Giving youth pastors the tools they need to make and shape disciples.

Your Definition Of Leadership May Be Holding Back Your Team

11 · 06 · 15

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams

Are you a leader? John Maxwell says if you think you’re a leader, look behind you and if no one is following you, you’re not a leader, you’re just someone out for a long walk.

Not everyone with the title of leader is a leader.

Managers are not necessarily leaders.

CEOs are not necessarily leaders.

Politicians are not necessarily leaders.

Pastors are not necessarily leaders.

Some people just wind up with a title because:

No one else wanted it.


No one else was qualified.

Leaders aren’t worried about their title if they’re busy inspiring others to:

Do more

I used to think that all my youth staff had to work as hard as I did or they were not working.  Regardless if if you have one volunteer that helps you or a whole team; we should be digging deeper into the lives of those who follow us, figure out (or just ask) what makes them tick, what makes them get up in the morning, what are their dream and encourage them to act on them and how could they use that to add value to the whole ministry. Find ways to celebrate them when they hit their sweet spot. I’d rather my team work at their own pace at what they are good at rather than work at my pace at what they are not.

Learn more

I am always encouraging our team to be learners, to pay attention to the world around them rather than accept the tunnel vision of everyday life. I am always trying to find ways to stretch those around me and you can too.  Try

  • Send them weekly links to leadership videos and articles
  • Sending them links to articles you’ll be discussing at the next meeting
  • Quotes that will challenge them.
  • Read a book together and discuss at each meeting.

Learning is experiential. Climbing a mountain, driving a race car, writing a book, starting a business or blog is educational. Putting our teams in new environments to expand their thinking could look like this

  • Bringing your team to a HIV clinic for volunteer work.
  • Doing a church service at a local teen detention center or girls home.
  • Go hiking.
  • Go skydiving.

The experiences don’t have to be this dramatic, simply choose something that stretches your team a inch more than they are used to. Having an ongoing, learning/experiential environment encourages the people who follow us to try more, fail more, and learn more.

Dream more

Most people will not want to  follow us forever. We should be aware that those who follow us have their own aspirations to eventually lead their own team, start their own small group, start their own ministry or  leave for greater opportunities, and our response to their dreams will reveal how great a leader we are. If we are threatened by the dreams of others we’ll tamp down on their dream just to milk a few extra  months or years out of someone before someone leaves or burns out. Real leaders prepare others to achieve their dreams and celebrates them when they do.

Become more

The act of helping people become more is a serious investment. Helping others become more requires  more time, more discipline, and more emotional investment. Leaders who coach and mentor those around them are taking a risk. Their is no  guarantee that any of your investment will pan out but not investing, coaching, or mentoring others guarantees you will not be a leader worth following or remembering.

You don’t need a title to be a leader, Pastor, etc.  Stop waiting for the title and start leading and others will confirm your leadership by following you.

If you think titles, making schedules, hiring and firing is what a leader is then you’re living way beneath the true definition.

Your Turn

Look behind anyone following?

Who are you inspiring?

How do you know?

How can you help the people on your team do more?

How can you help the people on your team learn more?

How can you help the people on your team dream more?

How can you help the people on your team become more?

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