Friday, April 20, 2012

Empowering Leaders

Empowering leaders to lead can be a difficult task to undertake.  I recall my first year of Bible college and one of the professors going over this passage:
"It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV)
This passage has always stuck with me and the reasons have varied at times in my life.  Yesterday this passage became very real when I sat down with Julie Andrews and finalized some of the tasks she will be working on while I am away on sabbatical.  Since August 2011 I have been working with a team of people that have been the backbone in creating a healthy groups ministry at our church and Julie is just one of the seven people on that team.  Julie has an amazing passion for getting people connected in Life Groups (mainly because her life was changed drastically by a group) so it made sense to invest into her.

I know that leaving on sabbatical is going to be amazing for my lifetime of pastoral leadership but training up leaders to take your job is a tough role.  You may not be in my shoes right now but what if you used these three principles as you trained leaders:

Many times in ministry I hear people complain to me about the tools they don't have to do their job.  In my mind that is just poor leadership.  If we are going to set people to succeed in ministry we need to give them everything they need (not want).

Someone I used to work with on staff taught me this principle.  First we need to let people watch us in the role we are training them to do.  Then we need to explain to people how to do their role in a way that they clearly understand.  After that we need to take the time to show them how to do the role.  Finally we can now watch them do the role on their own confidently knowing what is expected of them.  This is a great way to train leaders!

This may sound crazy but I hope that one day Julie takes my job.  I have usually taken the stance that my job in life is to train people to take the job that I am currently doing (sometimes it has been difficult) but when I do so I find that I always have a job!  Ask yourself this: "Are you comfortable with people being better than you are?"

Training leaders is tough but once we empower more people to do ministry we get to see more people find Christ as we realize that we are working towards the Kingdom of God not our personal empire.

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