Friday, June 18, 2010

Ascension Gifts

The ascension gifts are not spiritual things that are given to people, like the gifts in 1 Cor 12. They are people that God gives to each church. Each church needs all each of these types of people.

Apostles like to start new things and go new places. They are not so good at dealing with people problems. If people change quickly and get going, that is fine. However, apostles get frustrated with people who need a lot of time to get back on track, because they are already wanting to move on to the next new thing. That is why they need to be working with pastors, who love doing this people stuff.

These principles work in business too. A business will often be started by one person, but to keep going long term they need four different types of leadership. The business founder (apostle) will be keen to more on to breaking into new markets and launching new products. “Don’t worry about the details, we will sort that out later”. They need an accountant/legal type (prophet) to sort out the details and keep them from crossing boundaries. To grow rapidly, they will need someone to do the marketing/sales(evangelist). They also need someone to do the HR/people management stuff that the business founder cannot be bothered about.

Some workplaces have used the DISC profile for personal development stuff. It puts people into four categories. There are other versions using dog breeds, etc, that are similar. I have always been intrigued by they way these categories parallel the ascension gifts.

  • Dominance/lion/ apostle loves making decisions and wants to get things done.
  • Influence/otter/evangelist makes lots of noise and loves working with other.
  • Steadiness/Labrador/pastor works with people and keeps the ship steady.
  • Conscientious/beaver/prophet wants stuff to be right. They get the details sorted out.
These are categories are not a perfect match, but they do show how a leadership team needs to be balanced.

I have noticed that secular organisations are often better than Churches at harnessing the creative energies that emerge when these very different personalities work together in a team. Churches usually put one person in charge, and everyone has to dance to his tune. Real growth comes when very different leaders can work together, because they have committed to love each other.


David said...

Amen. I have written about many of these things as well. The pulpit has become and icon for church, and the others portion of the ministry are neglected - and so out of balance.

Great snapshot of leadership that will be effective in a home church or larger.

Gene said...

This is very good. I like the DISC thought.