Howard Gardner makes a bold statement about who leaders are and what they do - he says that leaders are storytellers, who connect stories to those they seek to lead. The best leaders, according to Gardner, are the ones who are able to be effective at telling stories that motivate and drive people to greater accomplishments.
For us as ministry leaders, the key to being a storyteller is to be a dreamer. We don't get to create a new narrative or derive a novel understanding of Truth. We ought be rooted theologically and doctrinally in what we have for certain in Scripture. The Bible serves as our rudder, keeping us on track and guiding us in everything we do. We follow what Scripture says because it is first authored by God and second handed to us for our instruction and example.
But we need to dream. Think about it for a second. Are you content with everything in your ministry right now? Is everything going exactly the way you want it to? Do you feel like God is being honored and glorified to His preeminence? Or do you have a longing, a burning, for something more? Maybe it's just me, but I want more. I want to see God do more. I want more people impacted. I want more missions. More disciples. More baptisms. More leaders. More families. More.
That's when you dream. Wherever we want our folks to go, we must go before them. We must be the dreamer who can see the future if we would be faithful to follow where God leads. Dreams aren't the product of mindless activity where we wander into our subconscious. Dreams are bigger. Dreams are the place we want God to take us where He gets the most glory from our ministry. As leaders, when we dream we're laying before our people a vision, an optimal and ideal place we can go together.
Your church or ministry needs you to dream. Far too many are content to exist. Churches and ministries who simply exist do so because they've forgotten or failed to dream. The status quo, with all its predictability and stability, has become normal and accepted. So things exist. Dreams disrupt the status quo, and dreams can help turn a ministry or a church from one that simply exists to one that thrives.
Leaders, what are you dreaming about?
Scott M. Douglas
A blog about leadership and the lasting legacy of family ministry.