Why a leadership team's so important for church growth?
This is something I'm extremely passionate about, and I know from many, many years of experience that when you're a church planter, when you're a church builder, you can't do it alone.
1. Build your team
We know this innately. We sense when we can't do something, but so often I see pastors running around, trying to do everything themselves to the point where they're exhausted and really robbing people who have all these incredible gifts from actually using their gift to serve God and by definition, build the church.
One of the things that, as a church leader, we've got to understand and get from the very beginning is delegation is power. The ability to identify, coach, train, release tasks and responsibilities to people in church life is absolutely critical to growth.
2. Delegate your responsibilities
Now, not everybody that you choose is going to do it at the expert level that you want. But I would rather get 80% of something than 100% of nothing. I might be really good at playing the guitar and I can get up there and I can play that guitar and I'm going to be awesome at it, but you know what? It's going to be a one-man show if I played the guitar and preach and take the offering and the whole thing. I'm going to have someone else who can play the guitar pretty good, and maybe they're 80% as good as I am, but that's better than me trying to do everything.
Now I've allowed them to use their gift. I've allowed them to train and get better, and get excited about using that gift for God. Make sure you always have this mindset: “I’m training the next generation of church leaders.”
3. Invest in the next generation
In a great work environment, you're not afraid to train people up to do your job better than you, because a great boss will see that person that is able to train others and elevate them and just elevate you automatically. That's what it's like in church life. If you're involved in anything in church, you want to train someone else up to do that and maybe they get better than you. Great. All that does is broaden the load, allow us to be able to shoulder this burden collectively and continue to do the thing that you're supposed to do and not do the things that you're not supposed to do. Delegation is absolutely key.
4. See yourself as a coach
Coach, coach, coach. You've always got to be training and coaching. You want to have that mindset as a pastor whether you're using life lessons using the pulpit, using small groups, or leadership meetings. You're constantly coaching people. The idea for leaders is that we don't see people as they are. We see people as they can become. The world will judge someone by their socioeconomic background, their education level, their family of origin, their side of the tracks, and they put limits on them. Ministry is about getting rid of the limits that sometimes people put on themselves, sometimes the world puts on them.
The church is the place that lifts those limits—that lifts those barriers. You might spend 12 or 18 months coaching a person into believing in themselves, but that's the power of Christian ministry. Jesus doesn't see us where we are today. He sees us forgiven, blood-washed, elevated, and seated at the right hand with him. Jesus has a vision for people's lives. As pastors, we need to have that same mindset.
And when you start thinking every day about seeing people as they could become, it changes your perspective. Sure, you can have some let downs. I think we've all coached people and we've all pastored people that have led us down. It's okay. I've let people down. Everybody lets people down. But don't let that stop you from being the minister that believes in people, that believes the best in people, practically coaches them along the way, making sure you're giving them the tools and the accountability to rise up to that next level, that next standard.
What you'll find is that you’ll have an unlimited supply of team members and leadership that are going to help your church grow. Leadership really does make the difference when it comes to elevating, raising people up, and letting them loose on what God has gifted them and called them to do. That equals church growth.