The Salvation Army Oshawa



The purpose of everything determines its nature, design and features. Since the Creator is a God of purpose, He had your purpose in mind when He designed your whole personality. What God has made you to be is intentional, meaningful, and guaranteed to succeed. Thus, taking time now to inventory who you are is an important key to unravelling your purpose.

“You are who you are because you were made for a specific contribution on earth.”

                                                                                                                              Rick Warren

God never wastes anything. Your gifts, talents, unique experiences and personalities are what make you who you are. Understanding these factors will help you discover your unique Purpose in Life. The term S.H.A.P.E was developed by Rick Warren in his book, Purpose Driven Life. To unpack this even more,  listen to the 45 minute audio message. The word S.H.A.P.E refers to five specific characteristics of who you are and is an acronym:

Spiritual Gifts

This refers to a set of special abilities that God has given you to share his love and serve others. The Bible assures us that every believer has at least one gift (1 Cor. 7:7). The best way to discover your gift is to serve. When you use your spiritual gifts, people are edified, God is honoured and you are fulfilled.

Make a list of your spiritual gifts (Serving/helping, Teaching, Hospitality, Exhortation, Giving, Leadership, Encouragement, Healing, Mercy, Administration, Wisdom, Prayer – see Romans 12: 6-8, 1 Cor. 12:8-10, 1 Cor 12:28, 1 Peter 4:9-10, Eph. 4:11):


This refers to your passions. You heart reflects your dreams and desires; it is not the same as your hobbies. Your passion refers to what drives you, who you deeply care about, the needs you desire to meet, and the cause you sincerly wish to conquer. To discover your passion, find the things that make you happy when you do them. Find the change you most desire to see in the world.

Make a list of your heart’s ambitions, desires, hopes, interests, dreams, motivations.


These refer to the things you are naturally good at. God has given each of us the ability to do some things well. God gave us those talents with our Purpose in view. Note that abilities may also be acquired or learnt. Rick Warren writes: “The abilities you do have are a strong indication of what God wants you to do with your life”. Examples include: analyzing, coaching, consulting, cooking, designing, decorating, writing, speaking, repairing, planning…

Make a list of your Abilities (Natural Talents):


The Bible clearly shows that the people God used were different in personality. “Your personality refers to your character and temperament. You must understand these, for they account for how you relate with others and respond to opportunities. Whether you are introverted or extroverted, outgoing or reserved, self-expressive or self-controlled, cooperative or competitive, solo or team player etc., are factors that are determined by your personality all of which are keys to your design and, thus, your purpose.

Make a list of your personality traits: (Introvert, team player, …):


You have been shaped by your experiences in life, most of which were beyond your control. God allowed them for His purpose of moulding you.” In determining your shape for serving God, you should examine at least six kinds of experiences from your past: • Family experiences: What did you learn growing up in your family? • Educational experiences: What were your favourite subjects in school? • Vocational experiences: What jobs have you been most effective in and enjoyed most? • Spiritual experiences: What have been your most meaningful times with God? • Ministry experiences: How have you served God in the past? • Painful experiences: What problems, hurts, thorns, and trials have you learned from? God intentionally allows you to go through painful experiences to equip you for ministry to others.

Make a list of your  experiences―family, educational, jobs, meaningful times with God, your past, serving God, joyous occasions, painful experiences.


The first and principal way to discover purpose is to discover God. There is no shortcut; for the purpose of a thing can only be revealed by the maker of that thing. Your S.H.A.P.E would help you discover your purpose only if you are connected to the God of purpose!

“God works through different men in different ways, but it is the same God who achieves His purposes through them all” 1 Cor 12:6.

Now go and try out helping in some different church ministries or start one. Let our church office know your thoughts on this and where you think you may want to serve.

Volunteer Ministries To Consider

Everyone has a God-given desire to make an impact on the world around them. Now, how has God designed you to make a difference in other peoples’ lives? At the church, many groups gather to get things done with great fellowship along the way: community garden, church gardening, kitchen helpers (coffee/tea/food, set-up and clean-up), greeters, ushers, media team helpers (video cameras and audio/streaming), Sunday Prep (folding bulletins/Welcome folders), Tuesday night canteen truck for homeless, Christmas kettles & toy drive …

There are more volunteer opportunities within the community: Thrift store (sorting clothes/displaying), food sorting/organizing/giving out, knitting club, …simply call the church office and let us know what you have in mind. You may even want to talk to someone to go through the S.H.A.P.E analysis to help you to consider specific areas that God may be preparing for you. Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect, and you might just get more happiness out of your serving than you may think. This 25 min video may inspire you.

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