Right Brain Left Brain, a Conversation With a Pastor and Executive Pastor
In a recent blog post Brentwood Baptist Church Senior Pastor, Mike Glenn, and Executive Pastor, Jim Baker, shared their thoughts on their differences and how by valuing their right brain left brain differences they can have a much bigger Kingdom impact.
Mike Glenn, Senior Pastor
You don’t have to know me long to know that I’m not real good at administration. I can do it if I have to, but it frustrates me to be tied up too long in the details of anything.
I get excited about the big picture and love to talk about big ideas.
I don’t have the gift of administration. Which means what? All of the big ideas I have never come to fruition. Without plans, goals, strategies and action steps, dreams never happen.
Giftedness is the Key
This is why we have been very intentional at Brentwood Baptist Church in making sure we have people around me who can handle the details of a big idea. In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks about the gift of administration.
Jim Baker has that gift. He makes sure all of the I’s get dotted and the T’s get crossed. With Jim, none of our big plans would ever come into reality.
The Big Dream
Sure, a church can get bogged down in meetings and details so that we are always meeting and never doing anything. That’s where I come in — reminding everyone there is a big dream out there and a big world that needs us engaged.
Jim and I make a pretty good team. We know what the other is good at and we try to let each other focus on our strengths.
There is a reason God gave the human body a skeleton. Without the skeletal structure, the body collapses into jello. Organizations are the same way. Without proper structure the plans and dreams of the visionary collapse into jello. Dreams need a skeleton to be strong enough to walk.
For that reason, I have asked Jim Baker to respond about the purpose of the gift of administration in the body of Christ.
Jim Baker, Executive Pastor
No doubt God has hard wired Mike and me differently, and in many ways diametrically opposite. In fact my wife says that together we make a pretty good person!
Mike is an entrepreneur by temperament and I am an engineer.
Mike favors an organic approach and I a structured one. Mike wants to empower people to pursue new ideas and meet occasionally to hear how it is going. I want systems for accountability and formal reports and data on how our ministries are impacting the Kingdom.
Structure can feel too controlling and be a buzz kill for abstract thinkers and entrepreneurs like Mike but a totally organic and spontaneous approach frustrates those like me who are concrete thinkers, who have the gift of administration and prefer structure.
Structure is Like a Container
I tell our staff to think of our structures like a container that serves as the arena in which they are free to operate.
The container protects them, allows them to focus and to go deep rather than have a wide open playing field with unlimited options from which to choose.
Application: Too Much or Not Enough?
Experience proves that there are problems with both extremes but we cannot undervalue the roles of either. Brentwood Baptist has determined to pursue a model somewhere in the middle – a “both/and” strategy.
We don’t want to get caught up in the “structure or no structure” debate.
Rather we ask, “How can we create structures that will facilitate our mission and vision and avoid ones that don’t?” We seek the right combination of structure and empowerment for each context and setting.
Congregations and leaders need to recognize their tendency to lean in one direction or the other – toward or away from structure.
Once that bent is understood, then the right perspectives can be brought together to insure the appropriate balance.
Action: Which way do you lean and how do you achieve balance?
Posted on July 29, 2014