October 9, 2009

Rest & Leadership-
Part 2-Business/Ministry

Yesterday I looked at how you can start to build biblical rest like that found in Psalm 62 into your leadership, specifically into your leadership with your family. Today I want to turn & look at the areas of our businesses/ministries

2. In Your Business or Ministry, Take Time Away.

I think one of the biggest sins in ministry is that of pride. Most ministers think that things just won't work without their being there to make it work. I've been guilty of it from time to time too. However, this is the sin that actually cripples your ministry. If your vision for ministry requires your omnipresence, then your vision for ministry is too small, & I would even go so far as to say your vision for ministry isn't from God. Ironically, it's the ministers who often put a lid on the ministry. That's why so many "successful" ministries grind to a halt shortly after the leader is no longer in the picture. That's why it's important for the leader to intentionally take time away. If you're the primary teacher/preacher, take a month away from the stage, giving another leader an opportunity to teach. Use that time to refresh yourself, to look ahead at what God wants to say through you, or if you're in the business world, look forward to the next 6 months, year, 2 years for your organization. Write down where you want to see your business or ministry in that time. Identify what that really looks like. Develop a strategy for getting there, & prepare to share that with those you work & serve with. If you take time away, you model to those serving with you that it's necessary to get away from the work from time to time to work on the work. Then you have to be willing to let some of your other leaders do the same thing in their area of leadership. Which leads us to #3.

3. In Your Business or Ministry, Develop More Leaders

You will never be able to achieve #2 until you have embraced this principle: Leaders develop more leaders. Again, you are only putting a lid on your ministry or business if you are the one who makes everything happen or if you have to know every detail of what's happening in your organization. Open your eyes, look around, & identify the people who have the potential to do what you are currently doing. Then train them to do what you do, allow them to do what you're doing; then give it to them. This frees you up to lead more effectively for the long term. If you allow every detail & decision to consume you, you will never have time to get away & dream about the future of your organization or ministry. If you've always wanted to be able to step away from your regular routine in order to focus on the future but always feel you don't have the time to do it, chances are good that you feel that way because you are doing too much in your business or ministry, & that business or ministry will only "go" as long as you are there to make it go. The minute you step away, it falls apart because you haven't developed other leaders to share the leadership with you.

While my perspective is obviously in the arena of ministry, the principles I've laid out here will translate immediately into any organization. Business leaders like pastors often make the mistake of thinking that they are literally indispensable to their organization. In turn they risk actually slowing down the momentum of their organization.

Whether in business or ministry, we have to develop other leaders & release them to do what we do in order to give our work longevity. How can you begin developing other leaders? What tasks are you doing that you could train someone else to do? Who are those people that need to be developed? What do you need to simply stop doing in order to give those people the time they need to grow as leaders?

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