God’s gifts (capabilities, part 2)

Tags: personal, faith, capabilities

In quite a number of christian environments, there's some attention to God's gifts (Dutch: gaventest ). The basic idea is that God gives every human being certain capabilities. In practice, this theory fully focuses on the use of those gifts for church activities. In general, I think they're way less researched than the belbin/enneagram type of personal capabilities theories.

Anyway, I'm including this test (which we did recently with a small bible study group) here as it does give some background. In the (Dutch) test I did, there were 24 categories. I'm including my top 5. The first two ones are the highest scores, 3 till 5 are a little bit below those.

  • Computer capabilities (vakmanschap). Definitively not included in the bible, but the test apparently placed great responsibility in the hands of those individuals that could either tame a computer or handle financials. Well, of course I scored major points here.
  • Knowledge (kennis). Gathering knowledge and information and being able to pass it along to others. Yep, this actually fits. People look at our (my plus Annie's) bookcases in the living room and are pretty impressed. Ahem, the other half is upstairs :-) At work, I regularly pass along handy blog entries or mailinglist posts to possibly interested colleagues. On the churchy side: once a month, I get to amuse the 11+12 year olds at sunday school. For that, I often do quite a lot of research. I show maps. I grab video fragments off the internet. I search for photos. All to make the subject of that week more palatable and remindable for the kids.
  • Serving (dienen). Basically behind-the-scenes work. Setting up the chairs. Brewing coffee. Cleaning up afterwards. Making minutes. Yes, I really don't mind.
  • DIY handiness (handvaardigheid). I already mentioned sunday school. I'm the only man at our church that does that. Three times a year, there's a special longer-running project (christmas, easter, pentecost). Sometimes, some special prop needs to be made out of some pieces of wood or so. Wild panic ensues at the meeting at which that becomes clear. Until I tell the rest that I'm prepared to build it. I get to duck all the rest of the work and responsibility, provided I get cracking with a hammer and a saw. No kidding. I'm not that handy, but relatively... Stereotypes...
  • Teaching (onderricht). I can be terribly unclear when explaining things. I've got a lot I'd like to say and sometimes the sentences get a bit long... But I bloody well don't shy away from explaining some things to 11 year old youngsters. Or reading some bible verses out loud in a church service. Whether 3 or 300 people, I don't mind. 30k neither, probably. One thing that's mentioned as crucial in the "God's gifts test": honesty/real-ness. You gotta be real. You've got to be honest and open when you teach. Regarding most topics, I don't mind being open and honest. I don't mind listing my top 5 gifts here in public, so take that as proof :-)

This might sound like I'm pounding my own chest, but remember there were 24 gifts in this test and I've only listed 5. I'm not a visionary. You shouldn't entrust me with caring for really really hurt caring souls. I'm not much of a (monetary) giver. Encouraging others structurally? Neither. Etcetera :-)

Part of my personal capabilities series.

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My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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