Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Personality Driven Ministry: To do or not to do?

Having a stronger personality, this has been one of my bigger questions and areas of tension as i try to give to the church and people around me.

I hear both sides:

A) More often i hear: "Don't build a ministry around one person or personality."

The reasons are usually explained by someone who has felt the direct effects of this type of ministry when a pastor like this leaves the church. Often the people still at the church after the leader leaves are left trying to pick up the pieces or trying sustain or pick up where the other pastor left off without developing leadership and delegating other leaders to carry on what he started is one of the most common explanations.

B) On the flipside, some ministries just have worked that way like the Billy Graham Ministry.

I am not criticizing its inner workings at all, but all i am saying is that the name of that ministry and what it stands has centered around Billy Graham and his message. I was recently asked, "What is it that only Brent can do for the church? ...that God has created you for?" There seems to be a case for also leading a dream or passion that God has put in your heart and rallying others around you.

The fear of A is holding back. It could be good restraint, but i also believe there can be a negative restraint if i never feel free to fully pursue the dreams or directing God leads

The fear of B is selfishness and pride. It could become less about the team and more about your own desires.

I believe both kinds of ministries can have a time in place, but i have often felt in the middle. Wanting to just "unleash" and allow my personality and hearts desires to run free and to see where God takes them, while often holding back fearing whether it would become prideful or whether i would make sure to do this around a team and create something that goes beyond me rather than just living in the moment.

just ongoing ponderings...

1 comment:

Lynne Howard said...

Good points. It's hard when you lead a ministry not to make it based on your personality, because ministry is so personal. It's all about relationships. I love the leadership principle of multiplying yourself through developing other leaders and working yourself out of a job-- I'm always trying to develop others in their strengths and fill in my weaknesses with others who are strong in those areas. This helps keeps things balanced and keeps it from being too much about me. But it will always to some extent be personality-driven. And the good thing about that is, if someone's personality doesn't necessarily fit with our ministry/church, there are lots of other churches with different personalities, and that diversity can be a really good thing!

Good post, Brent.