Lifting The Lid From Your Leadership
Convertibles. Roof decks. And an open field.
They each have something in common. A great view of the sky. Is there anything more freeing than looking into the heavens? Or running through a field?
Picture a fenced in yard. Then picture an open field. Where would you rather play? Or run?
Sometimes in leadership, we can get fenced in and feel the ceiling coming down upon us. Maybe that looks like doubt, or fear, or people telling you that you cannot do something, or just the circumstances surrounding you. You feel limited. And entrapped.
Lifting The Lid On Our Leadership Capacity
Let me give you 4 ways to take the lids off your YTH Leadership. And to increase your capacity.
1. Be around people who challenge you.
You never want to be the smartest person in the room. It is much better for you to be around people that challenge you. It is a dangerous place to be when everyone in your circle has less vision, or less education, or less commitment, or less experience than you do. That is a dead end.
I don't always want to be the person that everybody is pulling from. I don’t always want to be the person that is the leader in the room - always with the right thing to say. It is much better for you to be in a room with people that challenge you. Personally, I want to be in a room where I'm not speaking and I can simply put a ball hat on and just listen to these other people in the room.
If you want to go where you've never been, and do what you’ve never done, you have to find somebody who's been there and done that.
It's so much easier to lead if we are following somebody who has already been down that path before us. Because they make the journey much easier. And it is far better when we have people around us who challenge our thinking, our language, and our actions.
2. Visit another place that is doing the things you want to do.
I don't want to lead from the same setting all the time. That kind of familiarity can kill creativity and vision. We have to be willing to gain another perspective. To see from a different view. Maybe the thing you are missing that could have the most change-impact on your situation is as simple as seeing another place. Another setting.
Setting can be intoxicating. It can be anesthetic. And it can numb us if we are in it for a long time. A change of scenery could give you a whole different view. Or even some great idea. Talk to some other leaders who are doing what you are doing and see if you can visit them. A place maybe you need to go visit. For a few hundred dollars ($300-$500) you can get a flight and overnight visit to almost anywhere in the U.S. Ask your Lead Pastor to put this into the budget. Or to send you to a place where you can learn. The next level might be simply seeing someone else do things another way.
I know that not all practices transfer. But I have learned that most principles do.
The easiest way to change is to see people who have already dealt with the lid or the ceiling or the fence and learned how to remove it. They've already made the changes themselves and could ‘unstuck’ you. And you cannot do this on the phone or through an email. You have to be in setting. To feel it. Kinesthetically. Maybe seeing and experiencing a new system or idea will be the catalyst for change. If you are really wanting to do this, send me a note from our website and I will give you the names of people in your area that would be a great visit for you.
3. Increase your education.
Sometimes the reason we are in a spot is because we just don’t know any better. And an education can bring the competency it takes to make a change. Are you in a place where you could take a course at a local College or University? I’ll bet there's a University or College in your area where you could take a class for one semester that will challenge you in any area where you may need it.
How about sociology, theology, psychology, or even leadership of some sort? Or maybe a business course or human relations course. Sometimes education is that extra challenge that you need to change your language, or the way that you communicate, or your thought processes. Education can be a great way to take the lid off your leadership capacity. Education can bring a new Excellence to your organizational skills or your problem-solving skills or even your leadership approach.
And if you cannot go to a University or College, what about an online course? Or even increasing your reading discipline. If you cannot do these things, how about meeting with an area YTH veteran who has been doing this longer than you? A once a month meeting with another YTH Leader could easily and quickly increase your capacity and jumpstart your YTH Ministry. The ideas, conversations, and tutelage could help you see that there really are some great things inside of you that just need to be brought out through collaboration.
4. Change your approach.
I love this one. It is not easy, but, it works. And sometimes this lid-lifter is only temporary. Change your perspective. Change your approach. Change the way you do things. Even for a quarter.
It can be easy to get bogged down with the ‘same-old same-old’. The default syndrome. Where you keep doing the same things but expect a different result. It really is insanity. But, it can be broken with a little courage and willingness to do things differently than you are doing them. Let me give you an example.
To break you out of that default or rut, a simple change of philosophy or approach could be changing the order of your YTH Service or evening or gathering. Whatever you call it. So, if you are opening the night with games, announcements, and offering, do all of that at the end. Start the evening with prayer, worship, and the Word. And then end the evening with the other stuff.
Here are a few other ways to change your approach:
-If you don’t do worship, put together a playlist from YouTube
-If you don’t do small groups, end the evening after your message with small group discussion
-If you don’t do preaching, spend a series preaching on a topic (There is a growing trend away from this. For many reasons we don’t have time to cover in this post.)
-If you don’t do guests, bring in guests to add another dimension of ministry
-If you don’t do ministry outside of the Church setting, take the YTH group to a neutral site setting and do ministry
-If you don’t do evangelism, spend a quarter of programming with an outreach emphases
-If you are a program-based ministry person, try presence-based ministry
Lifting lids from our personal capacity is often quite easy. Maybe trying one or all of these things will take you to the next level. Or give you a new perspective. And shock you enough to break the insanity. Please let me know how I can help you. Send me a contact message from our website. And I will get back to you as soon as I can. Because I think sometimes it's that small change that will make a big difference.
I would much rather ride in a convertible, or eat on a sky deck, or run in a wide open field.