Except for my poor calculus abilities, I have the makings and mindset of an engineer. The complexity of things is easier for me to understand than the emotions of people. If you have an outgoing, flexible, let’s-do-everything-together style of ministry, I will drive you crazy! But, because “engineers” are part of the body of Christ, we can contribute a great deal with the proper motivation.
So, here are some hints of how to minister to and with an “engineer.”
• Acknowledge my commitment. Probably, I have been faithful to the same spouse/career/church for years. I make good on my word. And, I don’t complain. Encourage my commitment with regularity. In a society that gives the squeaky wheel the oil, my
steadiness is undervalued. If, from lack of appreciation, I do let out a squeak, it won’t be pretty.
• Give just the facts. I don’t know how to handle extreme enthusiasm so don’t get too gushy about my Christian faith in order to get me to participate. Don’t lapse into wordiness. I am willing to serve, but I want to know the simple details of what you are asking me to do. Reasonable deadlines also help. I will do a thorough job.
• Don’t expect me to be you. If you ask me to participate in something, and I don’t answer right away, this is normal. Do not take this personally. I am probably formulating necessary specs for the project in my mind. Although I am incapable of snap answers, my final answer will be one you can depend on.
• Alone again, naturally. You might say, “the more, the merrier.” If I am forced to interact with too many people for too long, I need to go have a little rest. Give me some sort of ministry that I can put on a schedule, do at my own pace, or organize on paper.
• Consider my strengths. Please think about what I am good at. This can be hard with someone as guarded as I am. I suggest that, if you have a VBS task, for instance, don’t give me the one where I supervise 20 unruly kids by myself. I might be better at using a combustion engine (driving around town) to distribute posters or putting database software through its paces (compiling registration lists).
God is pleased when all sorts of people use their gifts to build up the Church. This includes those with “engineer” minds and “socialite” abilities and every God-given gift in between. Let’s encourage one another to use our diverse gifts. (I’ll bring the spreadsheet!)