LEADERSHIP MATTERS by Roger Yancey, D.Min.
How are you going to develop your leadership skills in 2024? Have you thought through the areas of your ministry that need to be strengthened or brought into sharper focus? Whether we lead a committee or team at our church or serve as its pastor, we all have areas where we are expected to provide leadership. Let me offer the following acrostic as a reflection on some of the various aspects of leadership that are part of an effective ministry:
Love Jesus and His People… it all starts with our hearts being fully yielded to Jesus and securely anchored in a love relationship with Him. Through the love we have for Jesus, we are drawn to love His people even when times are challenging.
Encouragement Motivates People to Greatness… there is no lack of people ready to criticize or find fault but those who can see the best in us get the best from us. A great leader knows how to see the good in people and draw it out of them with even better results because they are motivated to do well.
Admit Your Limitations but Create a Team to Overcome Them… if you don’t know your limitations (you just found one) then just ask someone who works with you. Understanding what we can and cannot do well frees us to be effective while allowing us to build a team that is complementary to our needs.
Determine to Keep Your Focus on What Matters… if everything matters then nothing really matters at all. A leader who stays focused on the main things will be able to accomplish great things while allowing those matters that are ancillary to be dealt with by other means. Competition for your time and energy is a daily reality but determine to give your best to the people and needs that matter most.
Expect Challenges (Problems) and Determine Your Opportunities (Solutions)… not if they happen but when they appear. Challenges are part of doing anything of value in the Kingdom of God. We find out our character and God’s provision in times of challenge. The good news is that the same times of challenge affirm our leadership and provide future opportunities if we respond correctly.
Relationships are the Foundation of Quality Leadership… and the leader who ignores the development of solid relational skills will suffer the consequences in the long run. We must take time with our team and with those we are seeking to lead. John Maxwell called it “walking slowly through the crowd” which meant to not be in such a hurry to get to the next moment that you lose the moment you’re in with people.
Spend Time Reflecting so You Can See the Future… or your future will be limited by the moment you’re in right now. We need to have times of prayerful reflection and the larger the responsibility and the greater the challenge the more time is needed to reflect. We all need time to recharge our vision so we can be effective and make needed adjustments before moving forward.
Help People Celebrate… because what they see us celebrate, they understand as having value. What do you celebrate as a team? The leader who affirms and celebrates the victories of the team as well as acknowledges setbacks while affirming a positive future will strengthen the ability of the team to serve effectively.
Invest in Developing Others… they are your present strength and future leaders. The intentional development of leaders is one of the most important roles you can have for your team. Getting them the skill training they need or providing them with the resources required for their own personal growth is vital. Every minute you spend developing a future leader is multiplied into the lives of others.
Persevere and When You’re Weary – Persevere Some More… because leadership means you will get flies on your windshield so clean them off and move on.
In Kingdom service,
Executive Director, AMS