As a church leader, you’re not only responsible for the outcomes of your team, but you’re also partially responsible for the spiritual lives of those you’re leading (Mark 9:42). Sometimes your role as leader and mentor will conflict – especially when you have limited time and resources. This conflict occurs when your team members are getting drained but the team needs to keep moving on. What do you do?
This is by no means a new suggestion, but maybe a new take, and if nothing else, a helpful reminder. Make sure your team members are being filled through their service. Different people have different gifts, abilities, and interests, and when they “fit” with the task they’re doing, it provides a sense of meaningfulness and excitement. That kind of work almost never leads to burnout, regardless of the actual time spent.
In church world, as in the business world, there is a temptation to assume that being a “rock star” (to take a phrase from Dave Ramsey) in one domain is going to lead to that same success in another domain. We assume you have a “servant’s heart” because you don’t shy away from physical labor, so we stick you with as many undesirable jobs as possible. We know you can develop a good lesson for teens, so you should be transferable to developing lessons for adults. There is logic behind this, but skill does not equate to passion.
Jim Collins talks about getting the “right people on the bus” and getting them “in the right seat.” Good leaders attract good followers. Rock stars will flock to you if your team consistently puts out a great product and you get a reputation as a good leader; you may then be tempted to hoard this talent, regardless of whether it is specifically relevant to your team or not. Great leaders discover and distribute great followers. Rock stars will still flock to you, but as a leader who listens to followers’ passions, you will be able and Kingdom-focused enough to direct them to the areas of service that best fulfill them.
- Certain natural skills will make some people better at almost everything they do.
- There is a temptation to over-utilize high performers.
- If their interests aren’t aligned, they will fizzle out.
- A great leader will not hoard, but distribute mismatched “rock stars.”
- A great leader will discover and develop, from their own teams, potential “rock stars” on the basis of matched passion.