Leaders Lean On.

My faith journey began 22 years ago. I was just a teenager and my family had just completed a cross country move to a place I had never been. I did not know anyone. When we first moved there, I was frustrated and angry. I was taken from all my friends, my high school and pretty much all I knew. Not to mention, I was moving from Sacramento to a small town in Alabama called Gurley. Yes, Gurley.

I remember, I did not have any friends and the only family I had was my mom, siblings, and a step dad. Now, my family had typically family drama — nothing major. What you’d expect from a family with lots of kids all pretty much teenagers around the same time.

One of the things we did that was new was go to church. I remember not wanting to have anything to do with it but over time, the Lord softened my heart and I began my spiritual journey at the age of 15.

I dove in to church. I mean, every time the doors opened, I was there. I helped in every area at the church, went to every event, and knew pretty much everyone. One of the most significant experiences was when I was in a church small group. Here’s the interesting thing, I was a teenager attending a group meant for adults. That changed me.

Here’s what I observed. People leaning on other people. Parents supporting other parents when they needed encouragement because of crazy teens (like I was). I saw how people loved each other, served each other, challenged each other, and grew together. I witnessed leaders rise up and organize outreach events, influence others to reach their family, and ultimately shape how I would view leadership.

My view of leadership was shaped then, and I didn’t even know it.

Fast forward 22 years and I currently have the opportunity to lead and lean-on those in my group. You see, leadership is not all about being the one to “call the shots”, it’s about understanding the importance of the people you’re around.

The people you’re around can be your employees, your associate pastors, your small group members, etc. You cannot lead well if you cannot “lean on” well. We are wired to depend on each other. Not in an unhealthy “can’t make decisions on my own” kind of way but the kind of way that God honoring and people strengthening. That’s how God wants it to be. To do life together. To partner together. To support and depend on one another.

In Acts it says this,

All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts

Here’s the deal… this all begins with trust. Trust is a choice. Choose to trust your team and depend on them. It’s hard, but it’s healthy.

Trust your team by giving them a voice. Allow them to speak in to what happening.

Trust your team by giving them the ability to make a decision. Rely on their strength where you are weak.

Trust your team by giving them the freedom to fail. Oooooh, failure is not bad. As a matter of fact, failure produces some of the best results overall.

Trust your team by allowing them to be the leader God has called them to be. Instead of trying to prevent them from leading (which will push them away), help shape their leadership (which will draw them in).

So, what about you? Are you a leader who is truly able to depend on and lean on your team? In what ways can you improve that?