Summary: How to Minister to an Analytical-Doer-Skeptic Like Gideon
How to Minister to an Analytical-Doer-Skeptic Like Gideon
- For some reason there seem to be an inordinate percentage of analytical temperament types in cross-cultural ministries and missions. Yet this group tends to produce excellent teachers, musicians, writers, and physicians as well. There must be something about the challenge to reach the ideals of Christlike ministries in another culture that attracts these people. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why there tends to be some many interpersonal difficulties between missionaries. Possessed with great sensitivity toward the leading of the Spirit of God, they are also easily offended by their fellow missionaries. Careful to a fault, these people tend to want information, reasons, motives, purposes, and time to scrutinize before they make a decision. Their fastidious attention to detail often makes them some of the most effective workers and implementors of the ideas of the drivers and expressives who are too busy planning to follow-up their suggestions. They are often content to diligently and faithfully carry out their duties without a lot of recognition. However, they are easily offended as they tend to wear their feelings out in the open. They tend to battle with depression, discouragement, and are easily hurt if criticized. Any insinuation about their worth tends to send them into a spiral of self-doubt since they continually have to wrestle with a negative self-image.
Because of their critical nature, they prefer to be quiet and even by themselves as they enjoy being protected from hurt. Their thoroughness is a wonder asset to have if they are working with some of their extrovertish temperaments who help them maintain the big picture in the greater - global purposes of God. Their persistence is one of their most commendable features since they are excellent at implementing their tasks. Serious by nature, they need to work on their interpersonal skills and friendships. Their work-acholic attitudes often make them very productive even though few ever learn about all of their quiet accomplishments. Industriousness is one of their most admirable traits as they are quietly insistent on the vitalness of their mission.
However, since they tend to think more in principles than about people they can appear to be cold, aloof, and arrogant. Their theoretical nature leads them to become excellent teachers provided that they can muster enough practical illustrations and assignments for their down-to-earth pupils to understand their ideas in practical terms. Some of the greatest strategists in cross-cultural missiology have possessed a healthy percentage of this temperament. They are concerned about reasons for doing tasks to be as important as the task themselves. Preferring to have everything perfectly in place before they start their jobs, they tend to drag their feet in groups where the extroverts are more eager for risk taking. Being picky by their character, the analyticals struggle in making decisions. For this reason, they are the most resistant personality type to change until confront directly by God’s convicting Spirit.
Longing to see evidence before they make up their minds, they can be some of the most stubborn people on a jury in coming up with a verdict. Their technical orientation makes them great candidates for service ministries that do not need a lot of people skills. However, with the filling of the Spirit, these people can become some of the greatest leaders in Christianity. Consider such great men who possessed this trait from the scriptures - Moses, Jeremiah, and Gideon. Gideon was an excellent man to help solve one of Israel’s most critical problems of idolatry during the days of the judges. He gave us a profile of how one analytical could lead his people from idolatry and even back into idolatry in Judges 6-7. The scriptures give us both the positive sides and negative sides of this man’s struggles with idolatry, opposition, and even family pressures!
Example - Gideon, lived in a time of terrible apostasy where his father had turned to Baal worship. Few Israelites even worried themselves about attending the feasts of the Lord at Shiloh. As a result the people were divided and were easy prey for the marauding Bedouin raiders. For seven continuous years the Midianites invaded the Israelite land stealing their livestock and grain. It is for this reason that we find Gideon hiding inside of a hut grinding and thrashing grain to keep the Midianites from stealing what little his family had left. The entire country was impoverished, oppressed, and suffering from lack of fellowship and blessings from God.
Then the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon in the winepress and commissioned him to smite the Midianites thereby liberating his people. Only a few conditions must be attended to first. The first night the Lord tested Gideon’s obedience by commanding him to begin by destroying his father’s idols. The Lord knew that there is no victory where there is a divided mind. God knows that before He can reign supreme in our ministries, He must have command of our hearts and minds. God knew that an analytic must deal with the sources of sin at the root before one could expect to see any real fruit. Perhaps, this is why God require Gideon to display his commitment publicly in case their might be any half-heartedness in his obedience. Next, Gideon was told he must carefully construct an alter to God to give evidence to everyone that his total allegiance had turned from idols to serve a living God. (Judges 6:11-27). This act of courage so angers the towns people that his father has to save him from their hateful desires to kill Gideon.