You have a unique DESIGN given to you by God for a specific purpose. Your uniqueness includes a God-given desire, experiences, spiritual gift, individual style, growth, and natural abilities. Many believers are not aware their design is an indication of how God wants to use them in His kingdom. So, how do you discover your DESIGN?
Before we start uncovering your DESIGN let’s review what your DESIGN includes.
- Desire. God has given you a heart or desire for a particular people group or a certain ministry (Philippians 2:13). This answers the question, “What ministry or need are you drawn toward?”
- Experiences: What God has allowed you to go through in life may be an indication of where He wants you to minister (2 Cor. 1:3-4). This answers the question, “What has God brought you through you could use to help others?”
- Spiritual Gift: God has given you at least one spiritual gift to serve and bless others (1 Cor. 12:7-11). This addresses the question, “What divine ability did God give you to help others?”
- Individual Style: God created you with a unique personality that is perfectly suited to serve where He planned for you to serve (1 Cor. 2:11). This addresses the question, “Where does your personality best suit you to serve?”
- Growth: God is growing you into the ministry He has for you. Some ministries call for certain levels of spiritual, emotional, and mental maturity (1 Cor. 3:1; 1 John 2:12-14). This addresses the question, “What ministry are you ready for?”
- Natural abilities: God has given you various natural skills and learned vocational skills (Exodus 31:3). These skills can range from carpentry, cooking, typing, mechanics, singing, playing an instrument and athletic skills. This answers the question, “What natural or learned skills do you have that can be used in ministry?”
When you combine all that together you discover your unique design for ministry. How can you begin discovering your DESIGN for ministry? One way is to START the journey of learning how God gifted and created you.
Begin with God’s Word. Investigate what the Bible teaches about the various aspects of your DESIGN. Examine scriptures regarding spiritual gifting, the desires that God gives His people, how God uses the good and the bad experiences in people’s lives, how God used the different personalities of people like Paul, Peter, Moses, and Nehemiah. Also, research the various levels of spiritual maturity and why maturity matters more for some ministries and not as much for others. Don’t forget to investigate how God uses various natural abilities within His people to accomplish His purposes. Start with what God has to say about the DESIGN aspects of your life.
Trial and Error
As you are studying God’s Word try different ministries that require you to do different things. If you are interested in teaching, singing, leading, counseling, or serving then talk to one of your church’s leaders about opportunities to serve. Expose yourself in ministry to various people groups such as children, youth, college and career, senior adults, handicapped, prisoners, or terminally ill. As you experience a variety of ministries in a variety of settings you will begin to discover a passion or desire for certain people groups or settings. The key here is to get involved.
Examine yourself. Pay attention to what ministries and people groups you are drawn toward. Take note of what you do well when ministering. Also, be honest with yourself about where you are spiritually. There will be some ministries you will be drawn toward, but you will need to do some more growing and learning. Be patient. In addition, notice what type of personality you have. Are you a people person or do you like working mostly alone? Are you a risk taker or do you like routine? Remember, God uniquely created you for a unique purpose. Be honest with yourself and you will begin to see what God created you to do.
Request insight from others
Ask other Christians who know you fairly well what spiritual gifting they see in you. Ask them what people group they think you would connect well with in ministry. Let them give you feedback on what type of personality you have and where you are in your spiritual maturity. Encourage them to think about ways your experiences can be used in ministry or to help others. God speaks through godly counsel and advice when we humbly seek it.
Once you discover or have a good idea of what your DESIGN is then get training in it. For example, if you have the gift of teaching then improve your skills and learn some techniques in teaching God’s Word. If you have a desire to serve with students then learn all you can about how students think, what they are going through, how they learn, and what their spiritual needs and questions are at this stage of their life. If you since God has equipped you to serve with terminally ill or the sick then learn from others how to demonstrate appropriate compassion or mercy to those who are hurting.
To begin discovering your unique ministry in life you will need to START. God has a plan for you (Ephesians 2:10) and it is wonderful. He wants you to experience the wonders of being used by Him to impact many lives for good and for His glory. You are wonderfully made and you have a wonderful purpose. Discover it!