Each of us had a hard time recognizing the extent to which our own personalities affect our ministry style and methodological choices. That’s the nature of the thing, right? Each of us can hardly be expected to notice where and how our particular personality “comes into play” when we’re constructing a message, discipling a student, building an event, or even dreaming up a new initiative.

But we sure notice when others fail to understand our grand ideas, or when they push back.

It seems to me one key is to notice – with our thinking caps on! – when we do receive pushback, especially when it’s least expected. What about that plan doesn’t “sit right” with our student leaders? What about our great idea for the upcoming event doesn’t “catch” others in the same way it catches us?

And an even bigger key – one God has to help us with – is to start recognizing what’s personality more than it’s strategy. “Not leaning on our own understanding” means doubting ourselves a little – not in the low-self-confidence sort of way, but in the healthy, take-myself-with-a-grain-of-salt sort of way. Asking ourselves, “What about this message plan is more me than wisdom, more personality than an actual (God-given) sense of what’s most needed on this particular occasion?