I’ve read a few of Navy SEAL Jocko Willink’s books, and he is passionate—even aggressive—about pushing responsibility down the chain of command. He used to train Navy SEAL officers. He knows a thing or two about getting things done, about teamwork, and about developing others.
You see, the SEALs don’t work solo. They depend on each other with their lives, and they demand great leadership from their officers. Knowing they’re on a team makes them fanatical about everyone doing their best.
So how do they develop each man to be a leader? By shoving him out into leadership, that’s how.
After getting wet and sandy, squadrons of SEAL candidates might carry a 200-lb inflatable boat over their head, paddle straight into the San Diego waves, around an objective, and back. Everything’s a competition, and every man gets his chance to lead the mission.
“Yes, but how do you find the good leaders?” By having them lead.
“Sure, but how do you develop them into better leaders?” By having them lead.
“I get that, but what if they’re not good leaders yet?” Let them lead.
“I know… but what if they can’t lead.” Hm… have them lead!
Any position of leadership requires:
1. A person who will do it. I didn’t say he or she had to be good or willing. But everything—from the kids outside starting a game of tag to a CEO of a huge corporation—everything needs a person who will take the job.
2. A huge learning curve. Nobody’s good at their job right away. It takes time, patience, and a lot of mistakes. A lot.
3. People who will go along. Ideally, we’re talking about team players—people who will follow.
In church work, the leadership might seem like it all comes “from the top,” but I’m passionate about YOU becoming passionate leaders.
STAFF. We have a small paid staff. They’re the ones I work with the most, so they naturally have the front row seat to where we’re trying to head as a church. I appreciated the parents of teens who let me lead when I was youth pastor, and I am thankful for the parents who now follow Bro. Christian. I think he’s earned a lot of respect by his responsible handling of the youth ministry, but even before he could prove himself, he was “shoved” into leadership and has developed even more skills by experience.
I have a solid three weeks of pastoral experience under my belt, and I’m humbled by people who are choosing to go along and “buy into” our church. We want to be a place of fervent worship, of intentional praise, of ridiculous generosity, and of people who can’t get enough of God’s Word. You are that, and I love it.
Our interns are showing up this week, and although they won’t be leading too many ministries, my practice has always been to “shove” them into the deep end (of leadership) and see how they swim. Bro. Zack and Bro. Evan will be a blessing, and I’m eager to let them preach, teach, and practice doing ministry on us! They both want to be pastors one day, and our church is a great opportunity for them to get a little experience in the daily life of church work.
MINISTRY LEADERS. I desire the men and women of our church who lead ministries to be the spark plug of their ministry! Not out of pride, but truly out of a desire to help people by leading a class, or outreach, or encouragement ministry with excellence.
And if you are involved in a ministry that someone else leads, FOLLOW! Get on board. Love it. Encourage it. Be all in.
So, how many areas are you involved in? Song leading for a class? Teaching kids? Running game-time? Overseeing volunteers for a work crew? Rewriting a curriculum?