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Be a Leader – Know Thyself!

How do you discover your gifts?  In today’s world, there are a few hundred strengths assessors that will tell you all kinds of different things about yourself.  After taking a good many of them the past 20 years, I have found that some of them are more helpful than others and that their real function is to help someone “Know Thyself!”

From spiritual gifts to Myers Briggs to the enneagram, these tests have taught me something about me.  God has uniquely and wonderfully made each of us.  As a leader, one of our jobs is to “Know Thyself.”  When we understand and know who we are and how we have been created, then we can better respond to the world around us.

Part of knowing ourselves is knowing who we are not.  I hope you already know you are not God.  Great leaders lead from their strengths and supplement their weaknesses with other leaders who have different strengths.

One of the challenges of youth ministry is that great youth ministers come with all kinds of gifts packages.  Certainly, there is some overlap; but at the Center for Youth Ministry Training, we work with highly organized introverts and highly unorganized extroverts.  We see folks with strong gifts for teaching and prophesy and those with hearts for compassion and justice.

My top gifts mixed up from all kinds of studies are:

1. Faith – I believe if God needed me to walk on water I could.  Move a mountain, sure.  This is my strongest spiritual gift.

2. Visionary/Futuristic Leader – I’m a Godly dreamer.  Combine that with Faith and I through the power of the Holy Spirit can see things change and come to be.

3. Entrepreneurial Leader – I went to engineering school before hearing my call.  I love to solve problems and build things.

4. Passion for Young People – I love youth.

You can see how these combine nicely for me to serve as the Executive Director of a start up non-profit that trains youth ministers and works with churches to develop youth ministries.  I am blessed to serve in a position that brings my greatest strengths to bear.  However, our organization needs many other kinds of leaders; because I can’t do it by myself.

Many people get themselves into trouble by trying to be someone they are not.  I do not really like personality and gift testing, because if I learn something new about myself I have to deal with it.  I no longer have the excuse of ignorance.  So get to “Know thyself” and be a better leader!

Note: In January, CYMT is trying out Living Your Strengths with our students from the Strength’s Finder series.  Every year, I try to learn a little more about me; so that I can learn a little more about how I can best serve God and you.

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