This morning, I was reading my Strengths-Based newsletter from Gallup, and a concept struck me. Here is the activating sentence:
Of the millions of employees Gallup has surveyed, just over half have a clear understanding of what's expected of them when they show up to work every day.
So, we know that people operate best when they are operating out of their strengths. We have people in the church from every strength. But do we show them how to minister in their strengths, or do we (by action, probably not so much word) make certain strengths 'ministry material' while leaving those without certain strengths feeling incapable and unusable?
I once knew a lady who sold cosmetics. She also had a natural talent for inviting strangers. Her pastor acknowledged her ministry, and helped people around her build a welcoming team for the many she brought into the church. This was a huge thing, because these people didn't always smell pretty, and they certainly didn't come from a church paradigm, so for a person with the gift of inviting, having a place to bring people that would be accepting and affirming was a huge boost to her ministry. (Truth, I don't know if the pastor was intentional in building the team, or if she was just great at putting things together and walking in favor.)
There are people in our congregations who have natural strengths. Do we make them think they can only serve God, or operate in ministry if they can serve (greet, cut grass, etc.), teach Sunday school, or serve communion?
Are we helping people figure out how to be a minister at 2pm on Thursday as easily as we explain the "ministry path" for Sunday and Wednesday?