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Can we use this process in new member classes?

The tools have been used very successfully as part of a new member process. It is particularly useful to lead new members through the Spiritual Gifts Inventory, the Individual portion of the Spirituality Web tool, and the Task Type Preferences survey. These tools focus on the individuals giftedness, relationship with God, and group preferences.

For new members, this information can be extremely helpful in guiding choices for involvement within the life of the church and areas for growth in spiritual development. Offering the tools in a group setting can also help to develop new relationships within the new member group itself. It is very important to emphasize that these tools are not designed to “slot” individuals in terms of committee or work area assignments or offerings.

One idea for follow-up is to review the results with people who have been members of the church for six months to a year. At that time, we recommend offering the Leadership/Interaction Styles and Corporate portion of the Spirituality Web as tools for new discoveries that arise from the shared group experience of living as a community of faith.

How do we get everyone to do this?

This is probably the question we hear most often. Our answer has always been the same: It is not necessary, or even feasible, to get everyone to go through the process. The Profile of Congregational Leadership or any valid tool for gifts discovery are means for inviting the Holy Spirit into the center of the life of the body of Christ.

We believe, and history and experience have proven, that when a small group — even a handful — of passionate disciples open themselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit in an intentional, committed way, change will occur. Faith, love and hope spread like wildfire when we are filled with the Spirit. It is more important to offer ongoing opportunities for the passionate few to share their unfolding discoveries than it is to get everyone through the tools. The tools and the process are a means to an end. We hope they are a means of grace in the life of the body of Christ.

How do we know whether or not we are doing the process right?

If people are talking about their relationship with God in new ways … if the process, or concerns about it, leads to dialogue about what we believe … if one or more participants experience an “aha” about themselves and/or others … you are doing it right. Equipped for Every Good Work has always been more interested in what is sparked by the process than with the process itself.

Is this process just for leaders?

This process can be beneficial for every Christian who is striving to live as a disciple. We believe we are all gifted by God and that we are uniquely equipped for ministry and mission. Equipped for Every Good Work is a leadership development tool that has proven to be very useful as part of a journey toward loving discipleship, faithful stewardship, and true fellowship.

What if I am not gifted?

It is our firm belief that everyone is gifted by God and that each person is uniquely and beautifully equipped for ministry and mission. Giftedness is not about privilege or special skills and talents. It is about listening more deeply to, and following more fully, the deepest desires of our hearts and Gods leading in our lives. This is the call to all people of faith — laity or clergy, flashy or quiet, knowledgeable or seeking. 

What makes this process for spiritual gifts discovery different from others?

There are many tools for discovering spiritual gifts, some of them very good. Many of them, however, use a methodology that starts from the needs of the institutional church and looks for biblical witness to fill that need.

Equipped for Every Good Work starts from the scriptural witness and the experience of the early church, and it invites individuals and communities to listen for God’s leading in how to use the spiritual equipment given to us. We believe it is important to start from who and whose we are, look to the needs around us, and then design systems for ministry that appropriately fill those needs. This means the structure and work of the church can evolve with the needs of the community without compromising the work or message of the Spirit as the ground and source of our being.

Why these twenty gifts?

The twenty gifts covered by the Spiritual Gifts Inventory are those listed within the Pauline epistles to Rome, Ephesus, and Corinth, and recognized by the first-century church. While all of life is a gift from God, these twenty gifts are lifted up within Scripture as the gifts of the Spirit, given specifically for the upbuilding of the body of Christ.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Stephanie permalink
    March 24, 2011 4:14 pm

    Are there any copies of Equipped for Every Good Work available anywhere?

    • Barbara Dick permalink*
      May 25, 2011 9:25 am

      There are now! The book had been taken out of print but it’s back! Double-clicking on the book cover under Buy the Book (see right column above) will take you to the book page on Wipf & Stock.

  2. April 30, 2012 6:31 pm

    Can you tell me if this curriculum/book is translated into Spanish anywhere?

    • May 1, 2012 6:33 am

      I am not aware of a Spanish-language edition. So very sorry. If you are interested in working with us on one, please let me know.

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