Follow the Leader

One of the saddest things I have seen over the years is the way that the church is always playing "Follow the Leader." In areas in which we should be setting the pace we continually play "catch up" to the world just to find out how to run the race. This is nowhere more true than in the areas of leadership, management, and personal development.

Swimming With the Sharks

For years I read every positive thinking and self-help book I could find (and I must admit that from time to time I still enjoy the occasional motivational volume.) When I was a "pastor" my bookshelves were lined with volumes by Ken Blanchard, Zig Ziglar, Og Mandino, Dennis Waitley, and many others. I learned how to live "In Pursuit of Excellence," "Manage Chaos," "Swim With the Sharks," and be a "One Minute Manager" to everyone around.

I tried anything and everything I could to somehow, someway, make this whole pastoring/leadership thing work. In order to understand myself and others I studied (and taught) the Four Temperament Types (a la Tim LaHaye), answered quizzes and questionaries, and even took Psych. 101 in university. I cannot say that none of it was any help. Some of it was. However, the sad thing about it all was that I was looking to secular society for help, inspiration, and effective leadership and management models. If I, and others like me, had better understood some basic truths from God's Word, we would have known what to do, and shown others the way. We would have modelled what everyone is looking for, and the world would have beat a path to our door to learn what the church was doing that was so effective.

Five Personality Types

It is really all so simple. There are five basic kinds of people. Just as in the church there are Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers, these five basic temperaments, Bill Gates. and skill sets, can be found in all of life. Each of us falls predominantly into one category, and most of us also have a little of something else in us also. The key to our personal happiness, success, and satisfaction in life is in discovering whom and what we are. It we could know ourselves, and just be ourselves, it would eliminate so much misery, and set us free to live.


Who could doubt
that Bill Gates
is an Apostle of business?

Who could doubt that Bill Gates is an Apostle of business? He is the Saint Paul of cyberspace. Whether you like the man, or agree with how he operates, you must admit that he is driven, possessed of a vision, and that he has led the way into a brave new world of bits and bytes and many other things few of us understand. And I do not doubt that his astounding success is partly due to his ability to gather around himself some of each of the other four personality and gifting types.

Steve Jobs, 1955 - 2011.

And what about the late Steve Jobs? Whether you use a Mac or a PC your life has been profoundly affected by this man who brought such a spirit of excellent and innovation to the digital world. Our pews are now filled with people who use their iPhones to text each other during the sermon that the preacher is speaking from the notes on his iPad."


Not only are there Apostles in business, there are also Prophets who are able to see trends and have insights as to what is coming next that few others are able to perceive. In fact, many of the most successful corporations were founded by the dynamic duo of an Apostle and a Prophet. A Prophet who can see where things are going and predict the market, and an Apostle who can get an idea and organize and inspire a team. Together they can change the world in which we live.

Prophets have an unquenchable thirst for truth. They can smell lies and deception a mile away. That is what make so many of them such good journalists and news reporters. God has even used these secular Prophets to expose evil in the church, especially when the church choses to turn a blind eye to her own sin.


And where would Bill Gates be without his Evangelists? These sales people who cotton onto a product, or an idea, and run with it with all their might. Talking to the unconvinced and unconverted is to them as natural as breathing. These perpetually positive individuals are unfazed by rejection. By the time they are finished you wonder how you ever lived with their latest product.


Every business needs its Pastors - managers who just love to look after people. They see problems before they develop and are always looking out for someone. They continually care, care, care.

Many of these compassionate individuals can be found in therapeutic situations. Pastors make wonderful counsellors.


Then there are the Teachers. They have an insatiable curiosity, thirst for knowledge, and love to make a complex thing simple. Simple enough for you and me to understand.

How much better
would some businesses
(and churches)
be if the bosses
were secure enough
to be surrounded by
those who can do
what they cannot.

Every business needs all five. Every place of employment needs all five contributing equally to how things are done. How much better would some businesses (and churches) be if the bosses were secure enough to be surrounded by those who can do what they cannot. How much more successful would they be if all five personality types could learn how to flow and function together in a totally complementary relationship, each contributing their essential part to the whole. And this is true, not just for business, but for civil government and social organizations as well.

Maybe they could learn, if only someone was modelling it for them. This is a Biblical paradigm. It is time for the Bible believing church to come into her own. It is time for the church to be the leader, not the follower. It is time for us to show the way.

Ephesians 4. 11 – 13

"And he gave some, apostles;
and some, prophets;
and some, evangelists;
and some, pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of the saints,
for the work of the ministry,
for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith,
and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
unto a perfect man,
unto the measure of the stature
of the fulness of Christ:"(KJV)

Five Fold.

Back | Next