Building Teams

How To Empower Others Through Your Leadership

How To Empower Others Through Your Leadership

Let’s be real, there’s only so much that one person can do. The problem is that there are only 24 hours in a day. There comes a point where you hit your capacity. You aren't able to do all the things you want to do, because you're doing them all! You can either accept these limitations, or you can expand beyond your own capacity by choosing to lead through others. 

There are only so many hours in the day, so make sure your time is being utilized in things only you can do. In the book Think Differently Lead Differently, author Bob Hamp talks about using your time doing the things that only YOU can do. Why input data, when you should be following up on some important leads? There are always small things that need taking care of every day. Don't let the small things become so cumbersome that you aren’t able to be an effective you.

Being a leader means there are things that only you can do. Yet all too often, leaders are too busy doing things that someone else on the team could (and often should) be doing!  If you want to rise up to the next level of leadership, delegating responsibility is crucial. I believe it’s a choice to not lead through others. It only takes a change in mindset to become an executive, manager, or pastor who leads through others.

I believe it’s a choice to not lead through others.

 

We often choose not to lead through others because we fear we aren’t busy enough. If we are constantly busy, we are needed to keep our job because there’s work to be done and you are the one doing it. This can lead to a void of margin, and imbalance in our work/life relationship. Not having any margin isn't a healthy way to live your life.

In order to fill your time with the things only you can do, you must embrace the art of delegation. You need to give work away and empower your team. Empowering others is also the perfect way to make a team if you don't have one yet!

There are people that have a gifting or skill set that would help you accomplish your goals. By refusing to let them help, not only are you limiting your own capacity, but you're denying them a chance to exercise their gifts. Not allowing them to grow in their talents or thrive in their passions can stunt their personal growth as a leader. Building an effective team to lead through doesn’t have to be difficult. Just determine what things need to get done that you can delegate out.

Next, find the people who match up with the necessary skill and ask them to be on your team. You have to communicate both the value and vision of the goal. If you communicate the value and vision of what they're doing, you can ignite drive in them that cannot be stopped! The task is what they're doing, but when you bring them in to be a part of something bigger than themselves, they will be on board and ready to help!

Once you have a team of people committed to helping out, you have to train them.  Taking the time to train someone in can remove unneeded workload, and save you time in the long run.  You're afraid that since you would no longer be the only one who knows how to do something you'd become replaceable. On the contrary, you are irreplaceable because you have proven that you can raise up and train someone else to do a task. Doing this is way more valuable to an organization than just being a doer. You’ve become a leader! 

Once you begin to offload tasks, you must avoid the temptation to micromanage. Most people say they aren't micromanagers, but they are often guilty of unhealthy management practices. Be confident in their ability, you need to trust that they know what they are doing. If you are constantly checking in with them or undermining their input, these people will leave your team as fast as they got there. Some may mentally check out, or just let you get back to where you were before— doing all the work. We have to fail at times, it’s the only way we can grow. Resist the urge to have your hands too involved in these tasks. Don’t be overbearing, but if they ask for help, give it to them!

Leadership guru John Maxwell says, “A leader who produces other leaders multiplies their influence.” As someone committing to leading through others, you can train them to build teams and become leaders themselves. There’s nowhere to go but up for someone who can reproduce themselves through others. Now get out there, tackle your fears and raise up your team!

Why We Need Reluctant Leaders

Why We Need Reluctant Leaders

It’s easy to think that leadership is a skill you either have or you don’t. Like it’s hardwired into your personality. Look at the leaders around you, and you’ll see a lot of similar traits. Look at everyone else, and they seem to lack that “leadership gene”. 

Those people might feel that they weren’t meant to lead. That’s how I always felt about myself. 

Maybe it’s because I was the youngest in my family or because I spent my most formative years as an un-athletic, nerdy, and slightly obese child who would consume entire bags of Doritos in one sitting, but I never saw myself as a leader. 

I never felt I had the boldness or confidence or “worthiness” that a leader should have.  

After all, a leader has to have their stuff together. They need a strong will. Their lives serve as an example for everyone around them. 

Leaders were better. The best.

On my good days, I feel slightly better than alright. 

Anytime a position of leadership presented itself, I tried to step back. My heart was reluctant. Yet, time and again, I find myself pulled into leadership roles. The most surprising (and most impactful) leadership position I ever landed in was being a youth leader. 

Which is funny, because I disliked my own youth group by the end of high school. The last thing I ever wanted to do was go anywhere near a youth group ever again. 

Then I went and became a youth leader for 8 years. Not only did I hold the title, but I owned the role. I loved my students. I lived for the youth group. It not only changed my life, but through it, I was able to change others’ lives. I’m not exaggerating when I say this role might be the most positive impact I have ever had on anything in my life. 

