In the inner workings of church ministry and leadership, a lot of stuff happens behinds the scenes. Some stuff is so beautiful and fruitful, and some are well…..poop.
The good thing about the poopy situations is that we can grow from it and become better leaders. Whether you are the one who made the poopy mess or the one receiving poop. Poop makes great fertilizer for things to grow. Do you see what I did there? 😉
Even the Bible talks about this…Proverbs 14:4 (NLT)
Oxen work hard, but they make a mess that you have to clean up if you want work to be done. I think that is a perfect picture of how ministry is.
It’s a big bummer to see stuff like that happen in the church, but it does. I’ve had it happen to me numerous times.
I was recently talking with my good friend, and she was sharing an experience she had in a ministry event. Long story short she came up with this great idea, worked really hard and was excited, but once the event passed another leader took the credit for it.
This is why I wanted to write this post. As a way to check ourselves as ministry leaders but also to be aware that people are people. And we need to be wise and kind with how we work with them.
It breaks my heart to see people leave the church or the faith because a leader was selfish or not careful how they interacted with others.
Important Reminders for Christian Leaders
Only Take Credit If You Did The Work
This is what I was stating earlier that happened with my friend. There is a tendency for leaders that oversee to take credit from lower positioned leaders or volunteers.
I have been in a position where I oversee a ministry. So, I understand a lot of work and attention takes place, but it doesn’t give you permission to take credit. Good leadership doesn’t honor just those on top, but also those below them.
The Bible is very clear on this…“Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” Romans 13:7
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, – Philippians 2:3
If someone helps you give them the credit and honor them.
It’s Not About You
At the end of the day leadership, ministry, and the church is not about us, it’s about Him. The fastest way to create decay in your ministry is by becoming a selfish leader.
The greatest leader in history, Jesus, came to serve and sacrifice Himself. This is the posture we need to take when we are ministering. Our agenda is to help others, not help ourselves.
I always like to say…check yourself before you wreck yourself. Sometimes we need to do a heart check when we are in leadership.
It’s easy to lose sight when all of a sudden doors are opening, and people want you to do things, and the are applauding your work.
Recognition isn’t bad, but chasing or being hungry for it will lead you down a slippery slope.
We Need Accountability
We can’t be lone rangers in ministry. It’s just not healthy and leaves a big target on our back for the enemy to nail us.
Whether we are in leadership or not we need fellowship. We need others speaking into our lives and we need to find people who we can be raw and real with. Being accountable to people is important and should never be placed on the back burner.
Do Unto Others As You Would Like Done To You
Luke 6:31 – Do to others as you would have them do to you.
A lot of times when we are leading we can get narrow focused and react to others in a way that is not always beneficial. We forget to extend grace and can come off as harsh or uncaring.
Like for real…it happens. You’re busy, you have tons of things to do and a volunteer totally flakes on you. And you decide to give them little piece of your mind. We are human and we do stuff like this a lot. #thestruggleisreal
The thing is you sometimes you have no idea what your volunteer, teammate, friend, etc….is going through. It’s best to alway put you feet in their shoes.
If you were late, or missed something, or whatever….how would you truly want to be treated? I’m sure you would want the leader to be kind, and extend grace.
Stopping, and taking a high path of grace is always going to be the best policy. If there seems to be a pattern in a persons life, then meet up with them. Hear them out and then discuss kindly how things are effecting you as a leader.
We are meant to build up the brethren, even in correction it should be done in a place of love, kindness, and grace. It should be done exactly how you would want it to be done to YOU.
Create A Safe Environment
I think the biggest bummer that can happen in a leadership team or ministry is when it’s controlling or unaccepting. And trust me people can tell when it’s fake safe and when it’s truly safe.
Control will create the opposite of a safe environment. It will stifle, suffocate, and kill anything that is living. When we control we are no longer empowering others but become a power hog.
And the reality is only one person should be in control….and His name is Jesus.
Sometimes we want to control out of a place of fear.
- Fear it will be taken away from us
- Fear someone will do it better
- Fear of uncertainty
- Fear of perfectionism
Sometimes we want to control out of a place of pride.
- I’m more anointed then you
- I’m the one they put in charge
- My way is the best way
No matter how you slice it….fear or pride…equals the same thing. ME focused.
The goal is to create an environment that people can thrive in. They can be themselves and use the gifts God has given them. They shouldn’t be hushed, or put in a corner….they should be used to expand the Kingdom of God.
That is what empowering leadership looks like. Leading from a place of service to God and His people. Let’s be the standard of Godly leadership. Let’s show the world that we care more about each other then we care about promoting our platform.
Like always I hope this has encouraged you and made you reflect on what good leadership looks like. I know for me
And also give room for others to speak in my life about my leadership style. Sometimes we have blind spots, but God is faithful to have others speak into outlives we just need to be humble enough to receive it.
If you are interested in learning more about leadership then check out these posts and John C. Maxwell’s books!
Melissa is a passionate minister, speaker and an ongoing learner of the Bible. She has been involved in church and vocational ministry for over 18 years. And is the founder of Think About Such Things. She has the heart to equip the saints by helping them get into the Word of God and fall more in love with Jesus. She also enjoys family, cooking, and reading.
She has spoken in churches in California, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico and has been featured in Guidepost Magazine and All Recipes Magazine. Read More…