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18 Oct 2016

5 Tips for Building Empowering Leadership Teams

(NCD Toolbox, Empowering Leadership)

When building a leadership team or board there are many different aspects to think through that can either lead you towards fulfilling God’s vision for the church community or hinder it. We need to be mindful that we want to intentionally fill ministry positions with the right leader rather than just fill the gap because it needed to be filled as more often than not this can lead to disappointment for all involved. So what simple steps can we take when creating or adding a leader to a team that will help us in building empowering leadership teams? Here are 5 tips to keep in mind.

  1. The Spiritual Life of the Leader – This is critical to any team serving in the church and you want to ensure that the leader you are calling to a ministry role has their own personal relationship with Jesus and practices it. A person’s spiritual life is often obvious through their conduct and lifestyle, it shows through their character. In regards to church leadership of any kind this is foundational to the life of the team and church moving forward. Since Christ is the head of the church it is essential that each member of His team are in a relationship with and leading out of that relationship with Him.
  1. Remember The 3 C’s – In his book Courageous Leadership, Bill Hybels identifies 3 key areas Character, Competence and Chemistry as essential qualities any potential leader must have before placing them on your leadership team. Below I have outlined these in a little more detail with regard to our church culture and structure
  • Character – This takes time to discern and often is linked to another c, credibility as well as integrity. Can this potential leader be trusted? Do they tell the truth? Will they stay true to their word? Do they have an authentic/genuine passion for Christ and seek to be more like him each day? What do others think of them? These are the questions to ask in a nominating committee, board or ministry placements meeting when selecting a leader.
  • Competence – Does the potential leader have the gifting, talent and ability to lead in the desired area of ministry? It’s important to recognize that often they may not think they are equipped enough or have the skills but others including yourself have identified that they are the right person for the ministry role. It’s much like the Moses and God scenario and sometimes it take numerous conversations before they realise their potential.
  • Chemistry – Does the person fit into the team? Are they a team player or a one man band/show? Often it is the one man bands that have the most say and cause the rest of the team to cringe and wish that they weren’t there, they are self-centred, ‘all about me’ and are not willing to listen to others input or work together as a part of the team for the greater cause. Be careful, be wise, be discerning and see how the potential leader interacts with others, especially other leaders before making the call to place them on the team. You may save yourself a lot of time if you make the right call from the start.
  1. Observe before Serve – Instead of just the usual phone calls asking for the potential leader to be on the team, be intentional about observing potential leaders during socials and church activates, see how they interact with others. Invite them over to your house or take them out for lunch or dinner where you can assess some of the above qualities in action and then you can made an informed decision, one that is purposeful and not just filling another gap for the sake of filling it.
  1. Mentor/Coach – This is often an oversight in regards to leadership but is critical if we wish to build empowering teams. Mentorship of the leaders around you, while it may be time consuming is practical discipleship at its best. Empowering teams are only developed through building loving, caring and trusting relationships. Get alongside them, meet regularly, pray together, review life, leadership and their contributions often, vision cast and dream ministry together, just simply be there. This is empowering leadership as in the way of Jesus and is effective in building up a Christ centred team tha tis passionate about giving their life to the greater cause of the church.
  1. Resource – Often in ministry we can get so busy that we neglect an important function as Pastor and that is to resource those who we lead. What are you passing onto your team members to assist and empower them to lead more effectively in their ministry area? If you want to empower your leaders to lead you must equip them with the necessary resources. You might take 20 minutes at the start of your team meeting as a resource time and share some books, CD’s or DVD’s that you know will build that team of leaders or when you catch up with the leaders personally you may offer them resources that will assist them in their particular ministry area and situation, this might also include articles, DVD’s, CD’s, books, etc. When you resource a leader you intentionally empower that leader for ministry and in turn build a more empowering and effective team culture with in your church.

Do you have other insights, tips or thoughts that may assist in building empowering leadership teams? Leave a comment below.

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