And I didn’t even want to do it. I guess God really does have a sense of humor. 

I learned a lot of things while being a youth leader, but the biggest lesson was probably this:

 

We Underestimate What We have to Offer

When you doubt what God can use you for, you ultimately doubt what God can do. If He presents an opportunity of leadership to you, there’s a reason. So often, we only see where we are right now, forgetting that God knows where we can be. Denying that He can lead us there even as we lead other people. 

It might be because we’re scared. 

You won’t get to stay the same once you become a leader. Leaders aren’t better by default, but they are striving to be better in their situations. It’s not easy. It’s not always cool or attractive. 

But if it’s where God wants you, it’s always worth it.

 

And to Those Already Confidently Leading… 

It’s up to you to see the potential in the reluctant leaders around you. If you don’t ask them to step up, who will? They’re waiting for someone to believe in them, someone to show them that God has a greater plan for them. 

Imagine if Samuel had never gone out and chosen David. Do you think a teenage shepherd, the youngest of an insignificant family, would have gone on to be a great king all by himself? Probably not. 

It's up to you to see the potential in the reluctant leaders around you. If you don't ask them to step up, who will?

 

There will always be natural, confident leaders who boldly chase opportunities in front of them.  

That’s not enough, though. 

There are reluctant leaders out there waiting to be called and challenged. Convincing them won’t always be easy. Even Moses asked “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” 

Then he went and changed the course of human history. 

God can do amazing things with a person who is simply willing to say yes despite their doubts. Even if it takes a little convincing first. 

A Greater Way To Lead

A Greater Way To Lead

Back in 2014, we started our year just like this year with a church-wide Lifegroup series. That year, we were amazed to see God move in our church through a series called Greater. It was all about encountering, experiencing, and living in the GREATER presence of God.

The idea behind Greater sparked when Pastor Rob and Becca visited our youth students on Global Team Europe. During their visit, Pastor Rob walked through painfully cavernous cathedrals all across Europe, seemingly absent of God’s presence. He left that trip with a deep conviction—to challenge our church to never forsake the presence of God. He knew that as we pursue God in greater ways, God would do greater things in our lives, in our church, and in our world.

1 John 4:4 best summarizes the heartbeat behind Greater.

“But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” (NLT)

God’s Spirit is the X-factor for our lives. His Spirit is greater than anything we could ever come against, and His Spirit propels us to go further than we could ever could on our own.

Reflecting back on the Greater series makes me think:

How should living in the greater presence of God affect our leadership? 

Here are three ways we can lead in and through the greater presence of God.

1. Greater leadership is all about invitation.

Don’t forget—God is simply inviting us to be a part of what He is already doing in our church and our world. Greater leadership simply responds to God’s standing invitation to co-labor with Him, reconciling all things back to Himself as His willing and humble servants. Interestingly, just as greater leadership responds to invitation, it also extends invitation. We do this in two ways. First, we invite the Holy Spirit to be actively part of our leadership, and second, we actively invite others into the work God is doing through us.

2. Greater leadership is grounded in gratitude.

One of our primary responsibilities as leaders is to remember where God has taken us. This can be the secret sauce to ongoing leadership development because as we extend gratitude to God, we recognize the many ways our growth has been propelled by God’s provision, peace, and direction. This ongoing practice of gratitude can also maximize the potential of those under our leadership. In fact, as we appreciate, honor, and celebrate others, we motivate them to continue on in the work God has set before them, no matter the obstacle.

3. Greater leadership leaves room for the unexpected.

We all know planning is key for effective leadership, but we must also manage the tension of over-planning, which leaves little room for the unexpected. Often times, our leadership journeys won’t follow the paths we initially planned, and when we are mindful of the presence of God, we recognize that these detours are nothing to fret about because God is faithful to finish the work He has already started. As a result, greater leadership leans into the full, dynamic creativity of God, knowing that He writes the most thrilling and meaningful stories in our lives.

Greater leadership leans into the full, dynamic creativity of God, knowing that He writes the most thrilling and meaningful stories in our lives.

 

As you embark on the leadership journey of moving people from here to there, respond to the invitation of God to be with you along the way. As you do, practice ongoing gratefulness for the work of God in and through you, and your leadership will be taken to greater heights as you navigate the unexpected detours— and miracles— along the way. 

Your leadership will be unlike anything you have ever experienced before. 

It will be greater.

Why Everyone Wins When A Leader Leads Better

Why Everyone Wins When A Leader Leads Better

Others win when we lead well. We lead well by serving those we are leading. We can serve those around us by feeding into their lives, not the other way around! Be intentional about learning what God is doing in and through them. Be intentional about developing the giftings you see God has placed in them...