This week on LifeWay's Pastors Blog, a helpful article on why pastors should ask for feedback and welcome critique came out. One of the hardest things in leadership is deliberately exposing yourself to potentially negative feedback. As a leader, you'll get plenty of feedback without asking for it! But beyond the comments, anonymous letters, and vanilla "nice job pastor," it can be difficult to know where to get feedback. That's where your younger leaders, ministry staff, proteges, and other emerging leaders come into play. Yes, I'm asking you lead pastors to get feedback from your youth minister in his 20's, I'm asking you to get feedback from your worship leader, I'm asking you to get input from the people you serve alongside.
It validates those second chair leaders - It can be tough being a second chair leader (someone who has leadership responsibility but without the authority of the lead role). But when you as a leader solicit feedback and value the opinion of your second chairs, you're elevating them, validating their capacity as a leader, and encouraging them. Nothing can deflate a second chair more than having their opinion or perspective blown off by their leader.
It gives fresh perspective - Many older lead pastors serve on a multigenerational team, and soliciting feedback from those who are younger than you can help you navigate the channels of Millennials, can help you see how your message is being received by a changing audience, and keep you abreast on trends, technology, and new avenues for communication. Sometimes you see the same thing so many times you don't even realize what's wrong. Fresh perspective fixes that.
It keeps you humble - Soliciting feedback isn't necessarily "throwing yourself to the wolves" but you are exposing yourself to constructive critique. It's important to handle this feedback with humility and grace. Those around you want you to succeed. They want to see a healthy ministry. And when you solicit this feedback, you realize it's not all about you. That's healthy for a leader. It keeps us from thinking our success comes from us.
Your credibility multiplies - This goes with the first point about validating those leaders. When you engage in honest conversation, asking for honest feedback, and listening to the perspectives of those around you, your leadership credibility goes up like a rocket! Leaders in the church only have the ability to influence others based on their credibility, and when you invest in those around you and let them help shape the vision, you'd be surprised at their willingness to chase that vision. When you shut out those around you or don't seek their honest feedback (too many leaders spend their time soliciting pats on the back rather than honest assessment), don't be surprised when they're less than excited about the vision.
Leading with Security
Leadership isn't easy. Rocket science, huh? But seriously, if you're going into leadership because you want to be popular, feel good about yourself, or because you need other people's affirmation, you're going to be sorely disappointed. Leadership is hard. Selling ice cream isn't. That's what I tell younger leaders, that if they think this will be easy or fun, they need to start selling ice cream instead. Everybody loves the ice cream guy, but not everyone will always like a leader.
Why? Because leadership has to make decisions that are difficult, that carry a cost, and that deeply impact people. We want to make sure we have a zero-sum or win-win perspective, but there are times that we can't do that. Sometimes in order to do what's best for the organization/ministry/company/church, we make decisions that are painful. It's not always this way, there are lots of times when decisions are easy because there's a contagious vision and the momentum pushes things forward. Those great times are when it's fun to be a leader because you're along for the ride.
But the reality is, leaders need to have security. The security of who they are as a person with specific gifting and abilities, serving where and doing what God has called them to, and hanging on to their identity in Christ. I knew someone who served with an incredibly insecure leader, who once called him into the office because he hadn't been liking or commenting on the leader's Facebook posts, who called meetings to have people tell him he was doing a good job, and who spent time creating narratives of how people perceived him and agonizing over these delusions.
Insecure leaders are toxic to any organization, because the focus of the leadership goes from pushing things forward to stoking whatever insecurity the leader has. Meetings take on the feel of a therapy session rather than dreaming, and little risk is ever taken. The end result is an inertia, a loss of vision and enthusiasm, and in many cases the loss of solid people in the organization.
Leaders should be secure in Christ - The first place a leader needs to be secure is in their relationship with Christ. In Christ, we become new creations, we cast aside our timidity and doubt and instead have the power of the Spirit. We have crossed over from death to life, have gone from Enemies to Friends, and we know that nothing on earth or hell can ever shake us from being God's child. If that doesn't get a leader through difficult times, nothing else will. Leaders secure in Christ are not proud, nor do they carry an air of super-spirituality, but instead carry themselves with a contagious humility--an attitude of prayer, repentance, and gracious service to others.
