Divinely Designed to Serve ~ Message 4 – Abilities & Personality

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Divinely Designed to Serve, Part 4

Ephesians 2

Bruce A. Hess

Alright, if you would please take out the Word of God and turn in it, in the New Testament, to the book of Ephesians and chapter number 2. Ephesians, chapter number 2.

As we begin today, I want to open up with a fable, and you go:  Alright there—we  knew it was going to happen, Wildwood Community Church is turning to fables. No, no, we’re not talking about that kind of a fable. We’re talking about a different kind of a fable. This fable is a make-believe story, but it’s a make-believe story that has a point to it; it has life lessons in it.

The fable I want to begin reading for you today is a fable that was actually composed by Chuck Swindoll. Here is the way that it goes:

“Once upon a time, the animals decided that they should do something meaningful to help meet the problems of their world. So, they organized a school and adopted an activity curriculum of running, climbing, swimming, and flying. To make it more effective they decided that all of the animals would take all of the subjects.

The duck was excellent at swimming, in fact, better than his instructor. But he made passing grades in flying and was very poor at running. Since he was slow in running, he had to drop swimming and stay after school to practice running. This caused the duck’s webbed feet to become so sore that eventually he became only average in swimming. But average was quite acceptable so nobody worried about that—except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of his class in running, but soon developed cramps in his leg muscles because of so much make-up work in swimming. The rabbit dropped flying class after several nasty falls from a large pine tree. Before long he couldn’t run as fast as he had before he started school, but that was alright with everyone—except the rabbit.

As you would guess, the squirrel was excellent in climbing. However he got so beaten up from jumping out of trees while trying to learn how to fly that he didn’t have the energy or the strength to climb like he did before. Because of that difficulty he only got a “B” in climbing and a “C” in running. Those were passing grades, but he remembered the good old days when he was the best climber.

The eagle was a problem student from the very beginning and was severely disciplined for being a non-conformist. In climbing class the eagle beat all of the others to the top of the tree, but insisted on doing it his own way to get there. The running coach accused the eagle of not even trying. After swimming practice his feathers were so wet he couldn’t fly for hours, so the duck got better grades for flying than the eagle did. Eagles are beautiful creatures in the air, but not in a foot race. The rabbit would win every time, unless of course the eagle got hungry 😉

He concludes this way: what is true of the creatures in the forest is true of Christians in the family of believers. God has not made us all the same. He never intended to. It was He who planned and designed our differences, gifts, and unique abilities.”

We are, men and women, Divinely Designed to Serve. Our base verse that we have looked at multiple times comes from Ephesians, chapter 2, and verse 10, where Paul writes and he says, “We are His workmanship…we are His handiwork; we are His masterpiece; we are His special composition…created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

Now I want you to notice…you know it’s funny with verses, the more you examine them, the more you see in them. We’ve looked at this verse a number of times, but in particular I want you to notice that last phrase, “So that we would walk in them.” That is how the New American Standard translates it. The ESV says, “So that we should walk in them.”

I am going to give you a little bit of language background. This verb right here is in what is called the subjunctive mood. Now, we don’t really have a technical subjunctive mood in English. But if you’ve ever studied other languages, you will be very familiar with a subjunctive mood. The subjunctive mood means, regarding the verb, is that we might do that, that we should do that. It is almost like God would hope that we would walk in these works that He prepared beforehand as His workmanship. It’s not guaranteed that we are going to do that. It means that we need to be active, we need to choose, be choosing to serve.

We need to be choosing that weekly, we may be choosing that daily. When we fail to walk in them, to live those things out, really what happens is, we miss God’s blessings, because we are His workmanship, His special design, created for good works, which He prepared beforehand—before we were even born—so that we would walk in them, that we would experience the blessings of seeing God work in and through us.

