I work for a church. This is an interesting environment where there is great opportunity for the organizers and the dreamy thinkers to get together-it might make something groovy! Let me start by telling you who Dharma and Greg are, just in case you’re not in the loop. A quote explaing the TV show “Dharma and Greg” taken from Wikipedia.com “Free spirited Yoga instructer Dharma and Lawyer Greg get married on their first date despite being complete opposites . Their conflicting views lead to comical situations. Greg’s parents and Dharma’s parents are totally different . But over time they too learn to like each other causing a unique family blend “. So, in other words the hippie marries the lawyer and the fun begins. Truthfully that is exactly what happens. Dharma and Greg learn how to work as a team. (If you haven’t seen this show-check it out, but be warned there is mature content).
I have had wonderful opportunities to hear great speakers and attend wonderful conferences like Catalyst by Andy Stanley and his team (Andy Stanley is a one of many gifted speakers who teach church staffs how to work together, grow, lead, and build while keeping Christ at the center and our keeping co-workers hearts in mind) and the ACS Technologies conferences (ACS is a church database software provider and much more, and lead conferences helping churches grow practically and spritually). In the conferences I discovered that the church I worked for was no different from many others. I heard the “Greg’s” say things like “sigh, I can’t just make it happen. You have to plan” and the “Dharma’s” say things like “I don’t know why my team is always shooting down my great ideas?” And the fact is they are both right, if we are not carful that is how it can be or if we are not truly listening that is how it can seem.
The Type A, organized, planners thrive on having a plan and ticking off each task on the list and have every detail planned out, while the free spirited creative ones equally thrive on the excitement that is produced with the newest idea. They see how the people will love it and get involved how their lives may be changed or how they might just have fun. Neither side is wrong and both need each other. The problem arises when we don’t speak the other person’s language or at least hear the language.
When the “Greg’s” are telling the “Dharma’s” things like: Did you make sure we have enough chairs? Does it conflict with anything on the calendar? Do you need A/V? Will there be childcare? Etc. Dharma often hears “nope, not gonna work, I don’t think I can partner with you in this, uh-huh won’t work.” Or When the “Dharma’s” say “oooooohhhh, I have great idea… we could have floats, and prizes, and… and doves…. Or What if there was a giant ice cream Sunday….?” the “Greg’s” often miss the real vision and heart of the idea and get so turned off by the wide-open free spiritedness that they miss an opportunity to make ministry happen. I love the tagline from the “Dharma and Greg” show “She’s got her head in the clouds. He’s got his feet on the ground. Together, they’re a match made in heaven.”
A match made in heaven… I think that is true. By taking time to understand the differences and appreciate them we can have the perfect marriage-even if it has bumps and a little comedy. So next time Greg can say “wow, what a great idea, I really love your creativity. You know what, I’m organized and can probably make that happen for you-but no doves” and “Dharma” can say “I have a great idea, but I need your strengths in organization to make it happen, can we work together on this? Oh, ok… no doves. What about balooons??” In addition to how we respond we need to listen differently. Take the earlier statement “Did you make sure we have enough chairs? Does it conflict with anything on the calendar? Do you need A/V? Will there be childcare? Etc.” in this statement “Dharma” needs to hear the desire to make her idea really happen and say “wow, I’m so glad you have the bases covered, those are great questions, let’s get together and try to answer those questions-really, no doves? And like wise “Dharma’s” Statement “oooooohhhh, I have great idea… we could have floats, and prizes, and… and doves…. Or What if there was a giant ice cream Sunday….?” “Greg needs to hear this as an opportunity to touch lives, real people not just boxes on a task list and to see the workable plan within what he is hearing. And Really, … no doves, but giant ice cream Sunday-I’m there!”
So, as they say “that’ll preach” Maybe Dharma and Greg will be topics at the next Catalyst?? In the mean time remember your a team and fun things can happen and happen with excellance, but probably no doves.