Did you know you were made by God with a purpose in mind? You were created for a unique ministry. You were designed and put together in such a way that you would be the perfect person to minister and bless in that situation, at that time, and in that place. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” You are God’s workmanship. He created you with a unique personality, a giftedness, and a passion to serve Him in special ways that only you can do.
But how can you know what you have been designed and created to do? God’s Word gives you the direction you need. To help you identify your uniqueness in ministry, it is helpful to use the D.E.S.I.G.N. approach in identifying the different ingredients that, when combined, provide you with information regarding God’s purpose for your life and ministry.
Desire. God has given you a heart and passion for a specific kind of ministry. Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is God who works in you, inspiring both the will and the deed, for His own chosen purpose!” God will inspire you about getting involved in one ministry but not another. This is why one Christian can be excited about hospital visitation but another Christian excited about teaching a Bible class. The question to ask is, “What ministry am I drawn toward?”
Experiences. God’s Word says, “[God] comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Cor. 1:3-4). What God has allowed you to go through in life is an indication of where He might want you to serve and minister. For example, a man who used to be an alcoholic who is saved and is now free from alcoholism would be a strong candidate to help someone going through the same struggle. The question you ask yourself is, “What has God brought me through that He wants to use in His kingdom work?” God wants to use all your good, bad, and ugly family experiences, educational experiences, ministry experiences, emotional experiences, and relational experiences.
Spiritual gifts. God has given you at least one spiritual gift for ministry (1 Cor. 7:7). So the question you are going to look at is, “What am I gifted to do?” If you have the gift of teaching or mercy or leadership then that is a strong indicator of how God wants to use you. For a list of gifts mentioned in the Bible see 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 and Romans 12:6-8.
Individual Style. God made you with a unique personality. 1 Corinthians 2:11 says, “No one can really know what anyone else is thinking or what he is really like, except that person himself.” Only you know how you really are. So you need to ask yourself, “Where does my personality best suit me to serve in God’s kingdom?” Your personality will affect your ministry. It makes a difference if you like to talk or not talk, be around people or be by yourself, if you like it loud or quiet, organized or spontaneous, out front or in the shadows. Your personality is how God made you, and He designed you with your personality because of the ministries He has planned for you.
Growth stage. God is growing you into the ministry He has for you. Some ministries call for certain levels of spiritual, emotional, and mental maturity. You may have a passion about leading a ministry, but you are not emotionally or spiritually ready for that particular ministry. Your time will come. Be patient; God has something else for you in the meantime. The question you have to ask yourself is, “What ministry am I ready for?” Throughout God’s Word God identifies those who are spiritual infants and spiritually mature or somewhere in between (1 Cor. 3:1; 1 John 2:12-14). As you grow in the Lord, greater responsibility may be given to you.
Natural abilities. These are also known as vocational skills and natural talents. These are different than spiritual gifts. The Bible says, “There are different abilities to perform service” (1 Cor. 12:6). Even in the Old Testament we hear God saying, “I have given him skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of crafts” (Ex. 31:3). An example of an ability or skill would be typing, writing, sign language, mechanical work, carpentry cooking, computers, and the like. The question you want to answer here is, “What natural or learned skills do I have, and how does God want me to use them in His kingdom work?”
No matter who you are, God has created you for certain ministries. God does not expect you to do every ministry, but you are expected to do what God has designed you to do. Part of loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength is to do the good works which God prepared in advance for you to do based on His design for your life.