How do you define success in leadership? Is it by how many kids are in your ministry? How about the volunteers? Do you measure success by how much you do each week? What if you measured success by what you didn’t do?
That feels weird to say and makes me feel lazy, how about you? Personally, I spent most of my first years in leadership thinking that it was my job to do everything and that everyone knew it! How would anyone know I was THE leader if I wasn’t doing everything?
Bless my poor, sweet, stupid heart.
John Wooden once said: “It is amazing what can get accomplished if it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.”
I always thought: “Yeah, thanks Coach, but I need people to know what I do.” (wink)
The truth is that as ministry leaders it’s not our job to do everything, in fact, it’s our job to help equip and empower those on our team to lead.
Why? Well, thanks for asking! I think it’s because we are called to shepherd those on our teams to their uniquely gifted next steps.
I have always heard that we should replace ourselves in leadership if we want to be successful. It used to feel scary to me to imagine finding people to not only do my job, but do it better! I felt threatened by the thought that others might think that I am not the best at what I do.
How is this leadership success? Well, it opens up opportunities for you to do the things that only you can do.
Are you stressed because there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in your day to get what you need accomplished? Well, pass the torch!
Are you frustrated that Sunday mornings are usually hectic and you aren’t able to connect with families because you are too busy worrying about your team showing up? Pass the torch!
When we pass the torch to other leaders on our team, it opens up the time to do the things only you can do!
John Maxwell says it like this: “Leadership is surrounding yourself with those who are smarter than you and getting out of their way.”
Bill Hybles says that he never hires people who can do what he can do, he hires people who can do things better than he can!
Being the leader doesn’t mean that you are the smartest person in the room, it just means you are the leader.
When we can build a team of leaders that lead in such a way that when you are away on vacation or you leave to go to another church, the “wheel” still turns without you, then THAT is success in leadership.
Ministry leadership is unique in that it is our job to cast the vision in such a way that we inspire and empower others to go out there and serve as they have been prompted by God to do. It is helping them see their potential, and then turning them loose to go and do it. If we do it all, those in our church miss the opportunity to grow their gifts and serve—and we are more likely prone to burn out.
This is not about you or me, but elevating others to lead.
Now go do big things—pass the torch!