It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else's foundation.
The Apostle Paul was a take no prisoners kind of guy. He zealously persecuted the church (Acts 22:3-5), and he zealously proclaimed the Gospel. Paul’s ambition was to break new ground. While he sent letters back to churches to address their problems, Paul didn’t visit many places more than once. There was too much to accomplish. In fact, if Paul had never been in prison, I somehow doubt that much of the New Testament would have even been written.
People like Paul are what I call Producers. When they say, “Lead, follow or get out of the way,” they really just want you to get out of the way. Paul had no patience for John Mark when JM waffled on his commitment (Acts 15:36-41). Producers want action. “Fish or cut bait.” (What does that even mean?) “Get to the bottom line.”
Producers are concerned about results. Now in the pursuit of results they also can steamroll over everyone else without even thinking about it. Producers will say that they would rather be respected than liked. But, it’s actually good to be respected AND liked.
I am mostly a Producer personality. So, here’s the funny thing: God took someone with the personality of Attila the Hun and gave him the spiritual gift of pastor. It’s unusual. It’s ironic. But, here’s the beauty of it—when God uses me to direct or encourage another person, I know for certain that it’s God working in me and through me. It doesn’t come naturally, that’s for sure.
While Producers can be driven and often impatient, our natural personality is not an excuse for bad behavior. As we allow God to work in us, then verses like Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you,” don’t seem so impossible.
If you have a Producer in your life, do your best to get to the point. They want the straight stuff. You don’t need to beat around the bush. If you do take a circular path, they will spend the whole conversation trying to figure out what you’re getting at or just stop listening altogether and start thinking about something else until your done.
When I was in seminary, I worked as a front desk clerk at Howard Johnson. I still crave those clam strips every once in a while. One Christmas we did a gift exchange with the staff. A bellman had my name. He gave me a mug that said, “If you’ll state your business and walk away quietly, then no one will get hurt.” That was a Producer’s mug if I ever saw one.
Please don’t misunderstand Producers. They want to help. They want to work for the good of other people. Sometimes other people just get in their way. Don’t allow them to get away with bad behavior, but also don’t frustrate them.
Who’s the Producer in your life? What do you understand about them now that you might not have understood about them before?
For more information on this personality type and how God can use you to serve others, I would encourage you to check out our P.L.A.C.E. class: http://www.brookwoodchurch.org/place.
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