“Thanks for not going crazy,” one of my associates said to me. I asked him what he meant by that statement. He described for me what he had witnessed and heard from his peers about leaders in other places and then said, “I mean it. Thanks.” It was an incredible compliment and one that I will always do my best to live up to.
We’ve served together for over a decade. We’ve been through some really good times and some really hard times for each other and for the church we serve. We share a common dream. There has been a lot of transparency, mutual respect, a shared conviction that the Bible is God’s Word and deliberate attempt to be sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit. I need his support, trust, spiritual gifts, skill sets and that special something God has done in his life, as well as the others who serve on our pastoral leadership team. And I trust him among others.
The same could be said for every member of our team whether a pastor or a board member. I’ve been very blessed over the years with good leaders and those I’ve been responsible to lead.
The truth of the matter is no matter how skilled a leader you are, you need other people. It’s not about me, it’s about the vision and mission and the relationship that we have with one another. If we are strongly committed to Christ and each other our congregation and its ministries everyone benefits greatly. If that emotional and spiritual bond is broken then everyone who is affected by our ministry suffers. That means children, caregivers, the sick and many others around the world.
In my late twenties my thinking changed from a “DIY” (Do It Yourself) to “TEAM” (Together Everyone Achieves Miracles). “When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.” (Matthew 18:20, Message) You must always consider the power of God being manifested among people who trust Him and one another.
Building that kind of trust takes time and means:
- Really listening to one another
- Understanding one another’s needs
- Keep talking up the vision
- Encouraging one another to make progress with the vision
- Celebrating one another’s victories and failures (high fives for trying, what’d you learn)
- Instilling confidence
- Constantly trying to bring out the better qualities of one another
- Allowing each other to serve in our giftedness
- And giving one another space.
This is true of our board, ministry leaders, volunteers, small groups and congregation. It’s true of the various other organizations that I have the opportunity to serve. It’s especially true of my marriage and family.
I need them and in reality they need me as well. Someone needs you and you need them also.
The point is: Before you trust, you have to listen. But unless Christ’s Word is preached, there’s nothing to listen to. (Romans 10:17, Message)
- Who do you trust?
- Who have you listened to today? What did they say? How did they feel?
- Who brings the best out of you?
- Do you know how to celebrate a failure?
Peace and Joy!