The Peacemaker

I had the privilege to dive into the Enneagram Personality types with some of the members on the programming team this week and I am happy to say that it has completely messed with me…on so many levels.  After agonizing over which type I “should” be, I feel like type 9, the peacemaker, might describe me the best.  As we discussedt the characteristics of the peacemaker type, we talked about how a 9 usually has a big cause that matters to them and that they want to bring peace between the two sides.  For some in the room, racial reconciliation was their big issue.  For someone else it was between rich and poor.

As I have been trying to figure out how I “feel” about what my cause is, I have been reaching the conclusion that the cause that matters to me feels so much smaller than some of the others we talked about.  Regardless, it is a cause, and it does matter.

My heart beats fast for the production person in the local church.  For how that person uses how God has made them to accomplishes His purposes on this earth using their gifts.  I also feel like one of the largest issues that this group deals with is a disconnect between them and the programming team, stage personalities, talent, musicians, actors, artists, etc.  These two groups couldn’t be more different and yet we work so closely together.

I want my life to be about bringing these two groups together.  Not only bringing them together, but maximizing the impact we can have together.  Do things work when we don’t get along?  Generally.  But the vision of how things could work so much better if we could learn to see each other’s POV so that the Gospel can be presented in new and creative ways, and so that we could live in a genuine Acts 2 community, gets me excited like nothing else.  I want to shrink the divide.  I want to bridge the gap.


I have been reading Seth Godin’s book “Linchpin” and he talks about the principle of sprinting. I’m just going to quote from him:

“The best way to overcome your fear of creativity, brainstorming, intelligent risk-taking or navigating a tricky situation might be to sprint.

“When we sprint, all the internal dialogue falls away and we focus on going as fast as we possibly can. When you’re sprinting, you don’t feel that sore knee and you don’t worry that the ground isn’t perfectly level. You just run.”

In my world of production at Willow Creek, there is something fascinating about the sprint.  It seems like we spend quite a bit of energy trying to simplify stuff or to make something doable so we don’t burn ourselves out.  But instead, what seems to happen is that we tend to have too much time on our hands to worry about what’s next, or get frustrated by the things we don’t like, or wish that something that is broken would get fixed.  This idea of sprinting makes me think about the huge tasks that get put in front of us that take too much time, require too many resources and generally push ourselves to the limit.

I had lunch with someone and we talked about old times, and some of the crazy projects that he had been a part of.  In a particular era, he didn’t have a day off for something like 2 years, yet those 2 years contain some of his favorite memories of working here.  I started thinking about all the amazing things I have been a part of over my life, and most of them have come at a time of immense work load, a sprint.

The sprint feels like something we need, to stay energized and to push us to the next level.  Something that helps us stop thinking about all the problems we have and focusing on getting something done. Most people I know, including myself, get a little nervous when people start talking about an all out run. By sprinting on a regular basis, our endurance is built up, we can run farther, we can begin to pick up our normal pace.

Seth Godin summarizes this thought nicely:  “You can’t sprint every day, but it’s probably a good idea to sprint regularly.”