We’ve been talking about the fact that God has divinely designed us to serve, so the question we’ve been asking multiple times is: how did He shape you to serve? How did He shape me to serve? We’ve taken advantage of an acrostic with the English word SHAPE and each letter of the word SHAPE, S-H-A-P-E stands for something. So far, we have looked at two parts of that. One of the ways that He shapes us is through the Spiritual Gifts He gives to us. If you were not here for those two messages, we went into some depth on that, I would strongly encourage you to go to our webpage or go to our YouTube page and listen to those messages.

Last time we talked about part of His shaping us, His designing us, is our Heart Passion. We defined heart passion, what that means is—something we care deeply about; something we feel a deep burden for; something we have a strong enthusiasm for; something that just motivates us; something that touches us. We went to Philippians, chapter 2, and verse 13, where it says, “God is at work in you (to do two things) both to will (that is to have a desire) and to do His good pleasure.” Part of His good pleasure was how He designed us to serve. He is energizing us in two ways: to have a passion for something, and also to equip us to work that out and do His good pleasure.

Today what we are doing is, we are adding the letter “A.” Not only Spiritual Gifts, not only Heart Passion, but also Abilities. Here is what I want us to understand about abilities: abilities are different from spiritual gifts. They are not the same thing. They are different and they are broader than the spiritual gifts that He has given to us. Every one of us has, I think, more than one spiritual gift, but abilities are different than that.

We are going to look at two things today. One is, we are going to see that God is the Source of our Abilities and secondly, we are going to see that Our Abilities are Two-sided. He is the source of our abilities and our abilities are two-sided. So, that is what we are going to look at.

First of all, God is the Source of our Abilities. We read at the beginning of our service today from Psalm 139. I want to remind you of it. It says there, David speaking to the Lord, “You…knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship (Remember, we are His workmanship.) is marvelous…as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. (NLT)”

One of the things it is important to notice about this verse, is that the word “you” is very emphatic in the original verse. You God, are the one who knit me together in my mother’s womb. You made me wonderfully complex! You developed Your workmanship in me, and it is marvelous as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You did that God, You did that for me.  Part of what He did in the womb incorporates the idea of our abilities, so we are seeing that God is the source of our abilities. That actually goes back to how He was forming us even in our mother’s womb.

You see this idea of abilities very clearly in Scripture in Exodus chapter 36, verses 1 and 2. What is happening is they are trying to develop the Tabernacle. They are trying to build a team of people with ability for the Tabernacle. What it says there, as they are building that team, it says Bezalel and Oholiab and every skillful person was being recruited for the team. But here is what I want you to notice, this phrase, in whom the Lord has put skill, (in whom the Lord has put ability) and understanding to know how to perform all the work in the construction of the sanctuary.” Then it goes on to say, repeating it again, “Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every skillful person in whom the Lord has put skill.” See, that is the abilities that He has given to us. God is the source of our abilities, and it can track back to the womb.

The second thing we want to see, though, is that Our Abilities are Two-sided. What do I mean by that? Well, first of all, we have natural abilities, abilities we are born with. And then we have acquired abilities. We have both of those kinds of abilities.

We are going to look first at Natural Ability. What we mean by that is, something literally, you are born with. You either have the ability or you don’t have the ability. Now, when I was growing up in the latter part of my public school years, my first love was playing basketball. I want you to know that even though my dad was 6’, I was totally convinced that I was going to be bigger than that. I knew in my heart that I was going to be 6’5” or 6’6”. I knew that I could become like Walt Frazier, for example, of the New York Knicks at the time. You might have to YouTube that and see who Walt Frazier was. Or, like Julius Erving. You can look up Julius Erving, for those of you who are younger and have never seen him play basketball. That is what I knew I was going to become. No doubt I would be like a Michael Jordan.

Here is what is interesting, no one in my high school in New Jersey practiced basketball more than I did. I practiced more than anybody else. However, when I was cut from the basketball team in my high school, I realized: I don’t really have the ability to do what I thought I would be able to do. I wasn’t born with a natural ability to “fly” like Michael Jordan or Julius Erving. Natural ability is something we are born with, you either have it or you don’t have it.

