18 Oct Thriving Through Action
2 minute read
by Bryan Koch, Assistant Superintendent
To thrive means to prosper, be fortunate or successful. It can also mean to grow or develop vigorously or to flourish.
As ministry leaders, we all want our ministries to thrive. We also want the people who we lead and work with to thrive as well. One strategy to help make this a reality is enabling others to act. This is one of our core leadership principles at GT Church, and it makes a huge difference in the way we lead.
Think about Deborah in Judges 4. Deborah was a leader who led by God’s word and led with others. She built a team and didn’t go into the battle alone. But she didn’t just send her team out to fight without her; she went with them. She spoke into their lives and saw what they could do. She knew who she was leading.
In our ministries today, we don’t want one person doing the work of ten people, we want to find ten people to do the work! But this doesn’t come without challenges. When we hand over responsibilities, we need to give people the right tools for the job and not tie their hands or prevent them from accomplishing the mission. We need to let go and let the person do what we’ve asked them to do. It can be hard to let go because of thoughts like, “This person won’t do it as quickly as I could do it. It won’t be as good as I would do it.” But you know what? It’s okay if it’s not perfect! We aren’t called to create perfect ministries but to make disciples.
We want people to work WITH us, not FOR us. It’s not about what we do as leaders but what we set in motion. No matter how great a leader you may be, you cannot run the entire church by yourself. That’s why the Bible refers to the church as the body of Christ – there are many different parts to play and they all work together.
So how can we enable others to act?
Here are some practical ways to do this:
Clearly define expectations – people can’t read your mind, so be sure to tell them what the expectations are for a job or role they are playing. This goes for both staff and volunteers.
Know the people you are working with – knowing how someone thinks and functions as well as what gifts and strengths they have is key to helping someone find their best fit in ministry. All types of people are needed to have a balanced team.
Create a sense of belonging – everyone wants to feel like they’re a part of something, so make your team a place where people want to belong.
Have fun – people already have a job, so make volunteering something fun!
Make sure your volunteers are known, trained and celebrated – know specifics about their lives, give them training and tools to make them successful in their role and help them see how they are making a difference.
When you enable someone to act it’s like a ripple effect. You impact that person’s life by strengthening and empowering them to make a difference and that person will, in turn, do the same for someone else. God can use a small act on your part to make a huge impact in five years, ten years or beyond that you may never know or realize. Let’s help the church thrive by bringing others on board and enabling them to act!