I recently took the “Standout” strengths assessment test. My strongest strength is that of a “connector.” I love people and I think that we’re capable of much more together than when we act alone. This strength can be particularly important in a globalized world.
As our world has become smaller we can purchase products made far away and more importantly out of sight. We don’t know who has made our products and what their work conditions were. Acting as a connector in a globalized world, I can help bridge that producer/consumer gap. As a mission minister it’s my job to remind people we are supposed to love and care for our neighbor. We might know of people who are forced to work in abysmal conditions but we really don’t KNOW them. As a connector I have the ability, dare I say the calling, to help make that connection concrete when and wherever I can.
Not only is connecting important to make a difference for people far away, but it is equally important for those who aren’t traditionally considered receivers. The minority world has much to learn FROM the majority world and creating that connection can be powerful for the transfer of skills, ideas, faith and many other things to the minority world. Connecting in the era of globalization can create and foster mutual transformation for everyone.
My second strength was “Pioneer.” Before this test I’m not sure I would have classified myself this way, but after reading the chapter it’s definitely something I can “own.” With regards to globalization, I think this trait has played itself out in a network that a few others and I created to work in South Africa. We believed that our church needed to have a direct connection (without a denominational intermediary) to churches and organizations there, so we built a network of eight churches that directly partners with two South Africa NGO’s and that supports two missionaries. Until this class I hadn’t stop to consider that this network blended my top two strengths and is something I’m grateful to have been pat of.
A few lingering questions:
1.) How can I better foster a global connection and help those in the US realize that there consumer behaviors affect people elsewhere? Book studies? Experiences?
2.) Does being a pioneer mean I’m less likely to maintain something? Am I always looking for something new because it’s new?