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Summary: HOW TO MINISTER TO DRIVERS LIKE PAUL, EXPRESSIVES LIKE PETER OR AMIABLES LIKE JOSEPH - TEMPERAMENTS AND CONTEXTUALIZED CRISIS INTERVENTION

HOW TO MINISTER TO DRIVERS LIKE PAUL, EXPRESSIVES LIKE PETER OR AMIABLES LIKE JOSEPH - TEMPERAMENTS AND CONTEXTUALIZED CRISIS INTERVENTION

Personality types as developed through one’s heredity or from one’s environment can also greatly influence the way one contextually views crisis.

The various combinations of these temperaments can make a great effect on the ways in which people respond instinctively to crisis. As the Spirit of God fills each Christian, there is a emphasis on the strengths of each personality type and a lessening of one’s negative traits. Even a greater balance of the strengths of some of the temperaments begins to substitute former deficiencies in certain people’s personality expressions. Briefly, let us mention the basic four temperaments in describing how they will tend to respond during times of crisis:

1. The Driver-Designer-Developer - This person is determined to reach his goal regardless of the adversity he faces. He concentrates on the tasks that are before him and is driven to accomplish, achieve, and succeed. When adversity strikes he is generally able to control his feelings and set his face like a flint - unashamedly. Sometimes, he can appear harsh, severe, and autocratic in his manner, which in itself helps to avoid many minor crisis. Pushy to a fault, this person can drive others as hard as he pushes himself until fatigue sets in. He can be quick to condemn others attempts to solve crisis, since he is strong in his opinions about the best ways to bring about conflict resolutions. However, his take charge attitudes allow him to mediate and bring peace during the times of crisis. Consider one of the most famous drivers from Acts 27-28, the apostle Paul. Notice his managerial abilities to bring peace during a disasterous shipwreck experience:

``On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approached land . . . Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. Then PAUL SAID TO THE CENTURION AND THE SOLDIERS, ``UNLESS THESE MEN STAY WITH THE SHIP, YOU CANNOT BE SAVED.’’ So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it fall away.

Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. ``For the last fourteen days,’’ he said, ``you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food- you haven’t eaten anything. Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.’’ After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves. Altogether there were 276 of us on board . . . ’’

Notice Paul gave examples to the believers and non-believers alike. He first showed them that God had assured him that no one would be harmed if they followed his directions, a typical driver response to crisis. With his decisive, efficient, and practical approach to problem solving the Centurion preserved Paul’s life in spite of the soldiers desires to kill all of the prisoners. Paul’s firm faith allowed others to see that a driver filled with the Spirit of God makes for one of the best leaders during crises.

Drivers are people who tend to measure values by results and can often appear to be autocratic in the process of crisis management. Although they need to learn how to listen to the concerns of others, they are usually understood best by seeing them as task related rather than relational in their orientations. Their desire for efficiency, accomplishments, and success drives them on when others despair and give in to defeat. They need to hear about options and probabilities of success from their counselors in order to maximize their abilities to calm the fears of their followers. Give them wide opportunities to build their own structures, programmes, and strategies. They are best when they are given independent and the authority to accomplish their tasks even during crisis. Drivers who are in the contextualization ministry are often some of the best missionaries due to their undaunted determination to achieve their goals even in the most difficult of circumstances!

2. Expressive - Influencers - During times of emergencies, these people are free with their expressions and often impulsive with their responses. Several minutes ago, I talked with a friendly expressive who had just come from the strife torn regions of Kaduna State. He told me, ``I will gladly surrender my life in defense for my Kagoro people. We are past the point of turning the other cheek. We are ready to pay any price in the preservation of our identity.’’ As he spoke his eyes were aflame with rage for the dozens of Kagoro people who lost their lives in the ethnic skirmish the weekend before at Zagon- Kataf village. His actions were open, eager, and free in letting me know exactly how he was feeling. Since I have known him, he has always been completely open with his feelings to most people. Sometimes too open as he does not always think through the implications of everything he says. He is usually more concerned about his delivery than the content of his message, since his expressions are more felt than thought through. His manner is most inspiring during times of crisis since his enthusiasm is often contagious. He can be so dramatic at times, that a listener must take only a certain percentage of what he says as literal and the rest as passion. However, his warm personal approach to others encourages them to trust him more than most other temperaments during times of difficulty.

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