2 Essential Components Of Leadership

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If a church wants to grow and reach more people, it will first have to grow in the area of leadership.

The truth is a church will only grow to the threshold or capacity that their leadership is capable of loving and leading.

When I say leaders, I am not just talking about your church staff. This includes church wide leadership, whether they are on a video production team or a children’s team, or they leading a small group. Whatever setting they may be in, they have a responsibility within that setting as a leader to love and lead people toward their potential They should have the capacity for caring and shepherding, loving and leading, challenging and developing, the people that they’re responsible for. And their capacity to do that will determine the effectiveness, capacity and growth of your church.

Jesus often talks about faithfulness. “If you are faithful with a few, then I’ll give you more.” We use dollars and cents sometimes to navigate that conversation. But I think it’s just as tangible when you substitute people. If you can handle leading three people, Jesus is going to give you with 3 people. As you are faithful with those three people, you can increase your threshold of leadership. And I think this threshold is only increased really as we’re growing as leaders and helping develop leaders around us.

And so, here’s the question in my mind. How do you develop your leaders? And I think there’s lots of conversations you could have around leadership development: growing as a communicator, growing as a small group leader, how to facilitate a group, how to ask good questions. That’s all good content. But what is the heartbeat behind it. How do we deliver the content? How do we get that training to our people?

I believe there are two components that make a balance in leadership that we are constantly trying to keep in check.

Depending on your personality and your giftedness, one of them may take over while one gets diminished, but both components are absolutely essential. The first component is to really just love people well. When I say love I think of things like giving encouragement, casting vision, pointing out potential.

I would shrivel up and die as a leader if I didn’t have somebody encouraging me. Just telling me, “Rich, you’re doing a good job. Keep it up man. When my wife says that, it means so much to me. And I think people you are responsible for need that from you and a balance of that loving as well as leading.

The second component is leading. And when I say leading I think of growth, process, progress and movement. Leading is a combination of challenging somebody, shaping somebody, and calling somebody to action. Both of these components are absolutely essential.

When I say to be challenging – I’m not talking about telling somebody they are doing bad job. I’m saying let them know “Hey, here is a spot where you can probably grow.” I use that kind of language.

Shaping would sound more like, “Hey, have you taken a look at this part of your leadership before? What area do you think God might want to grow you in here?” When you ask the question, when you cast the vision, that is just essential as encouragement, love, vision in somebody’s life.

And like I said earlier, loving and leading are both essential. And we have to balance both in our leadership of our teams and development of our leaders.

For you to really understand where your people are at it is critical that you are doing a good job of loving them. Shepherding them, praying for them, care for their needs. But it is just as essential that you are also leading them, calling them to action, calling them to next steps.

Here is what can happen if we get out of balance in these two components. If I over-love and under-lead, I will breed a team or connect group that loves each other but has no direction, no vision, no next steps. Some leaders lean that way because challenging somebody is so far out of their comfort zone that it just doesn’t make sense. They may see this as not loving someone well.

On the other end of the spectrum – some leaders will over-lead and under-love. That kind of leader attracts task oriented people who give their all for awhile, then burn out and walk away. This leader is constantly leading, challenging, calling people to action, without giving them encouragement, vision, and the love behind what they are doing.

Loving and leading people well are two essential components for leaders. And the glue that makes it all work is relationship.

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