Over the last 20 some years of watching leaders and learning from leaders, I have learned that if a leader doesn’t relate well with his staff, he won’t be able to relate well with his people. We need to be extremely comfortable together. We need to enjoy times around the lunch table, in each other’s homes, on the shooting range, as well as in the office. Our relationship will bear bountiful fruit in our shared ministry, enabling us to unite more effectively and joyfully in serving Christ and serving others.
If you are in agreement with me on this, I’d expect you might like to call one of your staff members or key laypersons here in a minute just to speak a word of encouragement to them. Perhaps talk through a little matter of ministry or just see how their day is going. In today’s writing I want to give 5 thoughts about service and leadership.
1. Position does not automatically translate to fellowship: People may respect your title, but their eagerness to follow you will have a lot less to do with what you do than with how you do it. Staying connected with your leadership team earns you the privilege of being followed. 2. Leadership and relationship go together: Do not compartmentalize the two, thinking that leadership happens best when you’re alone making plans on your laptop. Leaders certainly need time to themselves, and some things need to be done in the quiet, but the bulk of your leadership is built around times of relating, let people see who you really are, giving them the opportunity to listen and buy in. 3. When leaders develop their relationship skills, they help themselves. I assure you, that if you would be more intentional with your relationships, you could afford to be less intentional in your leadership. People follow more naturally those who they feel a true connection with. Being relational and compassionate toward your staff will result in greater acceptance of your guidance. 4. Relationship building must be genuine: It’s not hard to spot a phony, a leader who’s only doing this because he read a book that told him to. The best leaders have a genuine adoration for others, a true love and respect for them. They honestly respect the giftedness in the body of Christ, the way their staff and other leaders do what they do. They appreciate other people in a clearly authentic manner. They know they couldn’t do this without them. In fact they wouldn’t want to do it without them. 5. People like working in caring places: If a pastor stays in a church a long enough the people will take on his personality. That can be a little scary, especially if the leader is not relational. But if he is strong at building relationships, the people around him will share his heart. If you don’t like the way your church looks right now, its possible that it may be a reflection of the one who’s leading. Ask God’s help in making you even more of a caring person, and you’ll find yourself leading a caring church.