By Ron Chapman

What tasks do you give to what people in your church? Is your criteria for selection based on who says “yes”? Sometimes church growth efforts break down, not because of shortcomings in the plans, but because key responsibilities were not given to the right people.

Here are three categories of “people-types” and “job-types.” The next time you have a task to be accomplished in the church, determine which job-type it is, then find someone in the same “people-type” category to fill it. It will substantially increase the likelihood of the job getting done…

Visionaries. Men and women with bold and creative dreams of new advances for God through the church. They suggest imaginative ideas and new alternatives to old problems.

Visionaries are needed in every congregation. They are called upon to share God’s dreams, and challenge God’s people to launch out in faith and decisive action. Many churches lack formal roles or positions that are visionary in nature. But without such roles – and the right people filling them – a church will lack long-term vision and direction. Be wary of placing non-visionary people in visionary roles just because of their position and/or influence.

Administrators. Visionary leadership is often criticized because it offers an image of what could be without a detailed plan of how to realize it. Many churches “solve” this problem by ignoring the role of visionary leadership altogether. A more positive solution is to first identify visionary leaders, define their task, and then coordinate their activity with individuals who can provide the necessary follow-up organization.

Administrators are gifted in logical and organizational abilities, and bring to the vision a necessary plan of action for achievement. They propose alternative solutions, develop short and long range goals, organize strategy, set time-lines, monitor and evaluate progress. Administrators are a critical link between the “impossible dream” and the step-by-step moving of the mountain.

Workers. A dream that has been organized into a workable plan still must be implemented. Workers are those people granted with the gifts and skills to get a job done. They work best when given training and assignments with sufficient authority to perform the task.

Usually these workers are eager to invest their talent, time, and treasure sacrificially. A mistake is to “reward” these active dependable servants by “promoting’ them to administrative or visionary roles.

When the strengths of your lay persons are correlated with appropriate roles, God’s work is most effectively accomplished. Categorize your present roles and responsibilities into one of the above three groups. Then, next time you need someone to fill a role, determine the kind of person that is right for the task, and only approach those who fit the job. Don’t force a square peg into a round hole.

(The above material appeared in an issue of The Winarn Growth Report.) Christian Information Network