The SHAPE of the Church
developed by Robert J. Young
Note: Some of the materials on this page reflect The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren (Zondervan, 1995). These materials were developed after study of that work, with additional reflections.
The Shape of a Christian is determined by--
- Spirituality/Spiritual gifts
The Shape of a Christian begins with the foundation and builds upward.
Consider the elements of our "shape" in reverse order.
- E--Experiences provide more knowledge to help us know how to be Christian.
- P--Personality reflects the character and commitment necessary to be Christian.
- A--Abilities reflect the capacity to live as a Christian.
- H--Heart is the conviction that one should be Christian.
- S--Spiritual gifts define and provide the resources necessary to be Christian. Putting this as foundational suggests ultimate dependence upon God.
Questions of "shape" may also be applied to the church. The congregational body of Christ in every location is also a mixture of spiritual gifts, abilities, heart, personality, and shared experiences. Building upon an awareness of these dynamics, every church must ask whether it is structured for control or structured for growth.
Every Christian and every church should be involved in--
- Mission into this World
- Magnifying God
- Membership in the Body
- Maturing as a Christian
- Ministering as Christ's presence
These may also be characterized as--
These involve the following--
My witness (testimony and outreach)
My "with"ness in the lives of others (fellowship)
My walk with God (nurturing and discipleship)
My work (serving and ministry)
These describe my efforts to--
- reach out
- reach up
- reach around me
- reach within me
- reach deep within others by integrating the above four dynamics above
Last updated May 9, 2008.