Leaders should be secure in their Calling - As spiritual leaders, we know this is something God has called us to. Let me say that again, God has called you to serving Him. He knew your weaknesses, your shortcomings, your besetting sin, but yet He still called you. I love how Peter describes our calling, becoming a people so that we can "proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into marvelous light." Spiritual leaders aren't better Christians than others, nor are they closer to God, they simply have been given a calling that puts them in a position to influence others for effective Kingdom service and ministry.
Leaders should be secure in their Assignment - The same God who called you to spiritual leadership has also called you to the specific place and role you are serving now. So when it stinks, remember God was the one who brought you there. Insecure leaders constantly keep checking job sites or feel like they're not being used. But there's also something special knowing that God has brought you to a specific leadership position, and that He is going to use you where you are. You can't be an insecure leader and expect to be content where you're serving.
Leaders should be secure in their Team - Secure leaders know that the people around them were also brought there by God, called to some form of spiritual leadership, and above all else their brother or sister in Christ. Insecure leaders isolate themselves from their team, don't develop meaningful relationships with them, and question their role on the team. A secure leader isn't threatened by others' success, nor do they find themselves intimidated by someone on the team who shares their gift set. Secure leaders know that the others around them are there (hopefully) for the same objectives, and can be an incredible partner for accomplishing the vision.
The great thing about leadership is that it's possible for someone to go from being insecure to being secure. Work through this list, starting at the top and moving down, and ask God to help you grow and develop in those areas. Above all else, guard yourself from the discouragement and deception from the Enemy, who only seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. And that includes your security as a leader. Cling to the Savior who rescued you, who called you, and who will never, ever leave you. He is enough, and He is what we can depend on when selling ice cream sounds a whole lot better.
A few weeks ago I was sitting in a doctor's office answering questions about how I was feeling. The questions were part of the process for the doctor to figure out what was going on with me. Individually, the symptoms weren't a huge deal, but taken together they provide a picture of what's happening. In ministry we need to regularly ask ourselves diagnostic questions about our leadership, especially when it feels like we're on the roller coaster of ups and downs. Those times, with their uncertainty and unpredictability, can be debilitating for us unless we dig into the issues. So here are 7 diagnostic questions to regularly ask yourself in ministry, but to really look at on the rough days.
1. Is your personal spiritual life growing, regular, consistent, and engaging? - In ministry we're only able to give to others what we're getting ourselves. That starts by the regular practice of spiritual disciplines, the practices we do to engage our faith. If your time in the Word isn't charging your heart, if your time in prayer isn't shaping you to be like Jesus, and if you're not regularly fasting, serving, giving, witnessing, and sharing hospitality, it's no wonder your ministry leadership feels dry. You're running on an empty tank.
2. When was the last time you dreamed? - Daydreaming is a waste of time, that's pretending you're high-fiving Lebron James when your name gets called as an NBA starter. Start practicing your jumper or start studying for that Physics test. But dreams are a whole other thing. Dreams are where the energy for our effort comes from. Dreams are where we picture an ideal future of what we want our lives and ministries to look like. Sleep studies have shown if we don't dream, we can really hurt ourselves. Are you dreaming of what your ministry could look like? Or are you content to just let things continue?
3. Is your marriage and family life balanced and healthy? - The downfall for far too many pastors who burn out or disqualify themselves happens not in the pulpit but in their home. Are you engaged with your kids or distracted by your phone? Are you involved in their lives reading bedtime stories or attending games? Do you date your wife? Are you regularly intimate (physically and emotionally)? Satan will attack your home before he attacks your church (cf. Mark 3:27), so take an assessment and see if things are strong?
4. When was the last time God answered a prayer? - James tells us we have not because we ask not (James 4:2-3) and sometimes I think that happens when we stop praying expectantly. If it's been a while since you can remember God specifically answering a prayer, check to see if your prayer life is vibrant or perfunctory. Are you praying to seek God's face and plead with Him, or are you running through your church's sick list?
5. Can you name who's shaping you and who you're shaping? - I'm a huge fan of mentoring, both to have someone shaping your life but also for you to shape someone else's. One of the best uses of a leader's time is spending time investing in another leader--that multiplies your influence. If you shape someone and are being shaped, you're constantly sharpening yourself. If your ministry influence isn't being replicated in others, you're not developing a culture of leaders, you're creating a dependency.
