Insight: Task-Oriented or People-Oriented? God Uses Both on Teams

Insights are short, biblical truths to equip you to lead from your strengths.

Are you task-oriented or people-oriented?

Each of us has a natural way we interact with your environment. This God-given inclination falls into one of two different orientations.

small group praying

Image: Holy Spirit Anglican Church

The task-oriented among us are interested in “getting the job done.” They’re list-makers and sequential thinkers who function well when completing a task and moving on to another one.  Meanwhile, those that are people-oriented do their best work when they interact with others. They thrive in relating to people, cooperating together to accomplish tasks, and building relationships.

These two different orientations bring strengths to a team, a family, and a marriage.

Here’s an Insight

Both task-oriented strengths and people-oriented strengths are valuable in kingdom work.

Take a look at how God used these two different orientations working together in the early church.

Paul was a task-oriented Persuader. His interest was in “getting the job done” – telling people about Jesus. He visited a village, presented the good news, led people to faith, and launched a cell of believers. Once he had accomplished those tasks at a given location (or he was run out of town), Paul moved on to the next town. God had gifted Paul with the ability to communicate enthusiastically and convincingly, leading many to faith in Jesus Christ. He was a change agent.

In Corinth, Paul connected with Aquila and Priscilla – two people-oriented Relators/Promoters. The couple hosted Paul in their home and shared their tent-making business with him.  Clearly Aquila and Priscilla supported and encouraged Paul, because they traveled to Ephesus with him. There they coached and counseled the Ephesian believers, even singling out Apollos for special discipleship when they discovered his leadership gifts. The couple’s home was a revolving door of hospitality and encouragement. God used them to nurture believers – in particular the leaders of the early church. Their relational orientation was so strong that Aquila and Priscilla were willing to risk their lives in order to invest in God’s people.

Use Your Natural Orientation

Paul completed tasks, but he also knew the job of building the church was not done.

He partnered with Aquila and Priscilla, who took the baton from him, built up others in the faith, and even discipled other leaders.

As you consider your orientation to your environment, think about your most natural approach: task-orientation or people-orientation.

How do you use your natural orientation on your team or in your home to build God’s Kingdom?

Now How Shall I Live?

Read the account of Paul’s ministry with Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18).

  • Record indicators of Paul’s task orientation.
  • Record indicators of Aquila and Priscilla’s people orientation.
  • How did God use this team to build the early church?

Discover your strengths when you take the Leading From Your Strengths profile.

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