Tuesday, September 26, 2006

How to take the S.H.A.P.E.

Just imagine if you knew the serving sweet spot of every member!
As an added bonus, a free code is available in the back of Erik’s new book, S.H.A.P.E.: Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose. Take a sample of the test today by logging onto
www.yourservingsweetspot.com and enter bookcode pdc19285.
(www.purposedriven.com advertisement for Erik Rees' new book S.H.A.P.E.: Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose) [bold & red in original]


Before you take this test, consider the following questions:

1. Who is scoring this test? What company? What agency? What entity? How are the scores being scored and databanked?

2. Who truly constructed this test? Under what auspices, contract, agency, etc.? For what general and specific purposes?

3. Who owns these scores? What will be done with these results? Are these results being sold? If so, to whom and for what purpose?

4. Are there contractors and/or subcontractors who have access to these scores? If so, whom?

5. To what other commercial, governmental or ecclesiastical entities are these scores provided and for what purpose?

6. Is there a personal identifier that marks this test as your score? If so, how will you be monitored? What kind of follow-up will you experience? Do you mind many people seeing your personal scores?

7. How has this test been normed? Were the various versions of this test the past several years being used as part of a research project to construct this test? Is there statistical Reliability? Validity?

8. Are these test results being used for research purposes? If so, for what purpose? For what agency or entity? What is the long-term goal of such research? Is it to "shape" evangelical culture?

9. Does the test actually measure (assess) what it purports to measure? That is, "your personal blend of Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences."

10. Are things of the Holy Spirit measurable by human psychological and sociological methods, which are imprecise and variable?

11. Is this test free of cultural, theological, ethnic, age, handicap and gender bias? Or, does it discriminate against those who are of a different culture, race, gender, handicap, life situation, age, economic class, or who hold more traditional beliefs?

12. Does this test contribute to the promulgation or perpetuation of an American upper middle class white evangelical Christian culture?

13. What are the test's true underlying assumptions about 1) the nature of man and 2) the nature of God? Can a tool devised according to humanistic psychology, which has its own underlying assumptions which run counter to biblical Christianity, truly be an effective measurement of gifts of the Holy Spirit?

14. Does this test penalize creative and unique Christian individuals who may not fall within its pre-set categories and criteria?

15. Does this test stereotype certain attributes, traits, abilities, aptitudes and talents? If so, how and for what purpose?

16. Does this test represent an attempt to create national and/or international standards and norms for Christian personality? For Christian service?

17. Are there embedded "threshold" questions in this test?

18. Is this test a vocational interest inventory type personality assessment? Does it measure and identify occupational groups whose interests and attitudes the individual shares most closely, thus becoming a way to classify personalities?

19. Is this test a spiritualized placement test to classify people into their "sweet spots" -- i.e., "zones," "regions" or "precincts" (Max Lucado's words)?

20. Does taking this test help to promote the dominionist "advancing the kingdom of God on earth" theology? Can you support that agenda? The promotional literature states that it will:

-- Unlock your God-given potential
-- Uncover your specific kingdom purpose
-- Unfold a kingdom plan for your life

And it also states that:

"…Rees shows you how to uncover God’s most powerful and effective means of advancing his kingdom on earth…"

21. Does the test promise more than it can deliver? The same promotional literature claims that you will "discover the path to a life of unimagined purpose, impact, and fulfillment" and that you will gain" confidence, freedom, clarity, and significance that can only come from your Creator."

22. If you don't gain what this test promised, and still feel unfulfilled, will you be tempted to visit the http://shaperesources.com/shape.htm webpage and read from these troubling resources?

23. What if your life purpose is not defined, measured, prescribed, or covered by the content of this test? What if you don't fit into the "box" or "zone"? Does that mean God isn't using you or that you aren't doing Christian service? Will you be "remediated" until you conform?

24. Can you do Christian service in your church, family or community without taking this psychological placement test? If not, why? Is this test a "passport" to Christian service?

25. Have you read Chapter 11 about the S.H.A.P.E. -- "Personality Profiling" -- in James Sundquist's Who's Driving the Purpose Driven Church? If not, there are hundreds more unanswered questions in those pages.

The Truth:

"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: He is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; the Rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times; you people, pour our your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us. Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity." (Psalm 62:5-9)