6. Are you reading something right now? - Ministry leaders fill their offices with books, a lot of it comes from spending 3-8 years in intensive study in seminary (especially if you're crazy enough to go for a doctorate!). But when a ministry leader doesn't have to read for class anymore, many times they fall into a trap of not regularly reading anymore. Harry Truman made it clear when he said "leaders are readers" because if you're not growing and expanding yourself as a leader, you're on your way to turning into a Dead Sea. Check out the book Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books for more on sharpening yourself as a reader. Also, don't be scared to read outside of your tribe. I've gleaned so much from secular leadership books, there's so much to take from them that are observable principles of working with people.
7. Can you remember the last time you depended on faith to do something? - One thing I've learned in almost a decade of ministry is that we are trained to be risk-aversive. Risk isn't always good or wise, sometimes when we think we're taking a risk to accomplish something we're actually being stupid. But our risk aversion means that more often than not, we're not depending on faith to get anything done. We're so good at "counting the cost" that we forget to look to the Lord of the harvest. If you can't remember the last time you needed to depend on faith for something, maybe you've been depending on yourself and your ability more than God's. Take a step back and look for a BHAG that only God can accomplish, get wise counsel, and after much prayer take a leap of faith. Watch how God provides, protects, and works through you.
The best way to tell if a leader is truly invested in their people is to look at what happens when they get to a buffet line. Does the leader push his way to the front or does he let others go ahead of him? What about their place in the line? Are they content with being in the middle or are they willing to go all the way to the back, and in the process get the cold leftovers and pimento cheese? That's the big question Sinek poses in the book Leaders Eat Last, which he observed while watching a Marine Corps meal--the officers waited until all the enlisted men had gone through to eat before they did. The message behind it was clear: the goal of a leader is to make sure those under their care are taken care of first.
You can check out a really helpful review of the book here, and even though Sinek isn't writing from a Christian worldview, his book has several implications for Christ-like leadership. Sinek's major arguments come from a naturalistic worldview that looks at sacrificial leadership as a survival instinct, and points out the physiology of our body chemicals (Serotonin, Dopamine, Endorphins, and Oxytocin) and their role in shaping our social bonds and personal interactions. As believers, we recognize that our body chemistry and social interactions are part of God's design and what makes us unique as His image-bearers.
1. Christian leaders can set the thermostat - Leaders have the ability to shape the culture and environment they lead in. If a leader is poised, composed, and strategic, the environment is much less chaotic than a leader who lives by a "crisis of the week" mentality. Never underestimate how much people are looking to you as a leader, they will feed off your cues, both spoken and unspoken.
2. Christian leaders lead by sacrificial service - Jesus models this for us, and Paul shares in Philippians 2 the sacrificial servanthood of Christ, who emptied Himself to the point of a servant and died in our place on the cross. As leaders, we do not lead by barking orders from the back, we lead from the front. I remember one mission trip watching a youth pastor sitting under an umbrella telling his students what to do on a construction project. If you want to lead, be willing to work harder, longer, and right there with your people.
3. Christian leaders recognize the needs of others - When we lead, we're not setting our agenda, we're serving and meeting the needs of those around us. That's why we need to be flexible with how we build our time. The desperate man whose wife just left him can't wait for you to finish your sermon prep to talk, your response as a leader is to respond to the immediate needs. It's also important to make sure the long-range needs are met, which means your agenda as a leader becomes their agenda.
4. Christian leaders need to have the big picture in mind - Leadership isn't doing what Jack Welch at GE did, which was create a spirit of fear among managers and a roller coaster of performance. It instead looks like Costco, that recognizes the value of employees and making sure they can thrive at work by thriving at home. It's what I love about Southwest Airlines, their primary focus is their employees, because they know if they take care of their people they will take care of the customers. As a Christian leader, we need to keep the big picture in mind, looking ahead to what will make the most lasting impact. One question I ask often as a student pastor is "What do I want them to take with them when they graduate in 3/4/5/6/7 years?" That helps me frame everything we do in a way that equips them for living as Gospel witnesses.
5. Trust is the currency we lead with - Whenever we lead as Christian leaders, we're doing so in the crucible of relationships. Our effectiveness as a leader only goes as far as the depth, quality, and breadth of our relationships. The currency we spend in this is trust. As we develop relationships and build into people, they give us trust deposits. Occasionally we need to cash those deposits in to make a difficult decision, change, or navigate through the rhythm of conflict resolution. These withdrawals are a necessary element of leadership, and the more people trust us, the more we're able to lead, inspire, and cast vision.
