I was recently chatting with a leader of an organization. As we were chatting, he said the following phrase that made me stop and think: “I was just so swamped today because everyone needed me. So tonight I’ll probably come back and do the things that I need to get done.” He kept sharing but I wasn’t listening. All I could think about was that statement: “Everyone needed me.” I can remember when I thought that was the way that a true leader worked: needed and necessary in every avenue of that which I was leading. I thought that since I was the leader, I had to be the one with all of the answers in everything. The only problem was that I was lying.
I’m convinced that when is a leader is needed by everyone, he or she is actually crippling the ministry rather than setting it free for even better and more effective ministry. A good leader’s job is to empower his staff to do ministry, not cause his staff to wait for him or her to tell them what to do. The reason is this: There’s not a leader on the planet who’s good at everything. As long as we continue struggling to admit that we don’t know everything, we will continue to lead a very impotent and ineffective ministry. The goal is to empower people who know how to do what you’re not good at, and let them loose to get it done.
If you’re the leader of a ministry, it’s important to do the following:
1. Understand what God’s vision is for the ministry that he has entrusted to you.
2. Discover what you are not good at and admit those things to those that you lead.
3. Enlist and empower workers who are good at what you are not good at and then let them loose.
4. Keep your focus on what God has gifted and called you to do.
5. Keep everyone on track with the vision that God has given you for the ministry.
It’s crazy just how much more effective a leader is when he/she isn’t needed.