leadership leanings: remixed

I originally wrote this on my personal blog over a year ago, but it themes a bit more with this blog so I thought I'd repost and remix it here. I've only changed a few things to reflect today's environment but otherwise stick by my original thoughts.

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A friend of mine sent me a questionnaire at the end of last year that I had fun filling out. No, this isn't one of those snarky chain-email surveys. Rather, it is about the way one leads in a ministry environment. The fun part was articulating things that often come naturally, so please allow me to share. I'd welcome your feedback.

At your place of employment tell me what your role is and how many employees or volunteers that you have under your supervision?

  • Lead pastor. I serve six paid staff and through them the many volunteers that make up our church.


What is your leadership structure for your ministry?

  • God-led, pastoral-guided, church-empowered.

List three things you want to accomplish the first day in the office?

  • Establish a prayer base, connect with leaders, realize and maximize my sphere of influence to reach out to the lost.

Outline your process on how you recruit leaders to be a part of your team?

  • I don't. Instead, I sit down with people and listen to what's happening in their hearts. Then I ask them how I can serve them in letting that vision become a reality. On rare occasions I will ask people to do something that needs to be done, but only after I've first heard their heart to know if it's a match.

What are the forms of communication you utilize with your team?

  • Weekly staff meeting, daily emails to staff, weekly email to the church, encouraging text messaging to subscribers, cell phone calls throughout the day.

What events do you do with your team of leaders?

  • Lots of missional activities that bless the community, whether or not it tracks back to us. We also try to have our families get together every once in a while for fun.

Do you have a detailed plan on how you develop your leaders?

  • Yes. This hasn't been in place in past years, and so this is the year I'm developing the leaders under my care and teaching them how to develop those under them. I believe next year will take it to the next level, and we've already done some formal leadership connections to help with this. Essentially, I use Ken Blanchard's "Situational Leadership" model as a guideline, but ultimately follow the Holy Spirit.

In your eyes what is the perfect leader on your team? Who would you say models a great leader?

  • A perfect leader is someone who is trying to bring out the best in the team as a whole. We're not looking for a staff of track and field types where we applaud each other's events from the stands. Rather, we're more like a baseball team and do our best to work together for the same things. Every person brings something special to this, from the logic-minded number cruncher to the wiseguy worship leader.

Outline an agenda for a leaders meeting?

  • Chit-chat before meeting (if this isn't happening, something is wrong). Then, start meeting off with something fun (from an icebreaker to a stand-up comic clip on YouTube) or personal. After this we go through our agenda in a bullet format, then begin to dig into it one step at a time. We always start with review of where we're at, then talk about present issues to better determine where we're going, and then let where we're going better examine present issues. We will at times go through a book together as well.

What expectations do you have for your ministry leaders?

  • In order -a love for God, a love for spouse, a love for family, a love for the church. This involves being a self-starter, developing relationships with the lost/saved/leaders, reconciling with anyone they have issues with, and becoming a growing expert in their area. Authenticity, loyalty, and a sense of humor a must.

Do you have a leadership contract that you make your leaders sign? Please include a copy of your leadership contract.

  • We revisit job descriptions yearly, and do a 360 degree review once a year. We also have added a chart that outlines what different leadership levels have expected of them according to the Bible (i.e. lead team, support team, teachers, etc)

Is leadership evaluation done on an ongoing basis or at schedule intervals?

  • I meet with my staff collectively on a weekly basis, then also meet with them once or twice a month in a one-on-one capacity to develop them personally and professionally. Every three months we set goals and evaluate previous ones.

How do you keep leaders accountable and hold them to their commitment they made to your ministry?

  • I hang out with them... relationships inspire authentic loyalty.

If you could give me three points of wisdom that I need to know about building a team, what would that advice be?

  • Assist others, then assist others, then assist others. In doing so the pressure to be a visionary leader will be trumped by the authenticity of being a leader of visions.

What are three pitfalls that you have come across on your leadership journey?

  • Insecure people have loud voices, past leaders you've replaced can at times still affect the day to day even from afar, and without a strict Sabbath you will die.


So those are my answers... and I may not have thought about them had someone not have asked me. Sometimes when someone asks you what your plan is you realize you actually have one. I hope this is an insight and a challenge to you.

In other words, how would you answer these questions in your environment - be it home, work, or something in between?

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