Ministry 8: Both sides of the brain

(Read other posts in this series at

The Apostle Paul was an exceptional person as we glimpse into his person and ministry.  From what we read in the last of this series he exhibited “left-brained” characteristics of being analytical, logistical and factual.  He also had “right-brained”characteristics of being thoughtful, intuitive and subjective.  

I don’t think we have too many who are as balanced as Paul appears to be. We may be all too aware of this as we examine ourselves.  But, will that keep us from conducting an effective ministry?

It should not. I’d like to look at how we can compensate for areas we are not dominant in.  We can have an effective, in fact, a joyous ministry by building a team of people that can provide the  brain dominance you need.

Who are the people in your congregation who are elders, deacons and other servant leaders?  Have you ever analyzed what qualities they have that you may not?  You may be an expressive passionate person who shows you care for people with needs.  However, you may find it hard to organize a charitable activity even though you feel very charitable.  Your church team worker may be skilled in organization.  He or she may immediately be ready to get people together to get the help needed for those who need it. But, they may not be expressive about the human side of harm.  Both of these elements are needed, but neither may be skilled in both right and left of the brain.

But, the most prominent and intimate type of working together is with your wife. Let me tell you some about my relationship with my beloved Beverly who has been an integral part of my ministry for the past 36 years.  She is very involved and when I used to speak in two congregations each Sabbath, she hardly missed both services. I can think of only two times that she stayed home from the second service and that was because she was sick.  She has endured so many of my sermons sometimes listening to the same sermon that I may have given in different congregations.

I am very definitely right-brained and Bev is left-brained. I have the big ideas and vision for mankind type of thing.  Bev shakes her head, but then immediately starts to figure out how to make some of the things I think of work.I can be overwhelmed about the logistics and Bev may not show the greatest diplomacy in how thing will get off the ground. But, we make it work and have now going on four decades.

One area where we work together in the right and left brained harmony is our work with a public 501 (c) (3) charity I started in 1999 called LifeNets. For several years Bev thought of me as a dreamer and supported me only guardedly at first. In the first years we sent 40 foot containers of aid through government programs to Ukraine, Estonia, Malawi and Guatemala.  Collecting and storing for shipping 20 tons of aid at a time was a formidable task. But, Bev, started to figure out the logistics.  This included finding a warehouse, storing, inventorying it etc. There was a lot of paperwork to fill out.  She was always on top of it.  I was the one who was promoting, writing, creating websites and blogging about the projects.

Now, LifeNets is about 20 years old and Bev virtually runs it as a Chairman of the Board and President.  She runs it like a machine.  I’m the one who still speaks, promotes and writes about the work that it does in typical subjective right-brained fashion.

So, a ministry is most effective by using both sides of the brain.  But, it does not have the one totally in one person.  

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