What works with one person might not be the best approach for the next person. We have varying personalities, learning styles, backgrounds, intelligences, and we are at different places in our walk with God. Consequently, my style of doing certain things may not be your style which will have an effect on how we serve others. Taking a one size fits all approach may lessen ministry effectiveness.
My Style May Not Fit Your Style
We may have different bents or preferences. We may have differing needs. For example:
The way I came to know the Lord as my Savior might not have affected you the same way.
My approach to daily personal time with the Lord might not be as meaningful to you.
How I memorize Scripture might not work well for you.
The track I follow in training efforts might not be what you need.
How I teach or how I learn might not fit your learning style.
How I most like to worship may not be your preference.
Suggestions for Dealing with Varying Styles as We Serve
The Apostle Paul understood how people are different and provided his approach in 1 Corinthians 9:19-22 from which we can pull some implications for ourselves in serving others.
- We must get beyond the effects of ministry on ourselves. And, we must guard against projecting our own ways onto others.
Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. (1 Cor. 9:19)
- We need to meet people where they are if we want to have the greatest impact in their lives.
To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. (1 Cor. 9:20-22a)
- We should avoid cookie cutter approaches when possible and use a variety of means in reaching and ministering to people.
I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. (1 Cor. 9:22b)