I’m starting to realize two types of people or at least two extremes where people fall. This is one of those things where I don’t think it’s that important to find that strong of a balance in them both but instead maybe its accepting who you are and doing well in it and depending on others to fill in the gaps. The two extremes would be maintaining and creating.
I start to realize this in my own life because I’m a creator. I love to start things. I love the planning that goes into new ideas and bringing them forth into fruition. I love sitting in a room with my friends and creating new ideas and hashing them out. I know a lot of people like this. They are always starting something new and they always have some sort of new idea on the go. If you know me, you know I’m exactly like that. The problem with people like me is we are always moving to the next thing. We aren’t content with just staying where we are. People like me usually tend to have a lot of leadership abilities, so they are always trying to get people to go with them wherever they go. They try to drag people from new thing to new thing, always trying to go to the next step and have the world follow.
The other types of people, which I think are a pretty good majority of them, are maintainers. They love to walk into something that is already going that they like and live in it. They don’t want to change it, they don’t want to add anything new or take anything a way. They just want it to work, and they are happy just riding it out till its over. In fact they thrive in the routine of it. The problem with these types is that change or spontaneity become issues and are hard to deal with for them.
I was talking to David Fitch last weekend and he was saying how sometimes the best thing a church plant can do is have the guy that started the church leave after five years. In many ways, this makes complete sense. Usually churches are started up by these creative types. The creative types get frustrated when things don’t keep moving forward with new and exciting things, programs or ideas aren’t evolving constantly. Eventually these creative types become disconnected with the community they are leading because they want to bring them to all these new places. Most people in the community are probably the maintaining types and love the way its going and don’t really want to jump on board all these new ideas, let alone have to run them to keep the church going. So you get the church planter out and get a team of people or a person who knows how to maintain and keep things going well and moving forward. I don’t think it’s bad or wrong to maintain, I think it’s a necessary part of the life of an idea because the fact is that after five years the idea is working; it doesn’t need to be created anymore, but kept going.
This isn’t true just for church plants, but I think it’s true for life. With careers and play; these personalities traits peak through the surface and change the way people walk into and inside circumstances. The key is understanding who you are and working within it. If you are a creator, chances are you get frustrated easily when your original idea that has been moving forward for a while isn’t still moving forward and no one really cares if it does or not. If you are a maintainer, odds are you are frustrated at your leader for not taking care of the needs here and now and always starting something new. When these two types can work together, I think you have something beautiful on your hands. Maintainers when working together can create a breeding environment for creators because they free them up to go out and do what they do best. To learn who you are and who you work with is will be crucial to the continuing success of new ideas. Sometimes the creator needs to leave the original idea altogether to go and start something new and sometimes the creator needs to stick around but needs the freedom to keep creating. Find your role and live it and it will be a beautiful thing and your relationships will work well together.