Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Church Governance (22)

The giftings described in Ephesians 4 are observable in the business world. A business will often be started by one person with boldness and zeal, but to keep going long term it needs 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.

The problem in the business world is that the Christian concept of loving one another is not natural. Accordingly, one of the giftings will tend to dominate the others. Unbalanced leadership is a common cause of business failure.

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 illustrate diversity of giftings and show how a leadership team needs to be well balanced.

I have also observed that some secular organisations are better than Churches at harnessing the creative energies that emerge when these very different personalities work together in a team. They have made very effective use of the ascension giftings. Churches tend to 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.

These gifts can often be seen amongst children. Some children watch over other children naturally. Some are gifted to be apostolic. They love going out to new things. Some children are passionate about fairness. Others really enjoy meeting new children.

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