Do you want to unlock the gifts of your congregation and help them to become more confident of using them in God’s service? In one small church in the diocese, half the regular congregation (14 from usual Sunday attendance of 25-30) enthusiastically opted in to the SHAPE course.


SHAPE was first developed by Amiel Osmaston, Ministry Development Officer for the Diocese of Carlisle. It is offered free, with permission to adapt the materials to your church’s situation. Over 6 2-hour sessions, the course covers:

Spiritual Gifts

Heart’s Desire





It includes input from the course leader(s), practical exercises, discussion and application to each person’s situation. It is a way of enabling people to talk deeply about their vocation in a supportive environment.


Dr Anne Tomlinson, Ministry Development Officer in the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway, writes:

“The reasons I keep recommending SHAPE to people are:


It speaks to congregations in a language they can understand, and it works well with small congregations.

It aims to help people grow in their Christian discipleship in every area of their lives. This is about mission and God’s Kingdom, not merely about ‘doing things in church’.

It is very approachable. The way it begins with what is easiest for people to access (their own experience) is very helpful.”

Elizabeth Jordan, Lay Education and Training Adviser in the Diocese of Chelmsford writes:

“This course is an excellent way to get to know members of the congregation. A church member said to me, ‘I think the most important thing for a new incumbent to do is to be interested in people as people, not as doers of jobs for the church.’ SHAPE does this admirably.”


David Keen, a rural vicar writes:

“One result of the course was a number of people enthusiastically getting stuck in to new areas of ministry: from pastoral work to youth and children, to making cups of tea and coffee. For others, you could see the lights going on as they realised that what they did in their workplace day to day was a God-given talent and could be done in his service.”

For a fuller description of the course on the Germinate website of the Arthur Rank Centre click here.

To download the course material from the Germinate website, click here