Many of you know Mozart. His full name is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart, at the age of four, could play the harpsichord proficiently, at the age of four. He learned how to play multiple instruments. Mozart was composing music at the age of five, when most are just going to school to learn their ABC’s. At the age of six, Mozart was performing publicly throughout Europe. Mozart had abilities—let’s  go back to me, abilities that I don’t have. I still can’t play an instrument. I tried starting a couple of different things, it just didn’t work, it didn’t click with me [something I was able to learn].  I can’t sing well, I can’t. Some of you know that. Composing a song? That is a pipe dream [a dream one can only hope to accomplish someday] for me in heaven. I didn’t have those natural abilities. So, a natural ability is something that you either have it or you don’t have it.

Also, we want to talk about Acquired Abilities or cultivated skills that we can develop. Again, I’m just using myself as an illustration. I was not born with a natural ability to be an effective person at painting a house, but I cultivated that skill, I acquired that skill when I was in seminary. I thought I knew how to paint, it seems easy, you open the can, you put in the brush. I thought I knew, but I didn’t really know until I went to work for a professional paint crew in the city of Dallas. We went around and painted shopping malls and painted in department stores. I learned a lot of technique from them. I learned how to properly load a brush. I learned how to properly clean and care for your brush. Many of you who have been here for a while know—I’ve said this before—the paint brushes that I used forty-four years ago, I still have. Because I learned, I acquired that skill when it came to painting.

So, there are many abilities that I have; there are many abilities that you have, some of which you were born with and some of them are abilities that you have cultivated, skills that you’ve cultivated. But we all have multiple ones, you’ve got multiple abilities. The question is this for you to ponder: what natural abilities has God given me? He has given you some. What acquired abilities do you have?

We see abilities talked about a lot in Scripture. For example, in 1 Chronicles 15, and verse 22, they are beginning to build up the Levites, who are going to lead the nation in worship. It says in chapter 15, verse 22 that Chenaniah was put in charge of singing. You say: why was Chenaniah put in charge of singing? It goes on to say this, “Because he was skillful in singing.” If you are going to have someone in charge of singing, you want someone who is skillful in singing. 1 Chronicles 22:15 talks about individuals who were skillful, who had abilities as masons, and people who had abilities as carpenters, and people who had abilities as stonecutters.

Why do I mention all of that? I mention all of that because the enemy of our souls is always out to discourage us. So, when you have that inner thought, “I have no ability,” you must recognize that as a lie from the enemy, a lie from the enemy. No, it’s not true that you have no ability. God gave you, all of us, natural abilities and God has allowed all of us to develop acquired abilities. Maybe those abilities were acquired by the family or the home you grew up in. Maybe you acquired some abilities from friends that you knew. That is also true of me in some other areas, where I have picked up some acquired skill from some of my friends. Maybe you got an acquired ability from a job that you worked.

Here is the idea: they just come in multiple flavors. We could talk all day about the flavors of abilities. Some people have abilities in the area of art; some have abilities in the area of advertising; some people have the abilities in the area of audio/visual. Some people have abilities in the area of construction; some have abilities in the area of communication or coordinating; some people have abilities in the area of editing or decorating or designing or planning. Some people have abilities in the area of landscaping, or learning a language. A great ability to have the ability to learn a language.

Some people have ability in the area of legal skills; some people have abilities even in the area of organizational lighting. I read about a large church in Detroit and their whole lighting ministry is run by a fourteen-year-old boy. There are all kinds of abilities out there. You can have abilities in the area of music. Some people have the abilities to sing; some people have abilities to play an instrument. Maybe you have abilities in the area of marketing or maybe you have abilities in the medical arena.

