The more people you lead, the more leaders you need. As the size of your ministry increases, the depth and maturity of your leaders needs to increase. What will make or break your team is the people you surround yourselves with.
Avoid becoming a clean up crew leader. Time is wasted when you spend time cleaning up a mess because of a poor choice of leaders. Pray for God’s wisdom to select the right people. I look for the 4 C’s:
Do leadership with the bible in mind (a novel idea, I know). In Acts 1:24-25 the apostles prayed to God for a replacement for Judas Iscariot and 2 insights flow out of their prayer:
- God alone knows what’s in people’s hearts and we don’t (we don’t even know our own hearts)
- The apostles didn’t have enough wisdom on their own to make the right choice.
Follow Jesus example in Luke 6:12 who sought the Father in prayer for who the Father wanted on his ministry team. Seek God for whom he has called into your ministry.
Building momentum begins with picking the right people – Picture your team as a bus. Get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus. This is tight but I’ve learnt it’s right. Sometimes you have the right people on the bus but in the wrong seats on the bus. Work out who should be on the bus before you work out whether you can actually accomplish the “what” with the people you have. Select difference makers, who are voices, not echoes. The right people are:
Connected to Jesus – This is primary for everyone on your team. As a disciple of Jesus, we find our identity in Christ, not in a role or position. Growing in Christ daily looks like staying centered in the Scriptures and worshipful prayer. It can also look like reading good books and staying connected to online resources that encourage you towards Christ. Our love for Jesus should exceed our love for everything else.
Connected to You – Ask yourself, ‘Is there chemistry with this person?’ Do they bring out the best in you and want to be around you? Remember, connection isn’t, ‘I want to be close to the leader to make myself feel more important.’ Connection to you is, ‘Allow my to travel with you and help you get to where you want to go’. You want contributors, not consumers.
Connected to the Vision – Choose people who are passionate about the direction you are heading in. “You want vision makers, not vision breakers” as Ps Brad House says. I’ve learnt never to invite people into your inner circle who have serious questions about your direction in the hope that they will get on board.
Connected to Others – Look for influencers who care more about others than they do for themselves. Connect with connectors because as Malcolm Gladwell says, “Connectors know people” and lots of them for that matter. Look for people with servant hearts who love people and make people feel important in their presence.
In conclusion, make prayerful choices, not impulsively but taking your time. I was too impetuous in the early days of planting Activate Church and appointed people too soon. It’s a lot easier to appoint than to dis-appoint. Do your homework and don’t short-circuit the vision by recruiting people who decelerate the vision.