In most areas of occupation, there are thinkers and doers. Neither is more necessary than the other, and yet each depends on the other. The thinker must have the doer to implement his ideas; the doer requires the thinker’s thoughts to give him a task or direction.
The football coach dreams up incredible offensive schemes, yet he requires the players to run them. The offensive players are ready to engage the defense and move the ball – but they need a good game plan to work together effectively. Each is reliant on the other to accomplish their goals, and neither is more or less important than the other.
So it is with ministry.
In my experience in ministry – both lay and “professional” – I have observed this facet of the ministry world: There are thinkers and there are doers. There are those who make clear the guidelines, provoke thought, and spur ideas. And there are those who implement them to great spiritual gains. Men like Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, C. S. Lewis, and Francis Shcaeffer were all thought leaders of their time – the ones who thought valiant thoughts concerning the things of God. But with their noses in books and journals and their minds wading in theological depths, they had less time for action on these subjects than they might have hoped.
But the doers caught their ideas, and ran with them.
In my opinion, we need both types of leaders in our churches today – and Christianity as a whole – thought leaders and action leaders. We must have those who continually drive us closer to God through sound theology and biblical methods. We must also have action leaders who transform these doctrines into application – with boldness and vision leading and inspiring us to live them out daily.
This division in roles does not excuse a person from both thinking and doing together. Both should be done by all believers. But certainly, God has made some to spend more time on one facet than another. And together, it is a beautiful partnership.
As an introvert, I find myself drawn towards times of pensiveness, quiet reflection, and theological reasoning. This is not to say I don’t take action (I do), but that I do take much pleasure in thinking thoughts that drive methodology.
We should be thankful for the introverts and extroverts in the church world. Both are necessary for biblical success.