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Strength Finders, Part 1

ARE YOU A STRENGTH FINDER? As staff we spent a day at a “Building Healthy Church Staffs” seminar a while back. One of the highlights was the session that identified the top five - of 34 potential - strengths each of us has and what that means for ministry. Every person has particular strengths, hardwired into them by God, but few people have the exact same combination of strengths. In fact there are over 278,000 combinations of top five strengths that are possible. You are probably unique in your family and the church.

For example, a person with the strength of “activator” is exceptionally talented in making things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient. If “intellection” is your strength you excel in intellectual activity. You enjoy intellectual discussion and time to think before acting. A person with the strength of “woo” loves the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They are good at it. If “harmony” is your strength you look for consensus and don’t enjoy conflict; rather you seek areas of agreement. Each of these strengths supports one of four “domains”: executing (getting it done), strategic thinking (making plans), influencing (convincing others) and relationship building (building a team).

There are some vital lessons we can learn for the family and church. First of all, we all see the world through our own eyes. Our strengths come so naturally to us we think everyone should be what we are and see things as we do. And if they don’t they are wrong or weak. For example, a person with the strength of “responsibility” cannot fathom people who miss appointments or are late for things. If we lack understanding and humility our strengths can separate us. A father can alienate his son because he expects his son to be like him and fails to appreciate different strengths in his son. We should all assume that God has hard-wired strengths into others that are good for the family and church and cut each other some slack.

Without loving unity the individual strengths will actually tear a family or church apart. Instead of appreciating one another’s strengths, assuming the value of others and combining them for brilliant team strength, the unspiritual will demand and disapprove and so be divided and conquered. That is why, for example, the church in Corinth was so spiritually gifted and yet so “unspiritual”. Ultimately, no combination of strengths can succeed without the anointing of the Spirit and he does not anoint divided people.

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