Embrace, Express and Empower Your S.H.A.P.E.





d-MinLead-WhichS.H.A.P.E. IStockphoto-BakiBGLearning who God created you to be will help unlock His unique purpose for your life

God doesn’t create anything without value. He is the ultimate craftsman. And He designed you specifically to fulfill a unique role in His ultimate plan to establish His kingdom on earth.

Even though each of us has made mistakes, we still are a special work of the Creator’s hands. He even takes time to know about our day-to-day lives. In fact, He is smiling right now, rejoicing as you seek to discover the masterpiece you are to Him.

The Bible says we are God’s “masterpiece” and that He created us anew in Christ so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago (see Eph. 2:10, NLT).

This verse helps us understand that if we want to discover our mission or purpose in life, we first need to look at the masterpiece God has made us to be. While self-help books tell you to look within, the key to living the life you were meant for is to look to God and ask Him to help you discover your uniqueness.

After you discover who you are, then you can start figuring out what God has planned for you—the specific way He designed you to make a difference in the world for Him.

Here are three helpful steps for you to maximize your ministry with God and for God: (1) Embrace your S.H.A.P.E.; (2) Express your S.H.A.P.E. in service; (3) Empower others to do the same.

Embrace Your S.H.A.P.E.

The S.H.A.P.E. concept was developed by Saddleback pastor Rick Warren, who writes, “Whenever God gives us an assignment, He always equips us with what we need to accomplish it. This custom combination of capabilities is called your S.H.A.P.E.” 

Your S.H.A.P.E. comprises five specific characteristics:

Spiritual Gifts: A set of special abilities that God has given you with which to share His love and serve others.

Heart: The special passions that God has given you so that you can glorify Him on earth.

Abilities: The set of talents that God gave you when you were born, which He also wants you to use to make an impact for Him.

Personality: The special way God wired you to navigate life and fulfill your unique kingdom purpose.

Experiences: Those parts of your past, both positive and painful, that God intends to use in great ways.

Express Your S.H.A.P.E.

After you have a basic understanding of who God has made you to be, you can then use what you’ve learned to serve others. As you serve, you will get confirmation of your S.H.A.P.E. Confirmation will come in the form of inner fulfillment and outer fruitfulness (results). Fulfillment and fruitfulness are the signs you are maximizing your S.H.A.P.E. for service. 

Empower Others

As a leader, your job is to maximize your S.H.A.P.E. and empower and equip everyone around you to do the same. This is how the body of Christ maximizes its potential.

No leader can do it all, but every leader can empower all. So become an empowering leader, and make sure everyone on your team and in your church is maximizing all God has given them, too. 

Remember, only you can be you. So be the best “you” for God!


Erik Rees leads the S.H.A.P.E. discovery process at Saddleback Church and has used it to mobilize more than 10,000 people into service. He also has helped launch the S.H.A.P.E. ministry in thousands of churches worldwide. He is the author of S.H.A.P.E. (Zondervan), which has sold more than 100,000 copies.


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