Thought for the week – Oban Times, May 20

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A number of years ago I was writing a study on leadership for a dissertation.

Within that there was some discussion of leadership style, particularly reflecting on the different theological emphases likely to be predominant in the different expectations. Whilst not wanting to be slavish, it was clear there were different styles. Personality types figure significantly in different church streams.

Much work on this has been done by Myers and Briggs to point us in a direction that highlights expectations against experience. For example, you might be surprised to notice that often when ‘X’ comes into the room there is an expectation that they might be a bit ‘twitchy’ if asked to run a mini soccer league and be out of his/her comfort zone. On the other hand, ‘Y’ seems far more at home preparing for the prayer meeting.

It is well worth considering doing a Myers Biggs survey. The least it would show, in whatever setting they are working, is that you might grow in understanding of why people behave in the ways they do things – especially yourself? You might be surprised to consider why the ‘up front’ leader upon whom there is an expectation to deliver is very often introvert. I have recently joined a small group of reflective thinkers/prayers. I love it because it is as yet only half an hour of silence. Even then I could already sense the twitches creeping in.

I am by no means suggesting we get bogged down in psychological naval gazing rather that we know more of those with whom we work, socialise and live out family life. This helps us understand one another just that little bit more. Oh yes, why not invite Jesus to walk with you on the journey?

Ian McFarlane, Part of the Church in Oban.