Last week news resounded throughout college basketball that the University of Louisville had self-imposed a one year ban on postseason play. Instead of entering the NCAA tournament as a sleeper Final Four pick, the season will end without much fanfare on a March afternoon in Charlottesville Virginia. There have been teams who've self-imposed bans before (Syracuse basketball and Miami football most recently), but those teams lacked the potential that this year's Cardinals team did. At the center of the story were two fifth-year graduate transfers, Damion Lee & Trey Lewis. They joined the team to get the chance to hear One Shining Moment, and to hear their name called on a tournament court. And when the team heard the news, reports from the locker room focused on how crushed these two were. Because they had been named team captains and had carried themselves with class the whole season, they were made available to the media that evening. This is what that scene looked like.
They were surrounded by every. single. member. of. the. team. If that's not team chemistry, I don't know what is. On what could have been a day everyone mailed it in, the entire team stood by their teammates who just had the worst day of their lives. Chemistry is so important to teams, and it can be the difference between an OK team and a great team. Who knows what this team could have done? I don't know if the program will be hit with more sanctions beyond this. But for a moment, we saw what chemistry is and how important it can be to maintain a team.
This chemistry displayed itself through friendship, unity, and trust. The players all season displayed more than a shared uniform, they shared life. They laughed together, hung out together, and truly liked each other. They were also unified, and that comes from the culture that emphasized the name on the front of the jersey rather than the back. They played hard, dug in on defense, and looked to find the open player. Lastly, they trusted each other. It's a beautiful picture to know that during your worst moment, someone has your back. The scandal may impact the program for years, but these guys did nothing wrong and proved they lived out the mantra of being a "Louisville man."
Chemistry in ministry is important because ministry is personal, the body connects and intersects, and ministry is hard! These kinds of crisis moments can be a time where chemistry is forged among a team, if there is intentionality among the team to bond together as a "Band of Brothers" to get through those difficult times. Unfortunately, if there hasn't been much work done before the crisis to build a foundation for that chemistry, crisis moments can often prove divisive. So what are you doing to develop chemistry in your ministry? I dedicated an entire chapter to how important chemistry is in ministry in my book Dream Teams, available on Amazon. Pick up a copy and see if it doesn't change the way your ministry operates.
Giving Leadership Away
This past week I was supposed to be out of town at a conference, but we had a sick baby at home so I had to cancel my trip. I’d already gotten a substitute for our weekly Bible study, so I thought I’d change it up and be a part of being fed rather than be the one up front leading. I have to admit, it was one of the most refreshing things I’ve done in a while. One thing we can too often believe in leadership is that we have to always be the one leading, that’s just who we are. But if we don’t take time to be fed and encourage others to take the lead, we’re not doing our job as leaders—instead of leading a culture, we’re creating a dependency.
Think about it for a second. If you’re the only one who ever leads, teaches, and speaks, what happens when you get the flu or another opportunity comes up? You’ve done a disservice to your ministry because you’ve not equipped others to carry the mantle for you. Our leadership is best used when it’s distributed to others. If you invest in 5 volunteers who are leading in your ministry, you’ve multiplied your leadership by 6! You can in theory do six times more than you could by yourself. If you intentionally invest in an intern or associate leader, you’ve doubled your capacity to reach the entire ministry, and you’ve set up someone else for success when God moves them (or you) to a new place of service.
If you’re a leader, I want to encourage you to occasionally take a step back and let someone else have the spotlight. Of course this assumes you’ve built someone up to be in that spot! If you’ve not and you take a step back, you’ve not distributed leadership you’ve dumped it. There’s a huge difference.
1. It allows your people to hear from another voice – One thing that can happen when you’re the only voice is the Charlie Brown phenomenon. Remember the teacher’s voice in Peanuts? That’s how you can sound after time. Give them a break and let them be fed or led by someone else.
2. It gives you a chance to sit back and evaluate – When you’re up front you only get a limited perspective. But when you take a step back you can see how all the moving pieces interact and if what you’re doing is being effective. Actively listen, take notes, and don’t leave any sacred cows unturned. It also helps you to give feedback to the leader filling in for you, especially if they’re new or inexperienced. Your feedback is invaluable to them!
3. You need to be a learner – I’m convinced leaders who stop learning are leaders who can’t lead. It shows pride when you think you can’t learn something from someone else, even if they’re new or inexperienced. God still speaks through His Word, and when you sit back and let yourself learn from someone else’s perspective, you’re honoring their preparation and God’s design for you to work and rest.
