The best work I can do and love

Experimenting. Exploring. Ideating (brainstorming). Strategizing. These are the things I love doing and am great at doing. If you (or someone you know) would like my services in any of these areas, please do contact me so we can discuss how I could be of valuable help.

Now, the back story.

Much of my life has been trying to figure out what I was created to do and what I’m best at doing. It’s been a lot of trial and error, transitioning between many jobs and careers. Over the years I’ve become better at matching what I get paid to do and what I love to do. (Please don’t misunderstand: this isn’t about bragging nor venting my frustration.)

One thing has helped me the most. I recently discovered my “GodShape” with Angela Ferraro. Angela has a very valuable ministry at Sandals Church called the GodShape process, where she discerns and describes one’s unique God-given shape. I’d even say she has a kind of anointing and gift for synthesizing one’s personal narrative (story) through interviews and several common assessments (like Myers-Briggs and StrengthsFinder).

And, when a person operates in his/her unique GodShape (gifts & skills, desires & passions), that’s his/her best contribution to the world. Why the world isn’t better place, and why the Church is crippled from being all it could be, is people not operating in their GodShape. Implication: too many are in a bad fit.

What’s my GodShape? Here’s the first rough draft, very tentatively worded: “An idea scientist on a playground lab who provokes breakthroughs to a new ideal, flourishing state.”

Not exactly an easy find for a job opening. Thus my dilemma in crafting the words for what I should be paid to do, especially in this season of transition. Will you help me articulate it better?

The drawing at right illustrates my GodShape and my story. I’d worked within the box (shaded gray) where job descriptions were clear and specific, and I had skills to do those things. But to do just that, I’m drained and not energizing. (Not to mention the many things I don’t do well.) The action verbs (in blue + green) within the circle are things I do that better match my gifts and passions, but that’s not the ultimate fit. I do those things as a means to the end of finding the breakthrough solutions (strategies) for an individual or an organization. Then I’d be better off to hand off the solutions for others to run & implement.

(Aside: since I have an unconventional shape, common assessments don’t work for me, because those tests put you into statistically common categories and types. They don’t account for exceptions and anomalies.)

Thank you Angela! Now, I have my answer to nagging questions like, “If money were no object, what would you do?” or “What do you see yourself doing in 3 years?”

In an ideal world where money didn’t matter, I would love to collaborate and experiment to find new ways of doing things, be it in the church and non-profit realms, and even in the for-profit world.

But, we live in the real world, where money does matter. I haven’t figured out how to explain my best role and work value and contribution. And then, to package and present it as services that people would hire me to do. Am I onto something or way off-base?

There’s much more to consider in using my GodShape in a vocational context, about which I’ll blog as time permits. I’ll pause here, and invite your feedback.

[update] Get more info about GodShape by emailing Angela via at angela[at]


6 responses to “The best work I can do and love”

  1. DJ – Love this post! For me, you’ve been pastor, connector, encourager and leader. To put you in a box is hard because you are widely skilled. I hope, and pray you find the right fit soon. You know God is clearing the way, and directing you there. I know He uses you all the time, and has a perfect plan in store for your ‘sweet spot’.

    I am also going through a self-discovery journey. (Happens when you don’t collect a paycheck). I can’t wait to see what God is preparing me for!

  2. DJ, just looking over the illustration, the term “Imagineer” comes to mind…

  3. @Mary Beth – thanks for your comment and very kind words!

    @Anna – thanks for the cool title! Let me see what I can conjure up with that imagineering… 🙂

  4. Dawn Carter aka @decart Avatar
    Dawn Carter aka @decart

    L-o-v-e that you’re sharing your journey of discovering your GodShape with us! I so appreciate Angela’s giftedness in discerning with her clients what “makes them most energized & alive.” So often the body of Christ pushes people into roles, rather than celebrating their beauty.

    I love it that my GodShape (bridge builder and connector) gets to connect my Sandals Church and IdeaCamp peeps. Whoo hoo!


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