Special Function Questionnaire

The purpose of this questionnaire is to help you find your special function. That is the need that most of us have. However, it may also help you clarify your special function further, even if you have already found it.

You can think of your special function as having two aspects. The first is that there is some essential strength you have that allows you to contribute to the lives of others. This essential patterns shows up in different forms throughout your life, as a focus of outward expression, desire, or fulfillment and meaning. The other aspect is that the Holy Spirit takes this essential pattern and designs for it a specific package, one that allows you to channel this essential strength in the perfect direction for you, those you will serve, and your particular setting in time and space.

There are ways to help you identify the first aspect. But the second aspect has to be revealed to you by the Holy Spirit (in one form or another). You can’t second-guess it.

This questionnaire has as its main purpose identifying that first aspect. However, it also has questions pertaining to the second. That being said, there is no formula for finding your special function. It does not show up on demand. And when it does, it is often (but not always) a surprise.

I have drawn these questions from the process of working with various individuals in relation to their functions. Many of them are inspired by some particular person. Therefore, don’t expect that all of them will be useful for you. Some won’t, and some, hopefully, will. Also, there is some repetition, in that some questions approach the same issue from slightly different angles. My thanks to Gerry Hofstra for his contributions to these questions.

A suggestion: It might be helpful to find someone you trust to talk your answers over with, someone who knows you and your history well and knows how others respond to you.

Finally, this questionnaire will probably take a good chunk of time. It could take anywhere from 45 minutes to a few hours. No one is saying, of course, that you have to do it. However, if you do feel a strong desire to know your special function, this may be some of the best time you can spend. Does it get any more important than finding out what you are here for?

Here are the questions. It is essential that you write down your answers. When you are done, I suggest hanging onto it and re-reading it, say, a year from now.

  1. Is there some way in which you long to serve others, and have tried to serve others in different forms throughout your life?
  2. How do you feel most fulfilled in contributing to the lives of others?
  3. What kinds of needs do you feel drawn to serve? What sorts of people do you take under your wing?
  4. For what kind of help do people generally call on you?
  5. Is there a role that others want to see you in and are attracted to you in, even if you yourself don’t feel entirely at ease in it?
  6. What do you see as your greatest strengths?
  7. What do you think others value as your greatest strengths?
  8. If you set aside any sense of false humility, any fear that you are being arrogant, if you are simply being absolutely honest with yourself, what is your greatest strength?
  9. Have you been drawn to study certain subjects or learn certain skills that may relate to your special function? What subjects or skills do you think might relate?
  10. Do you have any unusual abilities that, because of their unconventional nature, you may be reluctant to admit you have? If so, what are they? Could these possibly be the basis for your special function?
  11. Do you have a lifelong dream of doing something that contributes to the lives of others, the betterment of humanity, or the salvation of the world?
  12. Is there some part of you that feels deeply sacred but is perhaps afraid to express itself?
  13. Is there some role you secretly long to fulfill but feel inadequate to carry out?
  14. Is there a role that you feel a deep connection with, but have been holding at arm’s length, running away from, or trying to tell yourself is impractical or that you don’t have time for?
  15. Can you think of some need in the world that you see as crying out to be met, that you want to see met more than most people do, and yet it seems like there is hardly anyone around trying to meet it? (Feel free to list more than one such need.)
  16. What sort of essential gift do you find yourself wanting to give to people? In other words, what sort of mental or emotional state do you want to bring them to? Consider especially the people whose pain your heart naturally goes out to.
  17. Is there someone out there doing his or her role whose work deeply touches you and stirs some corresponding element in you? Who is it? What exactly about this person’s role stirs you?
  18. Have you had any deeply meaningful holy encounters with people in which you gave and they received? Write down brief titles of as many as you can. Do you see some essence or pattern to these encounters?
  19. Have you had any pivotal spiritual experiences that might point to your special function? Write down brief titles for the experiences and then what they might indicate about your special function.
  20. Have you ever felt led by higher guidance to make some kind of contribution to the lives of others? What kind(s) of contributions?
  21. Have you had any experiences that you considered true, unmistakable guidance (regardless of what they were about)? If so, and you assume they contained hints about your special function, what would those hints indicate?
  22. Have you had any guidance that more or less directly relates to your special function (and you may have overlooked, dismissed, or forgotten)? If so, what did it say?
  23. Have you felt, at any time in your life, that you had a calling? If so, what was it?
  24. Is there some form of serving others in which you feel the presence of God?
  25. Are there interactions with people in which you experience certain qualities or abilities that don’t seem to be there under usual circumstances?
  26. Do you feel that you are perhaps unusually in touch with a deep need in people that most others do not sufficiently appreciate or even see? If so, how would you describe that need?
  27. Have you had an inspired or recurring image of a future or ideal you (that seems like more than mere fantasy)? What is this ideal you doing?
  28. Is there a gift you have been dying to give the world for a long time, a gift you want to give before you leave this earth?

Now read back over your answers and write down any recurring patterns you see. This may take some time. If you end up with multiple separate threads, that’s OK. But once you have written down any patterns you find, try to pull them all into a single picture. Try to boil them down to their essence.

In this final process, please consider seeking out someone you trust, and see if together you can get clear on what the patterns or overall pattern might be.

Finally, write out a prayer (it can be quite brief), in which you signify your deep desire and willingness to find your special function, and ask God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit to help you find it.