From the Reverend’s Desk

By Reverend Eric Gates

In last month’s newsletter article, I presented two key questions. “What ought the church be doing to help heal the community?” and “How can our church, over time, address fundamental human needs in response to and in the light of God’s active presence for the life of the world?”

“Doing” and “address” in my questions, are theology, the study of God and God’s relation to the world. What we are “doing” has everything to with real life. How we “address” fundamental needs of humanity as a church, has everything to do with real life. You might have some ideas of what me could do to address the needs of the greater community beyond the walls of Central Christian Church. Before coming to solutions, there needs to be some discernment. We need to pause and ask ourselves:

  • How is leadership handled in the church’s ministries?
  • Is there a committee or team which does the planning and decision making?
  • Is there one person in charge who may consult others, but still makes the final decision?
  • Are there some who feel their contributions are being ignored and they just fade away from participation?
  • Are you looking for something better?

Let us turn to the well-known words of Paul, “The body has many different parts, not just one.” For a body to function well, whether it is our human body or a body of people, all parts are needed and all parts are important. Leadership is shared and moves from part-to-part as needed. It would do no good for the eye or ear or hand to insist on leading if you were trying to walk. Likewise, the person who says, “Tell me exactly what you want done and I’ll do it,” is not the person needed to figure out what to do when the van breaks down.

Pastor Scot Hoeksema writes in his article 6D Leadership, “Just like the parts of the body, any project or organization has different leadership needs at different times and the same person cannot do them all well. We will get the best results when we allow individuals to use their unique talents at the proper time, for the proper task. These needs can be known by 6 D’s

Dreamer ● Discerner ● Developer ● Detailer ● Disseminator ● Doer

Dreamers are the “big idea” people. They see possibilities that others could never imagine. They stretch our sense of the possible and see futures that are yet to be. Dreamers usually are not effective in bringing these dreams into present reality, they are already moving on to the next big idea.

Discerners are a key component in a church setting. These are the ones who help guide the group in seeking and listening for God’s will in the particular place and time. They focus on the question, “Yes, this sounds great, but is it what God would have us do?” Discerners are not to be Debbie or Donnie downers.

Developers take a look at the dream and compare it to current reality. Developers answer the question, “What do we need that we don’t have to make this dream a reality?” It might be technology, it might be resources, it might be training, it might be people. Developers are creative people but in ways different from Dreamers.

Detailers are list makers. They tend to be highly organized. They love to make lists and check them off. Detailers take information from the group and put it into an understandable form. What needs to be bought? Who needs to be trained? How many people are needed in this area? What forms are needed? Detailers are the makers of lists, not the doing of all things on the list.

Disseminators are communicators. An event is only great if people show up! Disseminators get the word out and in this day and age, that can take many forms. Print advertising, internal and external to the church, web pages, social media, the expanse of communication means is so varied, you may even have specialists within this group.

Doers are those who say “Tell me what you want done and I’ll do it!” Often times, Doers are happy to work in the background. They are not looking for personal recognition, they shy away from being front-and-center. Doers are dedicated workers and while they may not seek recognition a word of appreciation goes a long way towards motivating them.

Organizationally, there does need to be a person or group of persons to keep everyone on track, set budgets, and maintain schedules. This function needs to be carried out by someone confident in their own self to the point in which others can be allowed to provide leadership at the proper times. Control freaks do not do well in this role.”

As we ask how the church can address and do service to the greater community, I challenge the elders, deacons, and members of Central to figure out what their unique talent is and to find places to serve the church in alignment with that unique talent.