As you consider your leadership skills and qualifications for ministry, don’t forget those qualities that are harder to quantify. Think through your life so far and how God has shaped you. How did you forge your ministry principles and values? Even the negative things in your life will be a part of shaping you for ministry. What was God doing during the difficult and challenging times? How was he preparing you? What are the significant events, circumstances and people who have shaped you?

That word of correction from a 6th grade teacher, the pressure to achieve, an influential Sunday school teacher… all of these events and people can become a part of shaping who you are and helping you see God’s perspective on things. A greater understanding of your past positions you to figure out where God wants you to go in the future. God prepares people to serve him by working in their previous circumstances and relationships.

Optional exercise:  Read the following biblical passages, then record your thoughts about God’s preparation in these leaders’ lives in one or two paragraphs for each of them. Be sure to consider both positive and negative circumstances, their relationships, major events, etc. Describe how events, people, circumstances, gifting, temperament, successes, failures, etc. were factors in their preparation for God’s call on their lives.

1. The story of David from his anointing as king to his ascension to kingship. (I Samuel 16 and following)

2. The story of Peter in the Gospels (John 1:40-42, Matthew 14:22-23, Mark 9:2-8, Matthew 16:13-23, Matthew 17:24-27, Luke 22:31-34, John 13:36- 38, John 18:10-29, John 21:1-19)

3. The story of John Mark (Acts 12:12, 12:25, 13:4-5, 13:13, 15:36-40, 2 Timothy 4:11)

4. The story of Paul (Acts 7:54-8:3, Acts 9, Galatians 1:13-24, Philippians 3:4-11)