There are all sorts of leaders — maybe you’re a father or mother, a chief-officer-of-whatever, a pastor or worship leader, or just a friend who feels responsible for your friends’ wellbeing. All of those are real things, with real responsibility.
If you’ve ever owned the title of leader, you typically have a team around you working towards a common goal. You might not be at the top. You might lead from the middle, or maybe you’re just a contributor to a common goal. That’s okay. You don’t have to be the formal “in-charge” leader to make a difference. It’s important that you challenge your team and appreciate their contributions.
Whatever role you fill, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure your people stay healthy.
Are you gracious?
You won’t always be “the nice guy.” Leadership, by default, means that sometimes you can’t just let things go without correction. That can be detrimental to your team, especially if sin needs to be addressed and instead, it’s left alone. Sin likes when it’s ignored — that’s when it can take root and flourish.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
Correction is necessary. Respond to things that need it. But many times, correcting others can be stressful, because it’s not an easy task to land on the perfect balance of speaking truth in a graceful way to those who need it. We tend to fall towards extremes — not being firm enough, or becoming harsh or angry. Neither are ideal. Speak truth in love.
Are you encouraging?
You’ve gotta celebrate. Jump into the air when things go well, clap each other on the back when you find out what they accomplished. Reach into yourself and pull out the best, most powerful things about a person and look them in the eyes and say them out loud.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
One of the best habits you can have as a leader to to celebrate success. And that’s not just smiling bigger than normal and jumping around in a circle. It’s making a big deal about things. It’s calling the room’s attention to a person. It’s asking them to show off what they did and tell the story of how they got there.
By celebrating the big and small — the huge accomplishments and the tiny victories — you have the chance to honor and affirm those around you. You can motivate further the people in your crew, and see their full potential come to the surface.
Are you investing?
You can’t just sign up a team of people for anything and expect it just to “work out.” Productive and communicative teams take time, especially when all have a sin nature and have to work through things like pride, impatience and anger. You have to nurture a team that can show up just a little stronger every day, because you’re investing time and energy into their personal development.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him — a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Invest in your people, and they’ll respond in kind — but you can’t expect your team to grow without intentionally making it your goal. Get your people together and spend time together and laugh at jokes together and pursue the Lord together. At the end of the day, you won’t just have a stronger team, but a stronger culture.
If you found this article informative and helpful, please share! And don’t forget to keep a lookout for incoming resources for churches and ministries from Yellowbox Creative.
Do you need help:
(1) Launching a church plant?
(2) Designing your church series?
(3) Nurturing a creative community?
At Yellowbox, we empower churches and ministries with the tools, coaching and resources they need to reach real people. With that creative support, church outreach is no longer intrusive — it becomes a catalyst for community.