Todd Adkins, director of Lifeway Leadership, shares his passion for developing the people of the church for ministry.
“As church leaders, we have one job. That’s to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. It’s to recognize that, in the church, especially in the last hundred years, we treat baptism like it’s the finish line not like it’s the starting line. People know Ephesians 2:8-9, “This by grace that we’ve been saved.”
But they forget to add on to that 2:10, which says we’re God’s workmanship and we’re created in Christ Jesus and he’s prepared specific things for us to do. Far too many times we treat people like they’re warm bodies or they’re there, it’s almost like the people are there for our process, not our process to grow them and develop them as for the people.
We get that backwards a lot. I don’t know. I’m just passionate about seeing people become who God created them to be.
How does that all fit into personality? When you begin to overlap several tools, you still can’t put anybody in a box ‑‑ certainly with one tool, but even multiple tools ‑‑ because God is hopefully continuing to grow them, to develop them.
Hopefully they’re continuing to grow more Christ‑like. Over the course of time, that’s going to naturally change. That’s going to change them. But having those tests are really good starting off point to help people understand where they can do the most damage in the Kingdom.
I know, based on my personality type, I’m going to be able to position myself well to do the most damage for the Kingdom. If I know that, as far as how my team is wired, I can know how to do that. I can also keep it from damaging our community, because I can say, “Hey, you know this person there’s approach to conflict is going to be attack and overwhelm.”
This person is going to make excuses and shift the blame. How do I deal with those people differently? Even if you look at the way Jesus interacted with Mary and Martha on the death of Lazarus, in one case he wept. Shortest verse in the Bible.
It really depends. With Martha, he was business. With Mary, he wept. Because that was their different personalities. He treated them differently.
It’s important for us, as stewards of God’s most precious thing, his church, it’s important for us to do all we can to understand the people we serve and get them to their next step.”
(See the full transcript for the episode –with links–on next page)
Todd Adkin serves as Director of Leadership at Lifeway. He also hosts the 5 Leadership Questions Podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @ToddAdkins.