The New Zealand Pacific Union Conference (NZPUC) and the Australian Union Conference (AUC) have joined forces to launch a new tool to empower Adventists who want to serve in ministry and make disciples using their strengths and talents.
Discover Your SHAPE is a program that helps people to identify their SHAPE: Spiritual gifts; Heart (passion); Abilities; Personality; and Experience.
“By discovering your SHAPE, you can have greater clarity of God’s purpose for your life as each of these aspects serves as a ‘clue’ of what God wants you to do,” explains NZPUC Discipleship Ministries assistant Vahiria Kei.
Kickstarted by NZPUC Discipleship Ministries leader Pastor Victor Kulakov and his team, the program was launched online in September but has been in the making since 2019.
“I personally get truly excited about it because I believe that God gave us a life and SHAPEs us for a purpose,” said Pastor Kulakov.
“Yes, God is involved in our life personally. Psalm 139:13 says, ‘for you knit me together in my mother womb.’ We are not a product of a production line. God calls you his handwork, his masterpiece. You can live a truly purposeful, fruitful, and fulfilled life,” he added.
Aiming to make the program available to more church members, Pastor Kulakov pitched the idea to the AUC, and the two unions worked together, using pastors from each country to film content for the course.
“The relationship worked really well between NZPUC and the AUC, and I hope we can collaborate more in the future,” said AUC Personal Ministries, Sabbath School and Stewardship director Pastor Lyndelle Peterson, who was responsible for converting the program to an online platform.
“Although we were working on similar ideas presented in different ways, God was able to bless the concept to create something we hadn’t imagined previously.”
Since it was launched, more than 100 people have signed up for the course, and more than half have already completed it.
“If people discover their God-given SHAPE, they will become active disciple-making disciples working with others naturally empowered by the Spirit to expand Jesus’ kingdom on earth,” said South Pacific Division president Pastor Glenn Townend.
Discover Your SHAPE is available online and also for local churches to do the course face-to-face.