It’s about making sure good decisions get made.
If you’re the leader, you’re probably making loads of decisions. But if you were to grow, you couldn’t sustain being the decision maker for all those things. There would be even more things.
So it’s not just about making good decisions – it’s about making sure good decisions get made when you’re not in the room.
So start now with the decisions you are making, and ask yourself what are the principles and guidelines that shape HOW you’re going to make that decision. Then, get someone else, tell the the principles and the issue and see if they would make a good decision or not.
Start deliberately delegating decisions and the principles to guide them.
Richard Sweatman and I have recorded a series of PodCasts about the elements of a competent Growth Group leader. Together I think these five aspects set a really good foundation for church leaders who appoint Growth Group leaders, as well as for current Growth Group leaders who want to think about how to grow themselves.
This is really all just Richard’s material, that I get him talking about, and throw in my two-cents (when I have any).
The 5 core competencies of GG leading
Competency 1: Character
Competency 2: Knowledge of God
Core Competency 3: Teaching
Core competency 4: Encouragement
Competency 5: Team Leadership
Well yes, it really depends on what you mean by having a “poor attitude”.
But extremes aside, if someone’s attitude is just “off” or “a bit grumpy” about being part of a ministry… what should you do? Tell them to stop serving until their attitude is right? Or, tell them to just righten-up their attitude?
I think there’s two lenses to consider this question… is there a human aspect? Is there a gospel aspect?
It could just be that life is all too much at the moment, and they’re stuffed. They might just be tired. That is, they might have a good gospel attitude (if you asked them) but they’re just not aware of how they are responding or how they’re appearing and speaking to other people. That means you’re in a position to offer wise counsel about how to plan to serve (avoid late night tv the night before, etc.) and how to smile and talk to people while they’re serving. You’re helping them do what they already think is a good thing to do… just better… without the apparent chip on their shoulder.
But, it could be that they don’t want to serve Jesus and his people, or they feel like that role is beneath them. They might think they shouldn’t really have to serve and that Christian service should be like the self-serve check-outs at the shops… sure you have to try a bit hard, but there’s certain perks to it?!? They might not think their life is Jesus’ possession.
Even in many of these circumstances, I’d want to suggest they keep serving while you work through it with them.
Because serving isn’t something Christians choose to do… it’s part of our DNA… we follow a servant king. Telling someone to stop serving is like telling a fish to stop swimming because they find the water too warm.
If possible have them keep on swimming, keep on serving and all the while, keep helping them feel the privilege of serving their saviour.
This is one of the helpful distinctions that the Manager-Tools guys make… And it suits volunteer organisations like churches pretty well.
When you talk to someone about taking on a task or a project, work out whether you are assigning it to them, or delegating it to them.
The difference? Bosses assign work to employees; “here, you are responsible for this. This is your ‘job’”. Leaders delegate their responsibilities to volunteers; “Hey, I’d like you to help us by taking on this thing I’m responsible for. Keen?”
A few notable differences:
– assignments can be questioned, but in the end, they can’t be declined.
– the line of responsibility is more vague when delegating. Who’s really responsible for what at which point?
A thermostat never keeps the temperature exactly right, it just has a “too hot” and “too cold” number, and tries to keep the temperature between those. And that’s like much of how we do ministry.
Preaching that tends to focus on Godly obedience and rejoicing in grace… you’ll never nail it. Even if you think you have, some people will hear one more than the other. But you need to make sure you’re operating between tolerances.
Preaching that teaches the deep truths of the faith and preaching that has detailed “how-to” application… you’ll never nail it. But you need to be aware of the tolerances you should work between.
Church meetings that are great for newbies and church meetings that help established Christians in their walk… Growth Groups that facilitate deep relationships and Growth Groups that facilitate maturity and biblical understanding and faith and obedience in God… Welcoming that helps the majority and welcoming that helps the minority…
We shouldn’t come down on either side of any of these. But rather realise that we can never nail it, we just operate between tolerances.
A silo is a big container that keeps things separate. And you don’t want your team to do that. The welcoming guy should really care about what the mission guy is doing, the mag guy should be anxious about what’s going on in the maturity team. When team members silo they stop caring about the big picture and focus on the small.
But, there is a point when you need to silo. If one of your team is not doing the job they’re meant to do – because they are so involved in another team’s thing, they need to silo again.
There comes a point when your team members just need to sit down and think about how they’re going to get their bit done brilliantly.
That’s the best thing they can do for the whole team.
Always make one person the leader. Always make it clear that, in the case of a disagreement, one of them gets to make the call; one of them bears the responsibility.
If you don’t appoint a clear “leader” the two (or more) leaders will have to come to a consensus on every single issue… And that’s fine for most things, but sometimes you just need to make a call and run with it, rather than spend hours, days, months trying to make the other person happy.
So, appoint two leaders, but always then say, “if you can’t decide on something, I want Person A to make the call, ok?”