4. You’re training up Kingdom workers – So many times churches assume their ministry leadership will just do the work of ministry, that they’ll basically do everything. And that’s partly true, ministry leaders should be willing to do whatever it takes, but they shouldn’t be expected to do everything. Ephesians 4 shows us that the task of ministry leadership is to equip the saints for the work of ministry. So when you’re letting others lead and helping build up people to do ministry.
Do you have any success stories on stepping back and letting others succeed in leadership?
Decentralization as Encouraging Trend
Yesterday I read a great article by Thom Rainer (CEO of LifeWay) on two major changes in the landscape of the American church. These changes have been subtle, but their impact is starting to resonate. The two major trends are: Decentralization of Leadership, and Decentralization of Facilities. I loved this article. It was a huge encouragement to see a shift in how churches in America operate and engage their communities for the Gospel. Church leadership should be encouraged as well, because it marks a change towards biblical faithfulness for the local church and her pastors. I specifically noticed 6 implications from the article.
Decentralized leadership leads to a team ministry mindset - One thing that stood out to me was the shift from "Senior" to "Lead" pastor. The change in terminology, while functionally keeping the position the same, showed a flattening of the pyramid. Think of a round table, no one is at the head, each has a contribution. The leadership comes through influence, and in a team ministry mindset everyone buys into the vision/direction of the lead pastor.
Decentralized facilities turn church from attractional to missional - When the hub of activity is the church facility, and everything is directed towards a "come and see" mindset, what happens often is congregational isolationism--where everything becomes an "alternative" for the church. In a decentralized approach, the church is released to go into the community and put less emphasis on having to come to the church property.
Decentralized leadership changes staff focus - In many churches, staff are expected to do the ministry. In a decentralized leadership model, staff are free to cast vision and handle the administrative aspects of ministry, while putting their primary focus on equipping others to carry out the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11).
Decentralized facilities reduce overhead costs - It costs a lot to maintain a big building, and much of that money in annual budgets is frozen, which keeps additional funds from being released for ministry, missions, and recruiting new leadership. By putting less emphasis on the grounds and multiplying campuses rather than adding square footage, a church becomes more cost-effective in how their money is stewarded.
Decentralized leadership gets more done - One person doing ministry is limited by their time, energy, and lack of sleep. But if one person equips 10 to do ministry, the impact is exponential. When we shift away from leaders doing ministry to leaders fostering a ministry culture, we're able to see more Kingdom impact happen. Imagine what could happen in your church if you could equip, disciple, train, and release 10 people to do what you're doing by yourself now.
Decentralized facilities allows for greater community impact - A few weeks ago I got to interview an executive pastor in a multi-site church in an urban setting. I asked him specifically about how each campus interacts with their communities, and that was an a-ha moment for me. By placing campuses in different communities, each with a different feel (some were in the suburbs, others were in the yuppy/Millennial areas), the Gospel can be contextualized in such a way that speaks to the hearts of the people, serves in a uniquely beneficial way, and promotes a culture of missions that shows how Jesus loves that community in its own way.
How have you seen decentralization in your church? What was effective about it? How could we continue to move further?
A few months ago I met with my student leadership team where we talked about one of the most important words a leader can learn: no. They were shocked when I told them "I say no to anywhere between 80%-90% of the ideas people give me. It's not that they're always bad ideas, sometimes they are, but it's because I don't want to stuff our ministry with things that don't advance the goal." Every leader needs to learn to say no, but I think it's especially important for student ministers. We consume ourselves with the false impression that busy = effective, so we program ourselves to death chasing after every event, mission trip, concert, and retreat. The reality is that in the end, we're exhausting ourselves, straining our church resources, placing an extra burden on our families, asking parents to over-extended their finances, and often spending way too much time doing stuff that doesn't matter.
You're not Superman. Most student ministries are small and often find the student minister (and spouse) as the main volunteers. When we say yes to everything, we put ourselves and our spouses on a pace that we weren't meant to keep. One person can't manage all that's often asked of student ministers. That's why it's so important to develop a team of volunteers, and empower them to lead ministries. Here's the reality guys, you're not that important. Some things can happen without you. You don't have to be at every ball game, every class fellowship, every birthday party, etc. Empower and equip your volunteers and cheer for them when they do those things. It multiplies your ministry and allows you to focus on the priorities God has for you in ministry.
