Leadership Stuff

Working With Teams 

Working with teams at first can seem like more work for the leader.  But that illusion can be easily unmasked by considering the benefits of working with teams.  Where I serve we talk about ministry being “staff led and lay powered.”  Are you wisely unleashing the power of teams in your ministry setting?

What Does Leadership Readiness Look Like Where You Serve?

If you are inviting people to serve on your boards, committees, teams or staff then you know that it is critical to carefully match every person to a setting and responsibility level that is a good fit for him or her.  Determining a “good fit” for the person and for the group they will join/lead is essential for everyone involved and the success of the task they embrace. Sometimes clearly defining what we don’t want helps us understand what we do want to see in new and maturing leaders in our setting. Dave and Jon Ferguson have much to share about leadership readiness in their excellent book Exponential where they also share “12 Indicators that Leadership is Lacking” (see below).  We are now working to create a Leadership Readiness Tool that helps people understand how to prepare themselves for leadership roles at Holy Cross. We are coming to understand that an agreed upon sense of readiness will help us more effectively prepare and invite people into positions of greater influence…when they are ready.  Are you communicating clear agreed upon expectations of leadership readiness where you serve?

Whose Mission is it Anyways?

Are you asking your members to join you on your mission?  Many ministries and leaders  are discovering that most people do not find this inspiring or effective.  Instead, what about helping them discover their mission?  Then pledge your ministry efforts to help them succeed!  This has been a grand discovery and turning point for me in ministry. Take a peak at Fulfilling Our Mission: The Holy Cross Experience – one example of this exciting way to understand and deliver life changing ministry.

Organizing for Mission

Checking out the way others organize for the mission can bring new ideas and insights. It can also confirm that what you currently have is actually best for your setting.  Many are extolling the virtues of Policy Based Governance as if it is best in every setting.  However, it requires an administratively minded senior leader. An otherwise highly respected and virtuous pastor without an administrative mindset should think long and hard about adopting such a model. He may find the new model to be as poor a fit as the duck who was forced to run and not fly.  Policy Based Governance also requires that ministry is delegated to staff or others. One must be sure that such leaders are available and ready to serve.  In our setting we find that Policy Based Governance fits quite nicely since we have a strong servant leader culture, an administratively minded senior leader and a very capable and hardworking staff who are ready to serve and raise up teams to accomplish exciting ministry.  Go ahead, check it out.  What did you discover?

What’s Your Strategy for Making Disciples of Jesus?

This is a great discussion starter!  So–what is YOUR strategy?

At Holy Cross we have been asking that question for many years and the answers continue to re-focus our ministry giving us greater and greater clarity about what is essential and what is non-essential to our mission.  Our journey has led us to see the direct links between our mission, outcomes and disciple making strategy as shared below.  Then we asked those connected to Holy Cross to describe what they were getting and wanting from their connection to our congregation.  That has given us another dimension of clarity.   It also resulted in what we now call the Holy Cross Experience.  We are still on this exciting journey.  What does your strategy look like?

What are You Doing to Promote Servant Leadership?

Being a servant leader is about who you are (character) combined with how you extend yourself to love and care for others in your vocations (service).  Combining godly character and caring service inspires confidence in those you lead (respect). In other words, “Godly Character + Caring Service = Respect”.  Your ability to lead is also enhanced through a growing self awareness of your behavioral style coupled with a desire to favorably relate to and influence others.  Servant leaders practice the art of self control which allows them to set aside their pet projects and their pet peeves for the sake of the greater good.  Because of this they can give laser focus to accomplishing what is best for the group as a whole in the long run.  Are you the servant leader that others want to work with and follow?

We used the following resources to get us started on the journey to enourage and promote healthy relationships and servant leadership.  I know of no better resources to lay the foundation for servant leadership than these.   If you are trying to connect with millenials (and visual learners) be sure to explore Tim Elmores Habitudes–the habits and attitudes of servant leadership.  Each habitude is based on a unique visual image.  He proves the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words.  

If something is important then we teach and model it. So what are you doing to promote servant leadership where you live, work and play?  

Jane Fryar

James Hunter

Tim Elmore