In our first post this month on Leadership Development, we talked about how everything rises and falls on leadership. There’s much as stake in us getting this right. We then talked about how to lead ourselves well by keeping Christ as the First Thing. And then we talked about how our families cannot fall victim to us leading well in the church and us leading poorly at home.
This week, we dive into leading our teams well. Understand, however, that we will never get this part right until we have our relationships with Jesus and our families in proper alignment. The teams you lead can either launch your vision forward, or those teams can suck all of the life out of your vision and your ministry.
A Few Thoughts on Leading Teams Well
1. The Health of Your Team Depends on You.
Self-assessment is a great tool to use here. What is your leadership style? Greg Wiens’ DISC assessment can help you understand how you function within the structure of your team. If there are deficiencies in your leadership, with whom are you surrounding yourself to overcome those? You don’t have to lead alone!
Then ask yourself if you’re actively discipling members of your team. Think of Jesus’ model here. We see Him having a deep connection with 3–Peter, James, and John (Mark 3:16, 17; Luke 6:14). After that, there are the 12 disciples with whom Jesus spends the three years of His earthly ministry, teaching them all things. And then, in Luke 10, we see Jesus sending out the 72 to go out and teach and preach the Gospel He had taught them. How is that model working in your own life/ministry?
2. Know the Vision and Communicate It Well (and Often).
You may have a charismatic personality–someone easy to follow and incredibly likable. This character trait will only take you so far as a leader. Charisma will help you par on the golf course, but knowing and communicating a clear vision will take your game to a whole new level. People are not so easily impressed these days with smooth-talking leaders as they are with a vision that means something. The vision has to tell them where they’re going, what they’re doing, and for Whom they’re doing it! This vision should be woven in and through regular, everyday conversations and permeate the DNA of your organization.
3. Handle the Conflict Quickly, Precisely, and With Love.
This point could be a post all on its own (and likely will be). But just briefly here, I will mention that the longer you let conflict fester within your organization, the more toxic your organization will become. Not taking care of issues undermines your leadership and devalues the others on your teams. Learn how to have Crucial Conversations, cover those conversations with prayer, and love fiercely even when there’s no resolution to be found.
4. Be Authentic, and Be Vulnerable.
Authenticity and vulnerability can seem dangerous! I believe that there used to be a time when, as a leader, it was acceptable to have this façade that, “I’ve got all my stuff in order, and I’m basically perfect.” I’ve personally experienced this type of leadership a lot in the church, and it’s problematic to me. With the advent of social media came lots of fake-ness, right? Millennials and Xenials, in particular, can sniff out the fake like no other generation before. What they crave, however, is authenticity. They expect this in their leaders.
When the people you lead look at you, they want to know and understand that you’ve walked where they have. They need to see that not everything in your life is perfect, so they don’t feel so bad about their own lives not being picture perfect. This vulnerability creates a deep sense of connection between you and those you lead, and that connection is key!
I hope that you will take these four points and look for ways to incorporate them into the way you lead. Healthy Growing Churches wants to see you, your families, and your ministries and teams succeed!