Quote: “None of us are as smart as all of us”. – Ken Blanchard
While in the trenches of ministry, don’t leave out the key ingredient of team problem solving. Successful leaders value team input. Great leaders know need more than one ingredient in the recipe of BEST ministry practices in Children’s Ministry.
- Carve out time for team dialogue on “big hills” needing to be taken.
- Examine if this “hill” lines up with the BIG vision of your church and ministry area. Many times that solves the problem right there.
- Enlist your big picture thinkers. You ain’t no island! Yell Help! Proverbs says wisdom comes from many counselors. Pride is “I’m in charge. I’m the leader.”
- Carve up the challenge into bite sized pieces as you attempt to solve. Ask yourself how would a person you are inspired by look at this?
- A good leader attempts to examine the “what if” possibilities. Work through those scenario’s with your team. Be prepared.
- Never feel like pressure is the decision point.
My son is in his senior year of college. He has a Sports Psychology class this semester. He came home sharing enthusiastically of how the Professor launched his overview of the class. The Prof stood up and talked on the difference between leaders and managers. He had a pretty simple definition of the two. Managers manage. Leaders lead. The Professor said that leaders have the ability to inspire and impart great things that can be achieved. Managers, well they manage. My son was impressed with this concept. But as he thought about it, he kept coming up with personal applications of past experiences that highlighted the difference between leaders and managers in his own life. Even in his young adult life he could see the correlation. The Professor had indeed said a mouthful!
Take a moment and try doing what my son did. Recount the influencers in your life and think on if these people managed or lead you. I think you’ll find that leadership is a key to achievement. It brings emotion from personal encounters with it. Leaders plant seeds of inspiration in creative ways…and they are all around us. Sports world, Corporate world and Church world. It is the art of leadership.
Now think about those around you who are in your sphere of ministry influence. How’s your style in leading vs. managing? Are you thinking futuristically in regards to your newer volunteers? Do you plant seeds to give room to inspire? I believe that leading people to find their strengths, then giving them all the tools they need is the beginning of leadership. It’s as important as being their biggest cheerleader and advocate. But you don’t leave them there. You co-labor to produce the best in volunteers. You lead so as to help others to shine. Leaders lead.
In Jim Collins book “Good to Great” he recommends developing a STOP DOING list for yourself. As a ministry leader, periodically making a list like that can set one free. Being an innovator means you look for improvements/changes and have creative expectations that are beyond the norm. So under that heading of being an innovative leader- a stop doing list could come in handy. It goes back to the old saying “if you keep doing what you’ve always done…” I have stopped using a typewriter. I have stopped using an adding machine. Miss them? Not a bit. I have tools that are easier and more productive. But I had to consider the new, then let the old go.
Innovative leaders are looking at the horizon. Children’s Ministry needs new thinkers.
So, as a leader, what’s out there that needs to be woven into the process of the ministry? What’s working for those ahead of you in other ministries? Keeping an open mind will help you not only learn, but free you to STOP doing some things that just aren’t really important after all. Like Jim Collin recommends, a stop doing list is a must. Be brave. Stick with it. Watch the horizon.
I am at the age where I now need reading glasses. Same eyes, but they need a little help. With new lenses in front of me I can actually read the pages of the phone book. The small things have been magnified so I can see. It’s not the type or font’s fault, but the lenses in my eyes that are… well, uh, well seasoned.
We who minister to kids may need an eye exam. Recognizing the need for a new lense is imperative in viewing children’s ministry. We know how valuable ministry to kids/volunteers is. But like my new glasses, when viewed through a new lense it becomes SO clear.
Parents NOT churches are the primary influence of kids. A big group of us get failing marks in leveraging this. We throw in a few family nights/activities and think we have morphed into culture. Nope. Just the same lense with a different activity. What we do on the weekend, while important, is nothing like what parents can influence through the week. Family nights are just not going to cut it. No parent wants to fail. Have we set them up for success? Make an appointment as a leadership team for an eye exam on how you leverage your church’s influence. Children’s Ministry is not a maintenance ministry. Kids ARE the church today. New lenses. New day. Check ups keep us seeing clear.