God works in our weaknesses, but He also made us with strengths on purpose. For some, the idea of God working in their weakness has become an excuse for avoiding the hard work of developing their strengths. The truth is that we can put ourselves in a position for God to work through our strengths as well.
Here are three questions that can be used to help us develop our strengths as group leaders.
What are my strengths?
First of all, every one of us has something we do well. We may wish we were more proficient in some other way than we are. (I’ve always wished I was more musically inclined—just once I would like to sing a solo without people telling me that it was a nice try.) The truth is, God made us the way we are on purpose. We need to embrace how He made us and function within His purposes for us.
You can take aptitude surveys, personality profiles, spiritual gift inventories, discuss with others you trust, and pray for God to show you your strengths. I know my strengths and weaknesses, but I still do these things, giving me a fresh look at what I already know and affirming the things I am doing.
What is my plan for developing my strengths?
Just because I know my strengths doesn’t mean I can let those qualities develop themselves. I need a plan to develop them. Even if we are fairly proficient at something, we need to continue to stretch ourselves. For example, if we are a proficient teacher of adults, maybe we ought to take on a preschool group just to stretch our teaching abilities. Maybe we should volunteer to help with a local event to hone our desire to serve or to lead in a different way.
List your strengths (stuff you do well) and one action you are taking to continue to develop that strength. List one thing next to each strength that you can do in the next 3 months and the next 6 months.
Truths to remember:
- An ignored strength will become a weakness. Always do something to develop it.
- A misused strength will become a weakness. Always make sure that you are using your strength in a way that honors God.
Who do I know whose strengths are my weaknesses?
Moses is the example here. When God approached Moses about leading the Hebrews out of Egypt, Moses pointed to his speech impediment (see Ex. 4:10). God pointed to Aaron as one who spoke well and who could serve as Moses’ spokesperson. Moses would need to communicate through Aaron. Aaron and Moses had different strengths, and they needed each other to succeed.
One thing that happens is we start to focus on our weakness and ignore the strengths. If we can surround ourselves with others who possess strengths different than our own, then we can give our strengths attention. When a group of people are assembled with strengths that complement each other without competing, you have the making of a winning team.
G. Dwayne McCrary is the team leader for Adult and Young Adult group resources at Lifeway, leads two weekly Bible study groups (one for empty-nesters and one for 4-year olds), serves as an adjunct professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and carries 20-plus years of church staff experience. He is married to Lisa (both native Texans), and they have two children and one grandson. Find him on Twitter: @gdwayne.