In this Issue
Feature Article: "Building Powerful Teams to Accomplish the Work of Ministry"
Case Study - "Developing a Healthy Leadership Culture in Your Church"
Audio CD - "Developing a Healthy Leadership Culture in Your Church"
Audio CD - "Healing the Heart of Your Church"
Building Powerful Teams to Accomplish the Work of Ministry
I wrote in an earlier e-zine about the recent movie, The Pursuit of Happyness. The star, Chris Gardner, is a down-on-his-luck salesman who sells very expensive bone-density meters and is not doing very well selling them. The movie portrays his heartbreaking struggle to provide for his family – his wife loses trust in him and leaves him and Christopher, their 5-year old son. As Chris' story unfolds, he ends up in a cab ride with a Dean Witter executive who is amazed at Chris' skill and speed at working with a Rubick's cube. This facility demonstrated Chris' unusual problem-solving ability and his skill with numbers. The Dean Witter executive spotted a promising young salesperson in Chris and hired him as an unpaid intern. The executive's instincts were correct. Chris was a promising young leader, so much so that years later, Chris went on to own his own company and become a multi-millionaire.
Like the Dean Witter executive, as pastors, we need to be able to quickly spot the talent in our congregations in the same way. One of the most common mistakes that happens in church leadership is that pastors fail to discern the gifts of their people, and even worse, fail to align people with their gifts, especially those with leadership gifts.
The great tendency can be to "fill empty ministry slots," rather than to discern how God has spiritually gifted people, and then align them into ministry roles that fully maximize those gifts. It is critical from a leadership perspective that we align people correctly with their gifts, and that we place those with the gift of leadership into areas where they can....LEAD.
Apart from God's grace and blessing, I believe one of the greatest keys to McLean Bible Church's success over the years was its overabundance of those with the spiritual gift of leadership. The church also created a "intrapreneurial" culture, where emerging leaders were given significant responsibility and allowed to lead their areas. When I say "intrapreneurial," I mean it was as if you were able to run your own company, yet within the powerful resource structure of the "mother ship." You received budgets for ministry and could "hire" and manage people (almost all of whom were volunteers), to accomplish the work of ministry.
Now managing those volunteers required extra levels of inspirational leadership, but that will be the topic of another e-zine! In any event, there was an spirit in the church that created lots of energy and motion. This, in turn, excited people - the staff and the congregation - and that excitement drew people. It came from a strong spirit of leadership!
I have had young pastors at different churches bemoan to me that they had to leave where they served, because the pastor and/or elder board thought it was a sin or wrong to plan (I would say "to lead"). For some reason, they felt that to be pro-active was in some way superceding the work of the Holy Spirit. In every single situation, it was easy to discern that the struggling, young pastor had strong leadership gifts, but was working with a board or pastor who was gifted differently and failed to appreciate and properly use his leadership gift.
How do you identify one with the gift of leadership? Their qualities are that they tend to be big-picture-oriented, love to oversee the implementation of large-scale goals - ones that might take years to accomplish - and that involve challenge. They are good at assessing the gifts of others and equipping and maximizing those gifts for the work of ministry. They also need to be free to lead and to be given their own areas of responsibility and broad boundaries to lead.
There are so many gift assessments out there these days. SHAPE is one that has been used very effectively since the '90s from Saddleback. There are many other effective tools out as well - a recent one I discovered focuses in on the Romans 12 motivational gifts, categorizing those into 7 gift areas - perceivers (who discern God's will), servers, administrators (another term for those with a leadership gift), teachers, givers, exhorters and compassion-gifted people. 1 Corinthians 12 reminds us that we are all part of one body, and all need one another. However, those with the gift of leadership are those God has called to lead. They must do so in order to help lead those of other gifts and advance the kingdom!
As leaders, we need to be able to discern gifts "on the fly," not relying on tools, although those are helpful. We need to learn to much more quickly assess the resources available to us, people, gifts, money, whatever, and put them to use for the expansion of the kingdom of God.
Whatever tool we use, we have to place the primary importance on aligning people with their gifts and placing those in ministry into the right spot for them…to bring all of the best that we have to the table to build the kingdom of God.
Don't know where to begin? Join me for our first Pastors' Forum kickoff next Wednesday, April 25, at 12 noon, where we will go into this topic in much greater depth.
I'll share what I learned in the last 12 years about maximizing leaders to accomplish the work of ministry. You can obtain more information or sign up via our SECURE SERVER by clicking on the "Enroll Here" red button below .
I look forward to seeing you there!
Maximizing Tomorrow's Leaders Today
Is your Church's Leadership Culture Healthy?
Would you like to learn more about this church and their journey of change to a place of health?
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Please let me know what issues you would like to hear about in the next newsletter, such as hiring or managing staff, inspiring volunteers, or preventing burnout, for examples. I'll do my best to address your concerns! I look forward to speaking with you all next month.
Many prayers and blessings to you all,
Leadership Tips is a monthly e-zine written and published by Suzanne Martinez, founder of SFM Consulting & Associates, LLC. Our purpose is to help leaders develop healthy leadership cultures and healthy relationships - cultures that promote growth and maximize personal and organizational performance.
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