At the moment I’m working through a really great book, by Robert Clinton, which looks at developing leaders. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s been really helpful especially as I think about what to do next year. I wanted to share another thing which I’ve looked at recently. (I also want to be careful that I’m not giving away too much of the book and get in trouble!) He talks about how part of a leader’s job is to develop other potential leaders. And part of this is recognising what gifts they have, either natural abilities, acquired skills or spiritual gifts.
He mentions four methods or systems to help us identify where other people’s gifts are at. One of which is the Like-attract-like model, which I’d heard a bit about before. This is where a potential leader is drawn to another leader because they have similar gift sets. However the one which really gripped me when I read it earlier this week seems to work in the opposite way. (Like I said before he uses new terminology which some people find off-putting – but once you get over that hurdle it’s really helpful stuff!)
He calls it the Complementary Giftedness-Need Indicator Pattern, which basically describes how God brings people into a leader’s ministry who have real strength, passion, giftedness in the areas where the current leader might be lacking it. To stop myself summarising large chunks, and in an attempt to live up to when I said I wanted to be more personal I wanted to share how I’ve seen this at work this year.
One of my weaknesses as a Christian, is that I really really struggle to do evangelism or outreach. I mean I am intentional with my friendship and I try to talk about Jesus when I can, however when it is “cold-contact” like talking to strangers on the bus. I lack the confidence and passion to follow through. So God in His greatness brought a guy to Navigators this year – a student – who is highly passionate and active in Evangelism and reaching these people.
Apart from being incredibly humbling, that I get to be so refreshed and encouraged and learn – whenever we meet for one on ones. This has also provided opportunities for me and other students in the ministry to go and practice this gift with him. It’s great because otherwise the Brum Navs group would really be deficient in this area.
All of this makes me marvel at God’s commitment to building up His Church and that He is committed to using the different members of the Body to be His instruments in this great work!
If you are leading, lets look for the people in our ministries or organisations who demonstrate gifts and passions where we lack them. Let’s get alongside them and be willing to learn. Chances are that God is using you in that situation to build up the person you are learning from. I reckon this is Iron sharpening Iron. In this way we can function more wholly.
As I ransack my mind for examples of this in the Bible:
- Moses and Aaron, Moses isn’t a great speaker (natural ability), so God provide Aaron who is.
- Paul and the 12 Disciples – Jesus spent time investing in 12 disciples, but none of them seemed to know the law (acquired skill) and the Jewish tradition like Paul did. (See his letter of Romans). So Jesus meets him on the road to Damascus and brought him into the team.
- Saul and his army facing Goliath (maybe this one is a stretch) but none of them seem to have the faith (spiritual gift) which David had. No one had the experience of seeing God fight on their behalf like David had when he had to fight lions to protect His herd. So God provides David.