like to have?
Have a volunteer read 1 Peter 4:8-11.
Dave referenced Rick Warren’s statement that my spiritual gifts are for your benefit, and your spiritual gifts are for my benefit, and that failing to use them is to rob each other.
How might you use your spiritual gifts to serve others?
We are all passionate about different things. Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks doesn’t just have a heart for coffee, he is passionate about creating a place outside of work and the home for people to connect. Gene is passionate about introducing people to Jesus.
What are you passionate about? Perhaps some other ways to think about this are to ask yourself, what gets you up in the morning? What makes you laugh and shout and come alive? What makes you sad and tears at your heart?
The reality is that many of us do not get to pursue our passions in our workplaces. If you do, you are one of the lucky few. For the rest of us, how do you or might you live out our passion outside of work?
We are born with some natural abilities that can be discovered by looking at our past accomplishments. The vocational skills we have are also usable in God’s work for the benefit of the cause of Jesus. When God gives us an assignment, He equips us with His Spirit and with abilities to carry it out.
What natural or learned abilities do you have? How might you use those to serve others?
God has wired each of our temperaments in a unique way. Whether you are bold, dynamic, and assertive or moderate, calm, and careful, your personality is needed in God’s new community. It can be used to help others exploring their faith, or support others in need.
Do you tend to be more introverted or extroverted? How does this shape your relationships? What relational strengths come out of your introversion or extroversion? What relational pitfalls do you need to avoid?
Do you tend to be more self-expressive or self-controlled? What are the advantages and disadvantages of your personal style?
Do you prefer routine or variety? If you prefer routine, how do you make sure that you remain open to new ideas and new ways of doing things, recognizing that sometimes a new idea is truly a better idea? If you prefer variety, how do you make sure you stay focused long enough to be able to truly make a difference?
God uses our experiences to teach us to trust Him, to build character, and to accomplish His purposes as we allow Him to use our experiences to help others experience Jesus. Some of our experiences bring great joy, others great sorry. Often our most significant personal growth comes from difficulty.
We would do well to take a good look at our painful experiences and what our trials have taught us. God never wastes a hurt or bad experience. Along with these tough times are other experiences to draw on—meaningful times with God, work experiences, and educational opportunities.
Are there one or two life experiences you’ve had that you might be able to use to benefit others? Share them with the group.
Select 5-6 questions from the list below to guide your discussion time.
- What are some words that come to mind to describe how you felt watching the movie Dunkirk?
- Imagine being in the initial scene of Dunkirk that was shown this weekend. What are some things that you think might be going through Tommy’s mind?
- Read Matthew 9:36-38. Gene points out a parallel from this scene to when Jesus looked at the flock crowd. What are some of the things Jesus could have been feeling and thinking as he looked out upon the crowd?
- As the movie continues, Tommy and his fellow soldiers begin to realize that there is no easy way out as each effort to escape their dilemma is defeated. Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like you were surrounded or defeated, looking for a way to escape, tried to go to the “big boats” and realized your rescuer was not what you originally thought it would be?
- How did you feel when you saw the scene of thousands of ships sailing across the water to rescue the trapped soldiers?
When you consider your SHAPE, what are some ways that you might be able to serve:
In your workplace?
In your neighborhood and social circles?
In the church?
If you’d like help thinking through how you might be able to use your SHAPE to impact your community or serve with Compassion, check out eastside.com/local.
If you would like to further explore how God has SHAPEd you, check out eastside.com/nextsteps.