Maybe you have abilities in being a nurse. Just an example of how that can apply, we often need nurses for camps that we run, we need someone who can collect the medicine that needs to be disseminated and be there in case there is a minor problem that occurs. We can have abilities in the area of photography; you can have abilities in the area of something mechanical or even have natural abilities to be able to repair things, even though you’ve never repaired them before. Some people have abilities in the area of sign language; some people have abilities in the area of writing; some people have abilities in the area of video production. All kinds of abilities.

So ask yourself, what do you enjoy doing? Ask yourself, what are you good at? You’re good at something. Here is what I believe: I believe that we all have the ability to be a “10” in some way when it comes to serving God and other people. On a 1-10 scale, we all have the ability to be a “10.” God gave you abilities, and God has allowed you to develop abilities. It is part of His plan to Shape you to serve Him and others.  

Let’s move on, continue to build the acrostic. We’ve talked about Spiritual Gifts. We’ve talked about Heart Passion, today we’ve talked about Abilities. I want to talk about the letter “P” in the acrostic and that would be our Personality. Again, we go back to the idea of Psalm 139, in our mother’s womb God was knitting us together and God was embroidering us.

When I talk about personality what am I talking about? Well, personality is the composite of the characteristics that make us up as an individual, a composite of the characteristics that make us up as an individual.

Now, I’ve shared this before. But when I was growing up in high school and then into college, and I knew that I wanted to get married and I wanted to have kids, I developed a little philosophy about how kids become who they are. It is the old nature versus nurture idea. Nature is they were born that way. Nurture is, well, they were influenced by their environment when they were born. I had this running theory—here is what I strongly believed. I believed it was 25% nature – how they were born, and 75% nurture – what went on in their home and in their environment. Then I had children. I had one. I had two. I had three, and I had four. I began observing in other families in addition to my own, and I flipped the percentages completely around. I said, you know what? I believe now it is 75% nature and 25% nurture. Both of them are important.

I mean that’s the way it was with my kids. I couldn’t believe it as I watched this happen. They ‘came out’ and some of them were born night owls, they just wanted to stay up later and push the limits. Then, we had some that were born that were just an incredible morning dove. My son Kyle was that way. He was a morning dove. A lot of times we would be doing things as a family in the evening and someone would look around and go, where’s Kyle? He’d already gone off to bed like two hours early. He was born that way, he didn’t learn that in our family environment.

I noticed as they were born they had preferences for colors; they had preferences for foods; they had preferences towards different interests. Think about it, they are all born in the same home, but very, very different. That doesn’t mean that the home didn’t have an effect, but as God was embroidering them in the womb, they just came out different. I have four kids, none of them are the same, because that is part of the way that God embroidered them in terms of their personality.

What is interesting about personalities is: we have a tendency to really like someone who has a similar personality to ours, right? That is what we tend to do. But I think it is important to recognize that there is an advantage in complimentary personalities. For example, you have Mary and Martha in the New Testament. Mary, her focus was more on people, Martha was more focused on tasks. Mary was more about ‘being’ and Martha was more about ‘doing.’ You could just get angry at one another or realize, wait a minute, we have complimentary personalities. God can use that to make us more effective as a team.

Another example would be Paul and Barnabas. What was Paul like? Man, was he bold, was he decisive. He moved quickly on things. Barnabas was very patient, very supportive. Those two personalities could get frustrated with one another and once that is part of what happens with Paul and Barnabas. So they decide to go form two teams instead of just having one team, Paul and Barnabas. But you see there is a value in that blend of complimentary personalities. There is a value in teaming up in ministry and serving with people who have a complimentary personality.

Here is what usually happens—you see, with personalities—is too often we look at somebody else and we say in our head, it is too bad you’re not like I am. Because if you were really good, you would be like me. Right? It is too bad, you know, you can’t have my personality because you somehow—I don’t know—you came out flawed. No, no, no, no! God made us different in terms of our personalities and there is this complimentary advantage to that.

