When the Leading From Your Strengths profile was released in 2001, a friend presented Dr. Greg Hibbins with a complimentary copy. Greg completed the assessment – and the personal impact was profound. “The profile data helped me to understand who I am in Christ even after being in ministry so many years,” says Greg. “I finally saw what I was created for and who I need to partner with to accomplish the call God gave me.”
Greg went on to become a LFYS certified practitioner, and now uses profiles with others in all areas of his ministry as a pastor, counselor, and in business. Today the profiles are an integral part of his work as general manager of Christian Education Europe, both in promoting biblical education and in counseling educational partners and teams. “The profile is a versatile tool that can be used across so many levels,” says Greg.
Profiles Have Impact Across Ministry Areas
Looking back, Greg notes the impact of the profiles in four key ministry areas.
In the Church
As a pastor, Greg sought to better understand his elders and develop healthier working relationships by having them complete the profile. He used the subsequent data to equip his team for serving, and in turn the elders developed greater appreciation for each other and themselves. Soon members of his church completed the assessments too and were encouraged to serve in areas that matched their strengths. Outgoing, caring extroverts, for instance, became greeters and hosts. The effect on the church was immediate. Newcomers and members felt welcomed and loved when arriving at worship. Ultimately the church grew into a stronger, healthier body.
That personal experience lends credibility when Greg counsels other church leadership teams. In one case, he discovered considerable conflict among a church’s elders. After the team completed the profiles, Greg found the source of the tension: three elders liked face-paced change and were frustrated by one who preferred slower deliberations in order to consider alternatives and ramifications. As the fast-paced elders gave more time to their slower-paced colleague to work through decisions, the team developed a greater appreciation for each other. Later when a staff position opened up, the team sought a deliberate decision-maker to bring greater balance into the eldership. Now five years later, the church has grown by 60% and is thriving.
The profiles’ impact extends beyond church teams to the business environment as well. Greg invited the Christian Education Europe staff to undergo the profile process in order to ensure greater understanding, but also to help identify areas of weakness on the team. “The team has since added staff with those particular strengths we were once missing,” says Greg. “Now we have created a more complete team.”
As Greg counsels schools, parents, and students referred to him by educational partners, he regularly calls upon the profiles to improve the educational process. Student profiles, in particular, provide powerful data about how children learn, leading to better academic performance and behavioral management.
One student, pressured by her parents to choose a strong academic track and pursue a medical or legal career, became depressed and contemplated suicide. When leading her through the profile process during counseling, Greg discovered the student’s strong interpersonal skills and creative bent, along with her distaste for details and facts so necessary in a more scholarly career. The data was a revelation to her parents, who subsequently encouraged their daughter to pursue her God-given bent. Today, she is a very successful professional photographer.
In Individual Development
Not only are the profiles useful in building relationships within teams, but also in one-on-one coaching. “I use the profile to help people maximize their gifting,” says Greg as he counsels professionals and individuals who struggle with career direction or personal challenges. “They get to the core of self-understanding and acceptance.” His clients discover their place in God’s plan. That, in turn, builds hope in those he counsels so they can “make the dream work.”
Profiles Have Impact Rooted in Truth
While Greg has discovered the benefits of using profiles to inform the individual, team, and community – and build a ministry – he believes their impact is so profound because they are rooted in the ultimate truth.
“The profiles’ greatest asset is their basis in the Word of God,” says Greg. “They are great empowering tools because they are founded in the truth that sets people free.”