Role Maps

Holidays usually seem to be a great time to refocus and evaluate what I’m doing at the moment.

Am halfway through “What’s Best Next“, which is an interesting book which looks at how the Gospel impacts our view of productivity. He pulls together knowledge from a wide reading of “self-help” books and combines them together accepting the gift of “common grace” in each of them. But also going further and looking at which ways they are limited and how “gospel-lenses” (a term he doesn’t use) can help us see these methods and ideas in a more complete (or “redeemed”) way.

I think its a really interesting book, and hits similar themes as Every Good Endeavour – Tim Keller. Still not finished it yet. But I wanted to share a part of something I’ve put together in response to what I’ve read so far. In the book he calls them Role Maps. Alongside them I put probably what most people would call mission statements and core values.

Vision I’ve blotted out some names probably best not shared.

Although this is a work in progress and due to be updated in time. I found it really helpful to think through some of these things and just to write them out. This book and the Clinton one I’ve shared a bit from recently both seem to be the right books for me to be reading as I pray and think through options for next year.

I’ve made more graphs like the role map for personal and work for each of the categories on the Life one. Apart from having a lot of fun thinking through some of these things and trying to articulate them. It was a very useful exercise!

Two notes: “sermon prep” has the weekly symbol next to it, this doesn’t mean I’m giving a sermon every week. But simply that I’m trying to write a sermon a week at least structure out some points and put together notes. I’ve only every scripted a sermon once, so this isn’t as impressive as it sounds. Also “blogging” has the daily symbol next to it. This is far from reality. So the symbol functions more as a goal.

God provides people

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:

  1. Moses and Aaron, Moses isn’t a great speaker (natural ability), so God provide Aaron who is.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

The Stewardship Model

51q66I8FB9L._SX317_BO1,204,203,200_Recently I have just started reading “Unlocking your giftedness” by (Bobby and Richard) Clinton. I’ll try and do a more detailed review or summary once I finished it, at the moment I’m only 30 odd pages in. If you can get past the title, and Clinton’s unique terminology (which I personally find really helpful – but understand can feel pretentious at first glance!) you’ll learn a lot from this book and others by him.

At the moment I’ve found myself really challenged by the “Stewardship Model” of leadership which he highlights from Jesus’ teaching. He describes the models as

a philosophical model which is founded on the central thrust of several accountability passages, that is, that a leader must give account of his/her ministry to God

The basic message is that as a leader we are accountable to God for the gifts, role and ministry we are in.

Recently Louie Giglio at his Church – Passion City Church – has finished a series “Don’t waste your…” (each sermon covering a different area: health, time, influence, family, work etc). Well worth a listen! Seeming as the theme has come up in multiple ways from different sources in my life – I assume God wants me to spend some time thinking about it…

The thing is I don’t naturally view things like my time, and “gifts” (teaching, preaching, etc) as resources which I need to steward well. One day I will have to give an account to God on these things. So how am I making practical changes to the way I use these resources:

  1. Focused ministry – I believe that God has gifted me particularly in preaching, communicating and teaching. He has blessed me with the ability to learn and then to teach clearly what I have learnt. Therefore rather than investing the majority of my time in administration and organizing events (things which are important and not to be neglected), I have started writing leadership training resources for student leaders. I am rethinking the format of our main meetings, slowly moving from Bible studies, to seminar style followed by group discussion (Bible crucial!). In this way I am using the gifts God has given me to help others! I totally get that there is a tension here, but the point is that I don’t want to be neglecting the gifts I have been given.
  2. Prayerful Sacrifice – this is just a fancy way of saying that I understand that when Jesus says in John 15 that apart from Him we cannot produce fruit, my efforts alone are futile. When it comes to offering my time, energy, mind etc to a project, I don’t start from a point of doing it by myself, in my own strength. But I pray before hand, Jesus I need you help, Holy Spirit please empower me to produce fruit in this. This doesn’t have to take long, as its the posture of dependence that matters. (Hope this all makes sense!) In order to steward my resources well, I give them, dependently! Just like Jesus gave thanks for the bread before He shared it to a few thousand!
  3. Looking outward – as a leader, Clinton states that people are a main resource God gives us. So I am looking at the student leaders I have, a team of 5 students, and I’m asking where are their gifts, where are their passions? Am I giving Tom a task which Joel would be better suited to. How can I help this guys flourish and in turn how can I help them help the others!

There are so many ways that we can be good stewards of what and who God has given us, I think the first step to this is being aware of it! Realize it’s a priority, for everyone – not just “leaders”. We are all called  to use well what God has given us.

Consider taking 20 minutes out of your week to ask what God has given you to steward and how you can use it well!