I want to talk for a few moments about four personality contrasts [note the Personality Contrasts sheet at the end of this transcription] . I am going to read from a handout I have here and I want you to know that this handout is available at wildwoodchurch.org/serve. If you want to do that, I am going to encourage you to download this and actually work your way through it. It is just a way to realize some differences in personality. It can have an impact in your ministry, in your serving, but it also can have an impact in a vocation that you choose; or a role in an organization that you choose; or how you divide duties up in your marriage; or with your roommates or inside of your family. I want to work my way through this. Now, we have several different divisions here of personality contrast.

The first one is the contrast between someone who is Outgoing and someone who is Reserved in their personality. Someone who is Outgoing in their personality might just love to meet and greet strangers; they prefer to be around people; they like to work with a team; they are oriented a lot of times to what is all around them. They get energy from being around people.

Someone who on the other contrast may be more Reserved in their personality might be someone who just loves to read, write, analyze or work on computers. They prefer time alone; they like to maybe work one-on-one more. They are oriented more to what is going on inside of them. They get energy often from being alone. See, it is just a personality contrast. So, which side would we be on?

Another personality contrast is between People and Projects. Someone who is more on the People side, they just love to be right in the middle of a scene; they love to coordinate people. Their primary focus is on the relational interaction of a task. When doing the task, their focus is on relationships, their goal is usually maintaining a team.

Someone who is more Project oriented in their personality is more a behind the scenes person who likes to complete jobs. Their focus is more on task accomplishment. When they are doing the task, it doesn’t mean they don’t care about everybody else, but their focus is more on the goal and their goal is meeting the deadline, rather than maybe relationally maintaining a team.

Then, another contrast is between a personality that is more Expressive and one that is more Controlled. Someone who is more Expressive is quicker to speak, more open and emotional. Someone who is more Controlled would reflect more before they speak. They might restrain their reactions a little more.

Then, there is also a contrast that can exist when it comes to Work and Task Environment. Someone on one side of the equation in their personality, they might like it to be—when it comes to their task environment—more chaotic. They like to juggle multiple balls; they enjoy risks; they relish obstacles. They enjoy pioneering and promoting.

Someone who is on the other end of Work and Task Environment might like things that are more calm when it comes to a work environment. They like to do one thing at a time; they like it to be low risk; they prefer predictability. They enjoy managing and thinking.

So, what I want you to do is, I want you to download this and as you see this, you will see that in each line all the way across are two contrasts. What you do is, on each horizontal line you circle the item that is most descriptive of you. Sometimes you will be on the left side, sometimes you will be on the right side. But as you go through this, for example, the first line says: ‘do you love to meet and greet strangers’ or do you more ‘love to read, analyze, work on computers?’ Do you like to ‘work with a team’ or do you like to ‘work one-on-one?’

 So, you circle the one in that line that is more like you. Or, for example, under Work/Task Environment, do you like to ‘juggle multiple balls’ or do ‘one thing at a time?’ You circle the thing that is more true of you and your personality. Do you ‘relish obstacles’ or do you ‘prefer predictability?’ So, you work your way through that each horizontal line, circling the one that is more true of you.

It doesn’t mean you are going to be all parked on one particular side, but you’re given an idea, a little bit of clarity on how your personality is wired. Work your way through that.

How did God shape you to serve? How did God shape me to serve? Well, we are looking at Spiritual Gifts, a special ability that He has given to us; our Heart Passion; our Abilities; and then, we also have our Personality. You will notice we haven’t got to letter “E” yet. Letter “E” is the most overlooked element when it comes to how God would shape us to serve Him. You don’t want to miss letter “E.” But you have to come back next week for us to get to letter “E” alright? The most overlooked one of all!

Let’s look at some Life Response. What we want to do by way of Life Response is, as we wrap this up, we want to look at Two Key Questions and Two Key Assignments that I think we should have coming out of our time together.

