A great majority of who I am can be summed up in the words of the title of this post. Here is part four of an article that was published in the latest edition of Creator Magazine. This section lays out some of my thoughts about being a leader of people both staff and ministry volunteers.
When you separate the term ‘Worship Leader’ you do end up with two words, one that is hopefully focused fully on God and the other on people.
Over the past few years I have been made keenly aware of how much of my job is not about performance but about leading others. That is almost strange for a musician to state.
I have said for many years that when I come to the end of my career I would love for people to be able to say:
1. he was faithful to a call on his life by God
2. he performed the tasks of his job with integrity
If those two statements are made then I have been successful and I have been accountable to both God and the people around me.
I am aware more now than ever before that the major responsibility of any minister is not the task but the people. Putting performance before people…that was me…I stand guilty. Too often I sacrificed the people instead of pointing the people toward the ultimate sacrifice.
One of the greatest leaders recorded in scripture is King David. It was only through his journey to the throne that led him to be a good leader. His training to be a leader came from leading sheep; an animal with little brain power, a big smell, the innate ability to run from danger unless led by a strong shepherd. It is scary to think that we as followers of Christ are often referred to as sheep. What does that say about us or the people we are trying to lead? It is clear, just something we don’t think about in the terms just described.
I look back over my years in ministry and realize the events I have witnessed and been a part of have been preparing me for where I am today. The greatest challenge and blessing in my ministry now is the people I serve with and lead.
Have you ever caught yourself saying: “I wish my boss was more like...” “I wish he wouldn’t talk to us that way.” “I wish…(you fill in the blank.) Today I reverse that question and ask “what are the people I lead saying about me?” Then I ask “what do I want them to say?”
Recently I invested in some leadership training by engaging the services of a “Job Coach.” The purpose was to help me evaluate my leadership skills and find ways to improve on them. I enjoyed the process and gained some helpful information about leading people. One of the tasks that the ‘Job Coach’ asked me to complete was to write out a list of leadership behaviors that I want to model for my team. Here is the list:
- Good planning: see the big picture and be prepared
- Open communication: often and honestly, the big picture and the details
- Dependability: I will be there, I will do my job, I will support them
- Accept Instruction: always willing to learn from others
- Invest in others: take time for others
- Seek God: no other way to find wisdom and strength
- Know my leader: do I know where he is going, are we on the same page?
Each person who is involved in ministry has answered a call. Somewhere, sometime you said yes to an invitation to serve. What keeps your ministry on track? And…what are the words that describe your role in life or in ministry? For me: Christ Follower + Worship + Leader.