Other Updates:

Reflections on Leading a GRIP Team Process

Introducing Discerning Direction Together

5 Reasons to Attend Set in Motion

Dissecting the Dotted Diamond

Resilience in Ministry

The Allure of Structure


by Dave Lewis


I sat each week listening to our pastor present a series of talks on Spiritual Gifts. As he unpacked the gifts and their importance to fulfilling our calling as a church community, I thought of the common question most Christians have, “How do I know what my spiritual gift is?”  In response, I approached the pastor and told him about the GRIP spiritual gifts assessment, adding that I would be happy to lead the church through the GRIP assessment. He agreed and a date was set.  Time frame was negotiated:  I had asked for 2 ½ – 3 hours; He gave me 2 hours!  Good news to remember though, God never runs out of time.

We advertised the event and had 38 people sign up.  I had done some GRIP-Birkman events with our son who is also a GRIP-Birkman coach, and invited him to team teach the event with me.  When the people gathered with their reports with them, we had them sit at tables while we went through a brief overview of the GRIP report, high-lighting the 3 languages of the report.  We unpacked how they functioned both as individuals and together as a church community in fulfilling the mission of Jesus.  We then invited interaction around this question, “How has seeing your gift-mix in the three languages (gift language, team language and body building language) been helpful in understanding your spiritual gifts?”

We moved next to the floor exercise where people gathered around sheets placed on the floor for each gift.  A number of the gifts had several people standing at them, so we decided to have the people in each ‘gift group’ share among themselves by having one person read the gift definition and then each person in the group tell where they had seen evidence of God producing fruitfulness, joy and power through the exercise of their spiritual gift.  We encouraged others in the group to express words of affirmation while each person shared.  We ended the floor exercise by asking the whole group, “Where do you see the Spirit at work in shaping you to fulfill the mission of the church?” (The pastor had given the Mission Statement of the church).  This was followed by asking, “What is missing or needs strengthening?”

Due to time constraints, we combined the interaction around the Team Styles and Body Building Roles.  First, we had groups gather according to their Team Style – each group made up of the same Team Style.  One of the group members read the definition of the Team Style represented in the group.  Discussion was held around these questions – “What does your team style tell you about what you bring to a team setting?” and “How does your body building role impact how your team style is expressed?”

Next, we had people gather together in teams with each of the team styles represented.  Within these diverse teams they were tasked with forming 1 or 2 strategic initiatives for pursuing a vision goal that the church staff and leaders had established.  As they worked on this directive, they were asked to watch for how the interaction of the group was shaped by the various team styles and body building roles.  As facilitators, we were more concerned about the teams identifying how the various team styles and body building roles shaped their interaction than formulating strategic initiatives.  When the allotted time was up, each team shared their experiences in working on the initiative.  It was interesting to hear them acknowledge their need of the various team styles in moving forward on the assignment.

We wrapped the evening up with these questions and next steps.

Reflection Questions

  1. What did you find most helpful from this exercise?
  2. What new insights popped for you?
  3. Take 5 minutes of personal reflection as you discern what God would have you take as your next step and record on your report.

What’s Next?

  • Revisit your report and write your personalize spiritual gifts statement (We had given an example of this in our presentation but didn’t have time to allow them to craft a statement)
    • Begin with your gift type – equipping or supporting
    • Using your primary gift as a focus, build around it using statements that reflect the rest of your top gifts. Capture the intent rather than worrying about using the exact words.
  • Consider submitting your GRIP report to the church office for future reference.

It was a strong foundational couple of hours together to advance a really important conversation for our church.  Below is a response by the Lead Pastor on the event.

Our church recently took part in a GRIP spiritual gifts workshop.  Our facilitators did a great job walking us through understanding the material from our personalized gift assessments.

Highlights were the practical exercises.  First, we were split up according to our primary, then secondary gifts.  We were able to see the diversity of gifts included amongst our group, and representative of our larger church body.  We were taught how the Equipping gifts work together with the Supporting gifts in order to ensure effective ministry in the church. 

The final group exercise had us organized so that all the team styles were present in each group.  We then considered ways in which we could fulfill the stated mission of our church.  It was enjoyable to have a strategic conversation with people you wouldn’t necessarily normally work with these matters.  The only potential drawback to this exercise would be ending up with a plethora of ideas that we (the church staff leadership) may not draw on.  Perhaps such “blue sky” organizational visioning is better reserved for select groups (i.e. staff/leadership teams). 

Overall, it was an excellent workshop.  I have heard many positive comments from participants. 

If you would like to reach out to Dave to find out more about his experience, email him here.

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