So, Key Question number one is this:  Are you currently serving the Lord and others? I want you to know, I really want you to ask that question of yourself with an open heart before the Lord. I’m not the spiritual police.  I’m not interested in trying to figure out who answers that question “yes” and who answers that question “no”. I want you to be asking that question: Are you currently—I don’t mean ten years ago, I don’t mean two years ago—are you currently serving the Lord and other people?

Charles Haddon Spurgeon had a great way with words and sometimes I think guys like him could say things that maybe the rest of us couldn’t get away it. Here is what Spurgeon said, he says this, “We want laborers, not loiterers. We need men and women on fire. I beseech you to ask God to send them. The harvest can never be reaped by those who will not labor.” Are you currently serving the Lord and others? Really what he is saying and what I am saying is: don’t miss the blessing. There is a blessing in seeing God use you to serve Him and to serve others.

Key question number two, key question number two is: How can I serve and invest in others? This is a repeating question we are to be asking every week. We are asking you to be asking that question every week: how can I, not somebody else I’m thinking of in the church, but how can I serve and invest in others? Remember, we learn by doing; we learn by getting active. Sometimes part of the problem is we are ‘loitering,’ we’re not doing anything and then we wonder, Well, what does God want me to do? Well, one of the ways you learn is by getting active in some way.

I want to encourage you to grab one of these yellow cards that are in the seat back in front of you. If you did one before, you don’t have to do it again. It is just a way to begin to say, you know what, I would be interested in serving in some areas. We have eight different arenas there. I want to learn more about serving with, and you can circle all of the ones that apply. And then you could put the card in the buckets as you leave to go out the exit doors today. So, if you haven’t filled one of these out, I would encourage you to do that. It is just a way to say, you know what, I’m going to try some things, I want to get active.

I also would encourage you to go out in the Gathering Hall there and you will notice we have our Children’s Ministry wall out there with all kinds of opportunities to get involved. You’re not signing up for a decade of work. You are saying, I want to, for a short period of time, at least try some things out here. We have a tremendous Children’s Ministry. Maybe that’s the way you get your feet wet [start to participate] in serving Him. So, you can stop by and look at that ministry wall.

Key Assignment number one is to Ponder and Discuss your abilities and personality contrasts. Spend a little thinking about it. What are the natural abilities that God has given me? What are the acquired abilities that He has allowed me to have? What are some of my personality contrasts? Just ponder that some and pray about that, and even discuss it a little bit with your family or your spouse or your roommates. How does this give you insight into how God has designed you to serve Him and others?

Then, we have Key Assignment number two. I mentioned this last time, but this is important men and women, and that is to Give Others Affirmation, to give others affirmation. You know at least three times in the New Testament we are commanded to encourage one another. We need to do that more with one another, because sometimes people can’t really see themselves, how God has Divinely Designed them. They don’t really fully understand their S-H-A-P-E, so it is great to affirm one another.

When you see somebody who is effective in serving, you say to them: You are really good at that! Keep doing that! God has gifted you and designed you to do that. Or, even to say to somebody (you know of an opportunity over here) and you go, you would fit that really well. Bruce, you ought to consider looking into that, because I think you would do really well there.

 See, we need that from one another! It is part of the command of what we are to do. That is why we are a church family, you see. So, please Give Others Affirmation, give others affirmation. Tell them what they are good at; tell them what they would fit well and be effective at doing. Make sense? Sound like a good plan?

Alright, as we close, I want to go back to our fable, back to the fable. Here is the way that he concludes it. Swindoll says, “A duck is a duck. It is built to swim and to fly from one lake to another. They don’t run very well, and they can’t climb at all. If God made you a duck, don’t compare yourself to an eagle, just swim like mad and don’t get bent out of shape because you wobble when you run. Enjoy your uniqueness.

Rabbits have the ability to change speed and direction better than most other animals and that is a very desirable ability when you have a non-aggressive personality and want to stay alive in a hostile world. A squirrel is a squirrel, it is almost unchallenged in climbing because it was made for climbing. To expect a squirrel to swim or fly will drive a squirrel nuts. If you are an eagle saint, stop expecting the squirrel saints to soar or rabbit saints to build the same nest you do.

