Eric Geiger - a Husband, Father, Author, Vice-President of LifeWay Church Resources

04.17.2014

2 Barriers to Empowering Leaders

As the leader you are not the most qualified person on your team for every decision, every initiative, or every aspect of the team’s collective work. There are others the Lord has placed on the team who are more uniquely gifted and prepared to lead specific functions.

For example, the senior pastor may not be the most gifted to spearhead pastoral counseling or lead a new initiative. Or the team leader may not be the most creative or the best designer of systems that undergird the organization.

The team is stronger and her impact is greater when the leader of the team recognizes the gifting surrounding him/her, hands leadership to others, and graciously places himself/herself under their direction for specific initiatives and functions.

Max Depree referred to this as “roving leaders” in his classic work, Leadership Is an Art. Depree articulated that there are strong leaders throughout an organization who don’t carry the organizational title of team leader but are the ones who really lead, who really make things happen.

Those with the organizational title of “team leader” are wise to hand responsibility to others – to trust “roving leaders.” Practically this means the team leader delegates and serves as a team member under the direction of the “roving leader” who is running point on a particular function or project.

If roving leadership sounds idealistic it is because many of us have been confronted with two significant barriers to roving leadership.

1)    Insecure leaders

Insecure leaders need to be the ones making every decision and leading every initiative. Their organizations or ministries don’t need them to be the ones always running point; they need to be the ones always running point. Their egos will not allow another person to thrive, another person to lead, or another person to be perceived as “wiser” or more “effective” in a particular discipline. Their need for power or control debilitates the organization and stifles the development of the team.

Humble leaders delegate and gladly submit to others with proven character and competence. They care more about the health of the ministry/organization they lead than the credit they receive. Several have been credited with the maxim: “It is amazing what can be accomplished if we don’t care who gets the credit.”

2)    Unwise & unhealthy expectations

In some situations it is not an insecure leader but unwise and unhealthy expectations that prohibits “roving leadership.” If the ministry or organization believes and practices that the person with the “leader” title must be the one “executing” all the work rather than “equipping” others, then everyone suffers. The organization or ministry suffers as her influence is limited to one person. The leader suffers as he/she feverishly attempts to lead everything. And people suffer as they are sidelined without the ability to use their gifts to contribute.

Sadly, in some churches insecure leaders need to be needed, so they refuse to empower and equip others for ministry. They refuse to practice the biblical vision of church ministry where pastors don’t always do the ministry, but they equip others for ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13). And sadly, in some churches a lack of understanding or commitment to the beautiful doctrine that all believers are priests, all believers are ministers, pushes ministry to the paid clergy instead of to the entire body.

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04.16.2014

The Importance of Multiplying Yourself as a Church Leader

Micah Fries tells the story of a pastor of large, successful church who didn’t measure his success by church size or ministry tenure. He measured it by the three younger leaders he mentored each year who then went on to mentor 3 younger leaders apiece the following year. He viewed leadership multiplication as the key to success. Micah shares three principles for how to do this well and the impact it will have for church health.

Read more about Ministry Grid and how it can help you equip leaders in your church.

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04.15.2014

2 Key Words for Pastors This Easter

As your Easter services are quickly approaching, I thought I would share a few thoughts for church leaders around two key words: assimilation and transformation. Though one does not necessarily lead to the other, they are both … [Continue reading]

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04.14.2014

Let the Word Dwell in You: Why It Matters

My friend, Toby Jennings, is guest-blogging today. Toby is the Managing Editor of LifeWay’s Explore the Bible, a book-by-book study for groups of all ages. Toby earned his PhD from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. You can access a free … [Continue reading]

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04.11.2014

Links for Leaders 4/11/14

An important aspect of effective leadership is awareness of what your team is interested in and engaging. This list of the top 300 church blogs is exceptionally helpful in knowing what is drawing the interests of Christians around the web. You … [Continue reading]

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04.09.2014

3 Questions to Help You Evaluate Ministry Practices

How do you know if the ministry you’re doing is valuable? How do you know if it’s working? It’s easy to do ministry work day in and day out without ever stopping to evaluate the work and test the value. Philip Nation shares three questions to help … [Continue reading]

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04.08.2014

3 Ways to Implode as a Leader

We shouldn't be surprised when great leaders implode, when their inner lives cave in dramatic fashion. We should grieve, pray, and love, but we shouldn't think ourselves better and we shouldn't be caught off guard. David, a man after God's own … [Continue reading]

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04.07.2014

What If God Chose to Be Silent?

My friend, Toby Jennings, is guest-blogging today. Toby is the Managing Editor of LifeWay’s Explore the Bible, a book-by-book study for groups of all ages. Toby earned his PhD from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. You can access a free … [Continue reading]

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04.04.2014

Links for Leaders 4/4/14

“Be real with people or be prepared to lose them.” These strong words open this article from Brandon Cox about how to foster authenticity in your leadership culture. Many leaders fail to get the most out of their employees. Here are 8 leadership … [Continue reading]

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