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 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 Vahiria Kei, NZPUC Discipleship Ministries assistant.
Kick-started by Pastor Victor Kulakov, NZPUC Discipleship Ministries leader, 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 lives personally. Psalm 139:13 says, ‘[God] knit me together in my mother’s 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 Pastor Victor Kulakov, AUC Personal Ministries, Sabbath School, and Stewardship director, 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 Pastor Glenn Townend, South Pacific Division president.
Discover Your SHAPE is available online and also for local churches to do the course face to face.