Title page for ETD etd-06192009-172945

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Scott-Wilson, Lorne Harvey
Email lornesw@gmail.com
URN etd-06192009-172945
Document Title Equipping Christians by identifying their calling : an evaluation of Rick Warren’s 'SHAPE' analysis
Degree Master of Arts
Department Practical Theology
Advisor Name Title
Dr L Rinquest Co-Supervisor
Prof J C Muller Supervisor
  • personality
  • abilities
  • heart
  • spiritual gifts
  • good works
  • ministry
  • calling
  • shape
  • experience
  • equipping
Date 2009-04-18
Availability unrestricted

A Christian’s calling is largely misunderstood among the Churches today by both the clergy and the laity. It is not just a call to believe the Gospel, nor is it merely a call to pastoral ministry or to the mission field, rather it is a call to do specific good works that God has prepared in advance for you to do (cf. Eph.2:10). Rick Warren contends that this especially focused ministry depends on the way God has 'shaped' you. SHAPE stands for spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality and experience. Warren’s SHAPE analysis is a useful tool to help equip Christians by identifying their callings. Church elders could incorporate elements of SHAPE analysis into their equipping process and thus bring great benefit and clarity to those who battle to discern their call to specific good works. While the plain reading and applying of the Bible (according to the literal, grammatical, historical hermeneutic) is the primary method of guidance and is sufficient for identifying a Christian’s calling and equipping him to do it (cf. 2Tim. 3:16-17), this does not prevent the use of other helpful tools such as SHAPE analysis. Unfortunately many Christians do not devote themselves to a study of the Bible and so they lack general knowledge of it and therefore lack direction when it comes to their ministry calling. Christians therefore need all the help they can get, including SHAPE analysis. Care does need to be exercised when using SHAPE analysis for it can be understood as being highly introspective, which has dangers attached to it and even includes personality-analysis, which lacks Biblical precedent. The absence of thorough Bible study and godly character from the calling equation is also a cause for concern and makes SHAPE analysis deficient on its own to equip the believer effectively for ministry. Using SHAPE in addition to the general application of the Bible is however most beneficial.

©University of Pretoria 2008

Please cite as follows

Scott-Wilson, LH 2008, Equipping Christians by identifying their calling : an evaluation of Rick Warren’s 'SHAPE' analysis, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06192009-172945/ >

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