Notes from the talk by my friend Dave Holden who brought his tremendous teaching gift to us at LAUNCH North and serves with me in the international team for Living On The Edge as Master Trainer. He worked with Rick Warren for decades and this talk shows something of the influence Rick had on him as Dave then took Purpose Driven Principles to 84 nations.

Spiritual gifts – and who you are

God made you wonderfully unique. Your life is not an accident, and the experiences are not just accidents because of what you learned.

Sometimes churches put people in the strangest places just to fill a gap. But that leads to the wrong people in the wrong place with the wrong attitude for the wrong reason!

You’re not in this church by accident.

Scripture says you’re a living stone in what God is building. Now Dave figured out, if the stones could speak, what would they say? We can do a lot better if we get to know people and help them figure out which part they are meant to play. How can we do that in a way tailored to you?

One little old lady told him, “I’m just a little toenail in the body.” I said “Yes, but if you lose a toenail in the body it hurts!”

We need you, and you need to find out what’s your S.H.A.P.E.


Spiritual Gifts

Some people say there are 35. I think there are thousands of ways the Lord uses us, now we are saved. When the Spirit comes, you get gifts – to build the Body. Giving, serving, worship? You can take an online quiz for that, (eg Living On The Edges’ – free) and that can be helpful, but those things are standardized, and there are no standard people. The thing to do is get serving someone somewhere. Do some ministry, then try another. It’s okay to leave one ministry as long as you go and then serve someone somewhere. That’s how we become Christlike – the servant King. We must have a ministry. Discern it. Mine is a teaching gift. But it comes when you test it and try it and use it.


your heart, is all about who you are not just what you do. You have a unique voiceprint, ear lobe, fingerprint. God loves variety! There are 360,000 varieties of Beatle – John, Paul, Ringo. Your heartbeat is unique. I might have a gift of teaching but my heart would be to teach leaders, what do you love to do? Do what you love to do! God loves that!

If I can help you find what you love, you will never want to quit!


Eph 2 says that before you were born, God equipped you for your destiny. Some have musical ability, a green thumb, art and crafts, there are various lists in scripture from people God used. You have hundreds of abilities. Play a trumpet, swim, juggle. What are your abilities? Now I might think ‘I’m never going to be a great singer’ but then others tell me I have a beautiful voice. the question is who will I devote my abilities to serve?

It happened to a young lady and she started to sing more, and this person, the people were moved. And she could get a recording contract but says no, “I’m here to do that in the church.”

But another says ‘Yes’ to the record deal, and before long she gets the big houses and cars and the 4 husbands, and then drowns in the bath. Whitney Houston.

What God gives you is his gift to you, what you do with your gifts is your gift back to him.

Dave Holden


We are all weird in different ways! So which is the best personality for God to use?


Whether you are extrovert or introvert, it doesn’t matter. It will fit a ministry, if you will find a place to serve others and get the focus off yourself.


Your life experiences have been designed in such a way God can use them.

Some of us grew up in happy homes. Others not.

Some had working class jobs. Others went higher and further in education.

If I asked everyone here ‘How did Jesus make himself real in your life?’ We would hear such individual stories.

And your experience of pain is unique.

And God never wastes them, if you will put all the broken pieces in your life together and offer them back he will bring it back together, and then he can use it to help someone else.

Who is best to help someone struggling than you because you lost a child, because you struggled but were victorious with alcohol?

Will you find your SHAPE and serve the church, the community and the Lord? It’s never too late to step into your ministry. You have a gift. Do what you love for the God you love. 

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