by: Rev. Ed Schneider
In any growing, vibrant organization, the multiplication of leadership involves continuous cultivation of an environment where leadership is welcomed and encouraged to grow. When you’ve built a Christian Fellowship where new leadership is valued and embraced, the impact God can have through your ministry is greater than you could have imagined. Sharing an environment of leadership is the most important growth tool available to any level of Christian “faith” practice. Whether you are clergy or laity, you can begin cultivating that environment by doing the following:
Communicate a Big Idea. Cast the Vision.Remind Frequently. Then Do it Again.
Particularly with ministry, where leaders are usually volunteering their time, they need to know they’re investing in something of significance – something big. One of your primary roles as a leader is to frequently remind people of the mission God has called you to accomplish as Ambassadors for Christ. Without a compelling vision, you’ll never attract high-capacity leaders.
Point to the Destination. Let Others Determine How to Get There.
Your job is vision. You get to set expectations – and even remind people of the values that should shape decisions and actions. When you begin to tell people specifically how to do it, they assume you don’t need a leader. Leaders need to own it.
Christian Growth Inside of the Person or Outside of the Building Requires Good Leaders to Think Relationships Before They Think Results.
You must invest your time with other key leaders and potential leaders; and encourage them to do the same. You can’t do it alone. It takes a team of empowered leaders to take ministry to the next level. What are you doing to multiply and release the leadership potential in your Christian Fellowship? Are you creating an environment where high-capacity leaders are welcomed and challenged to be all that God created them to be? That may be your biggest challenge as a leader.
Find People Who Will Authentically “buy into” the Destination and Vision That Has Been Cast.
Any leader inside a Christian setting should be wise enough to know that they are not going to get very far in a car full of leaders who all want to go in different directions. Leadership will also stagnate quickly if that same car is carrying people who think they are leaders and have no intentions of demonstrating the committed action necessary to complete the goals that have been set forth. Both clergy and laity leadership should make no excuses for those who are counterproductive to the goals set forth. Since all effective leadership requires an enthusiastic and sincere team to accomplish anything of real value, that same leadership then requires at the very least those who are on the “core leadership team” to reflect the general vision and its accompanying set of goals. All people are not going to find every idea perfect. Not every one is going to agree on everything all the time, BUT….to be successful the “core leadership team” has to be going in the same direction.
Find People Who Are Smarter Than You – and Give Them the Keys to the Car.
Leaders who don’t have a chance to have an influence will take their influence elsewhere. Give people the freedom to succeed. Do everything you can to help them win. Again, you’re not letting them drive anywhere they want. You get to identify the destination and help get them back on track if they get lost. You just have to remember that leaders don’t want to be passengers – they want the chance to drive.