You can't let everyone be a guest speaker. "God's given me a message to share with your students" is a phrase that sends a chill up my spine. I'm not saying every guest speaker is wacky, but there are plenty out there. And as the primary teacher/communicator, you have the responsibility to make sure that what's being taught and presented is biblical and edifying. You can't let anyone and everyone have your teaching spot. I use a rotation of a handful of guys I know and trust when I have to be away from our regular student ministry gatherings. I typically go over the plan with them and get feedback on what they're planning to do, but since there's a high level of trust it's never an issue. It's not always so rosy though, two of the better examples I've had to say no to are:
You can't do every activity that gets suggested. One thing we can never do in student ministry is let things get stale, where we keep doing the same things over and over again. Everything has a shelf life, and even good ideas can become golden calves if we're not careful. Soliciting ideas from others is a great way to generate new ministries and activities. But just because it's a good idea doesn't mean that it's something to incorporate into your ministry. Ask yourself four questions:
In the end, that's ok. You're not called to be everything. If you're serving in a small church with a small student ministry, you can't do all the things the megachurch across town can do. That's ok. Focus on the students God has given you and invest your life in them. And if you're in the megachurch, your time will be spent investing in leaders and volunteers more than in students. That's ok. Empower them to multiply the ministry. The point of this article is simple: be who God has called you to be, and do what God has called you to do. Learning to say no helps you keep your eyes on what's most important.
Sports are a microcosm of life. We can watch what happens in a game and see a number of ways that applies to what we see on a daily basis. I firmly believe each major sport can show us some specific things about leadership. The NFL teaches us how important culture is in an organization for success. MLB teaches us about chemistry within a team and what separates good teams from great ones. The NBA gives us the perspective of personality and its impact on leadership. In no other sport do superstars and individual players carry as much weight and importance as they do in the NBA.
That became obvious this morning when the Houston Rockets dismissed legendary player Kevin McHale as their coach, just 11 games into the season. In the NBA, players have all the weight. That's why superstar players get consulted before the draft, coaches are little more than babysitters (see Kobe vs Shaq feud in LA), and owners almost always side with the player when there is a locker room divided. Entire organizations revolve around the personality of a few people, and that ripple effect has the potential to be incredibly healthy and successful (Tim Duncan & Spurs, Steph Curry & Warriors, or LeBron & Heat/Cavs), or destructive and dysfunctional (Carmelo & Nuggets/Knicks, Kobe & Lakers, or the entire Washington Wizards from 2002-2011).
Personality matters in leadership for 3 reasons.
1. Personality shapes who belongs in the organization - An organization that is centered around a "me-first" personality type will do one of two things: it will discourage and ultimately frustrate "team-first" leaders who will leave to escape the circus, and it will handicap an organization based on the whims of the dominant personality. The team can never move beyond the limitations and challenges because there has been an empowering of a dysfunctional leader. Whether that's a pastor who has to be the center of attention or a small group leader who only allows a certain class of people in, "me-first" mindsets lead to a downward cycle. On the other hand, a "team-first" leader who surrounds themselves with other "team-first" leaders can have a lasting impact because the organization is built by people who care more about collective success than individual glory.
2. Personality is contagious - Last year in the NBA, two players were traded from a team with a "me-first" player (Carmelo) to a team with a "team-first" player (LeBron). Those players when traded away had a transformed season of productivity, which led to a Finals appearance. The difference? The personality of the team was contagious. When a team buys into the personality of the key leader that is focused on the success of others, that attitude spreads like a cold in a preschool--quickly. That's why negative people need to be kept away from key positions of leadership, because the personality and attitude can infect an entire organization.
3. Personality is something you can't coach - I firmly believe a lot about leadership and effectively advancing a ministry or organization can be taught, that it's rooted in the development of some specific skills and qualities (you can read Dream Teams for more about that). But what can't be taught is how a person is wired and how they perceive and discern what is around them. For that, it has to come from within. A leader has to make the commitment at the heart level to be a positive, team-first personality. Ministries that emphasize this in their hiring, evaluation, and deployment processes are ministries that create a climate where the momentum multiplies the attitude of collective success and accomplishment.
What would you add to the idea of personality and leadership? Especially as you see it in ministry contexts?
Scott M. Douglas
A blog about leadership and the lasting legacy of family ministry.