Where Our Greatest Joys Meet the World’s Needs: SHAPE Assessment

by Ben Garrett

Frederick Buechner once said, “Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world's greatest need.” While that sentiment is relatable, many of us go through life wondering how we can actually put it into practice. Figuring out our joys, passions, and skills and where those fit in the world can feel like an overwhelming task.

EIRO uses a tool called SHAPE to help individuals and congregations identify their skills and interests. SHAPE then helps people recognize how their specific skills can be used for the good of others. SHAPE stands for Spiritual Gifts, Heart Passions, Abilities, Personality Profile, and Experiences. You can see why we use an acronym!

SHAPE helps a church leader learn how to best mobilize their congregation by identifying the skills and interests of their congregation. Using SHAPE with a full congregation reveals strengths of the group as a whole, creating a unique asset map of one specific church.

With this asset map, leaders are able to more easily identify common interests among their team to help guide vision and collaboration. Rather than relying on anecdotal evidence or the preferences of their most vocal members, pastors and leaders have a concrete, full picture of the unique capabilities, gifts, and interests that the congregation brings to the table. This can lead to quicker, easier mobilization of the congregation into action.

With SHAPE as a guide, individuals are also able to learn about their strengths and gifts, then become aware of opportunities to serve in the areas they care about.

As EIRO uses this tool in Tucker, we are able to match people from different organizations and congregations with similar interests and passions, who can work together for bigger impact.

Here's an example question from SHAPE:

SHAPE offers benefits, growth and knowledge to all who take it. Our hope is that it will be utilized by individuals, congregations, and organizations throughout our community so we may become more aware of our gifts and the best ways to share them. If you are interested in using SHAPE, please contact us at ben@joineiro.com.