Find YOUR Place in Ministry
Understand how God knit your together to contribute to the Kingdom of God
Welcome to Find Your Place, a segment of BuidingChurch.net devoted to:
- Help every member of the Body of Christ recognize that God has called them to be a minister in the Body,
- Recognize that God has uniquely qualified each individual to minister in a unique way within the body, and
- Help members of the body of Christ find that particular place of ministry God has for them.
For over 20 years, Find Your Place has provided Christians around the world a valuable tool to help them discover how God has uniquely knit them together for specific ministry in the church and the world around them.
Developing a Personal Ministry Profile
The Find Your Place program is designed to be a tool to assist you in discovering your place in ministry in your local church. The overall objective of this program is to help you develop a Personal Ministry Profile, which you can use to help you identify which ministries at your church God has uniquely qualified you to be a part of. By developing your PMP, you will be able to more clearly see what you particular strengths and giftings are and what area of ministry God has called you to. The result is that you will have a clearer vision for what part God would have you to play in the Body of Christ at your local church.
There are five elements of a PMP that this program will address. Certain elements of the PMP are more important to the life of the Body of Christ, or are often misunderstood by the Body of Christ. Therefore, the Find Your Place program will spend greater amounts of time developing these areas of the profile, and give you basic guidelines on the other portions.
The five elements of a PMP are:
- Spiritual Gifts
- Temperament (or personality type)
- Talents and Skills
- Life Experiences, and
- Heart’s call
As you work through your Personal Ministry Profile, you want to be honest and open with yourself. Take into consideration that while we should all have certain good qualities as Christians, there are differences in motives and in ways of expressing the unique character that God has given to each of us. The goal of this program is to help you figure out the specific role God has for you.
As a member of the Body of Christ, you are crucial to the overall health and strength of the body. We will only function as effectively as God intended if each member is doing its part. That is why we have a strong conviction that each member have a place of ministry, and we hope the Find Your Place program will give you information that will be helpful in finding the place of service that God intends for you to have within the local body.
The Purposes of the Church
Church growth advocates point to 5 overall purposes of the church, derived from Acts 2:42-47. These 5 purposes are: discipleship, fellowship, ministry, worship, and evangelism. Some church growth advocates include prayer as a 6th purpose, and I tend to agree. I would also point out that fellowship should not be a priority in planning ministries, because it is a natural bi-product when Christians work together in ministry.
Please note that being involved in a local church body is critical to a healthy life in Christ (see Hebrews 10:25). Take some time to consider all 6 purposes listed above and how you see them demonstrated and growing in your local church body. Are followers of Christ growing in a pattern of discipleship? Is there a fellowship that binds people together in relationships? Are needs within the congregation being met and people being taken care of? Do activities called “worship” actually lead people into the presence and honor of God? Is there widespread, intentional effort to reach people both near and far who do not yet know Jesus? Are all of these things undergirded with genuine intercessory prayer?
In many contemporary churches, the primary arm for most of these purposes is within some form of small group setting. Being involved in a small group is generally crucial to be a healthy church member.
The Individual in the Church
The following is an outline exposition of Romans 12:
What is the primary purpose for each person’s existence?
- To glorify God
- “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” – Westminster Catechism
- “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-for this is your spiritual act of worship.” – Romans 12:1
- How do we do this?
- Don’t conform, but be transformed!
- “Do not conform any longer to the patter of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2
- You mean we can really know exactly what God’s will is? YES!
- How can I be transformed, then?
- Romans 12:3-8
- Each part does its function – just like a body. A finger can’t exist without a heart to pump blood to it. The heart pumping blood is useless without the lungs putting air into the blood.
- “According to the grace given us” – means that we must be recipients of God’s grace. In order to be recipients, we have to accept it. In order to have spiritual gifts, we must have our salvation nailed down.
- 1 Corinthians 12:1 – “Now about spiritual gifts, I do not want you to be ignorant.” – I think Paul is pretty clear here. He then goes on and gives extensive instructions inf chapters 12, 13, and 14 about what the gifts are and how they should be used.
- 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 – “just as he determines” – we are not the ones who choose what our spiritual gifts are. God knits us together for a specific purpose, and he directs us, or calls us to fulfill that particular function.
- Working definition: A Spiritual Gift is the particular ability given to individual Christians to accomplish a specific role or task within the ministry of the body.
- Notice all the individualistic words: “particular,” “individual,” “specific.”
- That is the key to understanding spiritual gifts, they are given to individuals for the purpose of a specific role in the body.
- Romans 12:9-16
- “Keep your spiritual fervor” – although the English translation ends this thought with “serving the Lord” and adds a period, I believe that the entire section gives us instructions on how we can keep our spiritual fervor. By practicing spiritual disciplines, we are kept in an intimate relationship with God and will be energized for ministry.
- Just like when we feed and exercise children as they grow up and mature, we must feed and exercise our spiritual lives in order to mature and be healthy as Christians. Without food and exercise, we will waste away and die. The same goes for our spiritual lives.
- Richard Foster: Celebration of Discipline – I highly suggest this book for further understanding about spiritual disciplines. Foster not only gives excellent biblical reason for why we should practice each spiritual disciple, but he gives simple, practical steps that we can take to begin the discipline. He also gives some insight into what we can expect as we begin to practice the disciplines.
- Donald S. Whitney: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. – This book is a little more difficult read, but I include it mainly because Foster does not include evangelism as a disciple, while this book does.
- Working definition: Spiritual disciplines are those activities that every Christian should be involved with in order to be in a place to mature in faith and bear spiritual fruit.
- Notice the universal word: “every.”
- Romans 12:17-21 – while these actions can be characterized as disciplines, we must all admit that we have no desire to work this way on our own. As we practice the spiritual disciplines and are active in the ministry God has gifted us for, the fruit will be that we are enabled by the Holy Spirit to accomplish these kinds of things.
- Galatians 5:22-23 – this is the primary scripture for spiritual fruit. Listed here are the basic characteristics of the fruit that results in a maturing Christian life: “For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
- Working definition: Spiritual fruit is the tangible results of living and growing in the Christian life–the changed attitudes, actions, and thought-patterns that result from a transformed life in Christ.
Therefore, let us Find YOUR Place!
- Understanding yourself:
- How God has made you
- Psalm 139:13-16 – whenever you begin to feel useless, this verse is an excellent encouragement/ It explains that everything in our lives has a purpose: God knew they were all going to happen before you were even born . . . and He has a reason for it.
- Be a functioning part of the Body!
Find Your Place is ©2001, 2021 Andrew P. Kulp – adapted from the Find Your Place curriculum developed for Lakeview Baptist Church, Auburn, AL.