LET’S STOP TAKING INVENTORIES AND JUST START SERVING
If you are a ministry leader recruiting volunteers, or a church volunteer trying to find your spot, learn why inventories might hurt more than they help.
SPIRITUAL GIFTS INVENTORIES, PERSONALITY TESTS, & PASSION ASSESSMENTS
Churches use an endless numbers of assessments today.
- Questionnaires helping us discover our spiritual gifts
- Inventories telling us where our strengths lie
- Tests revealing our personality types
- And quizzes guiding us to find our passions
From on-line assessments that take a few minutes to 12-week studies filled with stories, scriptures, and expounding. We are not at a loss for cool tools!
But would Jesus have used them?
What Would Jesus Do
Jesus called the disciples to follow Him. To meet needs around them. To help the helpless, serve the needy, and make disciples. He said, “Jump in.”
Although clearly we are created uniquely with varying gifts and styles …
Throughout history, God frequently called His people to places unwanted. Missions way beyond gift mix. Tasks not matched to personality.
While it’s true that Jesus didn’t have access to the amazing tools we have today – spiritual gifts inventories, personality tests, and passion assessments – I wonder, would He have used them if He did?
REASONS TO LOVE THE COOL TOOLS
Before you break out in hives, I absolutely love inventories and assessments. I can confidently tell you how I rate.
Here’s me: I’m a 3 wing 2, ENTJ, Lion, High D with result-oriented pattern, Enterprising Crocodile. I’m gifted in Shepherding, Serving, Exhortation, and Administration. I am also an Activator, an Achiever, and a Relator.
Years ago, a pastor and mentor of mine told me that this life is all about 3 Things:
- Knowing God
- Knowing Ourselves
- and Knowing Others
And I think assessments and inventories shed a lot of light on Thing 2: Knowing Ourselves.
But, when assessments and inventories become reasons why we don’t serve, why we are unwilling, or why we don’t feel capable, that’s where we go wrong.
While I have lots to share about Personality Assessments and Spiritual Gifts Inventories, in this post, I want to talk about Passion.
Here’s the big caution:
Most people don’t have a singular area of passion. And we are not supposed to.
WHAT’S YOUR PASSION?
Have you been asked, “What is your passion?” People in Christian churches today usually respond to this question in 1 of 2 ways.
Eyes brighten and a smile spreads. Followed by excited conversation about a singular area of passion: the problem they want to solve or the people they want to love.
A blank exasperated stare. Followed by, “I know I should have one, but I don’t.” With more unspoken questions in their hearts: “What’s wrong with me?” “Why don’t I have a passion?” and “Why can’t I figure it out?”
Our society today talks a lot about finding your passion. Your one true call. What questions keep you up at night? What one problem do you want to solve in the world?
The problem is, most people don’t have just one.
In our well-meaning attempts to help people discover their passion, we end up alienating the majority of disciples who really don’t have one single area of focus.
Where did that ideal come from anyway? That we are supposed to have one passion? It’s definitely not from the Bible.
Jesus obviously cared about the sick. About children. About the lost. About discipleship. And more. Paul clearly was known as an evangelist, but also deeply cared about discipleship. Issues of poverty. Sound doctrine. The widows. And the orphans.
So, if you don’t have one area of passion, you are in really good company! Instead of focusing on what is your passion AREA, let’s look at the core of the word.
THE DEFINITION OF PASSION
Passion means strong emotion.
Fuel for the fire.
Fervor that evokes action.
Are we called to DO ONE THING or are we just CALLED?
Instead of searching for one elusive area of passion, let’s talk about being CALLED. And I don’t mean what you are “called” to do. I just mean BEING CALLED.
Whether you realize it or not, if you are a Christ-follower you are Called by God to advance His Kingdom. To be a light. To impact your circle of influence.
Introvert or extrovert, ENTJ or INFP. Gold or Green. 3 wing 2 or 7 wing 6. Loyal Golden Retriever or Fun-Loving Otter. It doesn’t matter your personality type, your gift mix, your skills or experience. You are called. That’s it. Just CALLED.
This is not a question. This is truth.
You Are CHOSEN
You are not here by accident. You are not even reading this page by chance!
The God of all Creation who knows you by name, CHOSE you.
If that in itself does not evoke emotion, there is something wrong with the picture. You are ordained by God to be a light in this world.
So Serve Where You Are
And Serve Well. For as long as you are part of that ministry and beyond.
Sometimes we try out ministry areas and they are not a “forever fit.” And God uses it to teach us much – and often deep things, if we are listening. So be open, learn, and love. But through it all, serve well.
I read recently that people who feel “called” are more committed than people who see themselves as “volunteers.” Of course we are! Because being CALLED is our identity. It doesn’t change. And it isn’t up to us – it’s up to our Creator.
Volunteering, on the other hand, is a choice. We can opt in. Or opt out. So, quit thinking of yourself as volunteering to fill a spot. Instead, take a deep breath and know you are CALLED. It’s truth. It’s joy.
And it’s an amazing honor: to be CALLED by the one who holds the universe in His hands.
And this is where our passion lies. This is WHY we serve.
SO JUMP IN AND START SERVING!
Join a ministry team at your church. Check out community organizations that run food banks in your area. Don’t wait for an invitation to serve. You don’t need one. You’ve already been called. By the Creator Himself!