The moral of the story is simple: relax and enjoy your spiritual species. Cultivate (listen to this) your capabilities, your own style. Appreciate the members of your family or your fellowship for who they are, even though their outlook or style may be miles different from yours. Stop comparing.”

I might add: start encouraging. God has designed us with our unique gifts and abilities so that we can excel in serving Him and others. Men and women, we are Divinely Designed to serve God and others.

Let’s pray together. Father, we thank You so much for Your Word. We thank You for the encouragement we find in Your Word. We thank You for the truth that You have Divinely Designed us to serve You. You have had a plan and it involves shaping us to serve—our Spiritual Gifts, our Heart Passion, our Abilities, our Personality. May we be encouraged to see ourselves as it says we are: Your workmanship; Your handiwork; Your actual poem that You have developed in terms of the way that You have designed us to serve You. Father, deliver us from falling into the trap of being a loiterer around the church, rather than a laborer, both inside and outside the church—for Your honor, for Your glory, for the Savior who did all He did for us. Make us men and women who are effective for the honor of Jesus Christ and we pray these things in His name. Amen.

Questions for Reflection

Divinely Designed to Serve

Abilities/Personality (Part four)

1. Share about an acquired ability (a skill) that you have been able to cultivate. How did it happen?

2. Share also about an ability (either a natural ability or an acquired ability) that you have seen God use to serve and encourage others.

3. In Ephesians 2:10 Bruce pointed out that when Paul discusses “the good works that God prepared for us beforehand,” he goes on to say, “that we should walk in them.” The verb “walk” is in the subjunctive mood (yes, that’s technical language talk). 

It means it is not guaranteed that we will live them out. Why do you think Paul constructed the verse that way?  What are some reasons why we may NOT “walk in them?”

4. If God is truly sovereign, it only makes sense that the abilities we received when formed in our mother’s womb would be indicators of His will for us. Exodus 36 talks about individuals in whom the LORD has put skill. Why is it that people often cave to a self-perception that I have no ability to serve others?

5. Take advantage of the Personality Contrasts sheet you can find at wildwoodchurch.org/serve to gain some fresh concrete ideas of your personality. Is it easy or hard to realize God can and will use your personality when it comes to serving others?  Elaborate.

6. Share a time when someone with a complementary personality teamed up with you to accomplish a ministry task.

7. Wrestle some with the two Key Questions Bruce mentioned:  1) Am I currently serving the Lord and others?  2) How can I serve and invest in others?

8. Spend some time brainstorming about people you know to whom you can give affirmation regarding how you’ve seen God use them in ministering to others.

Personality Contrasts

(Circle the item on EACH Horizontal LINE that is most descriptive of you)

                                                          General Approach

Love to meet/greet new people                                             Love to read/analyze/reflect

Prefer – be around people                                                     Prefer – time alone

Prefer work with a team                                                         Prefer work one-on-one

Oriented to = those around me                                              Oriented to = what’s happening in    my world

Get energy more from – being around people                      Get energy more from – being alone

                                                            People vs. Projects

Right in middle of action – coordinate people                   Behind the scenes – help complete jobs

Primary focus = relational interaction w/ others                 Primary focus = task accomplishment

When doing task – focus = on relationships              When doing task – focus = on intended goal

Goal = maintaining the team                                             Goal = meeting the deadline


Quick to speak                                                                        Reflect before speak

Very open & emotional                                                          Restrain reactions/responses

Loud & direct                                                                          More quiet & intentional

                                                            Work/Task Environment

More Chaotic                                                                          More Calm

Juggle multiple balls                                                               One thing at a time

Enjoy new risks                                                                       Prefer routine

Relish fresh obstacles                                                             Prefer predictability

Enjoy pioneering & promoting                                               Enjoy managing & thinking

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