Empowering Leadership

On July 22, 2018, SouthPoint Church will hold its 600th gathering!  Yep, you read that right, 600 Sundays!  It’s amazing to me that not only has the church survived that long, but that it has also thrived!  God has blessed us and there have been many amazing divine moments that I’ll cherish forever.  

One of the questions others ask me on a regular basis is, “How?”  “How did you make it grow?” What hat they are always looking for is a magic bullet; that one thing they can take and generate an overnight success.  The answer holds both good news and bad.  The bad news is there is no such magic bullet.  The good news is there is something that offers tremendous help, and that is having the right culture.

There are a lot of different cultures that a church can have, and there are a lot of cultures that can work in tandem with others, mixing different elements to form your unique culture.  The one cultural element that I think must be there is the culture of empowering leadership.  If we think we can or must do everything ourselves, we will not accomplish very much.  However, when we empower others, more gets done and the Kingdom of God moves forward.

So in order to do that we need to trust others.  That’s easy to say and hard to do.  So many times it’s just easier if I do it myself.  There is less struggle and I never have to worry about somebody making a deadline, because I know I can do it and do it well.  But if we want growth, and if we want to see things change, then we need to trust the other leaders around us, and if you truly can’t trust them, then you have the wrong leaders around you.

There is a lot to this topic, but let me give you one simple thing that can help you in successfully empowering others.

Tell them WHAT and WHY but not HOW.

Obviously, let them know what task or project are they supposed to own, and then make sure they know why.  Why it is important, and why it needs to be done.  The ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ is always important and valuable.  Then, let them figure out the ‘how.’ Figuring out the ‘how’ is empowering them to create, and when they are able to create then they have been empowered.  They grow and the organization grows.  

"What if they fail?" Well, they probably will.  Everybody fails at one time or another.  In fact, if we are not failing, then are we really stretching ourselves and the areas that we are responsible for?  There must be room for failure.  I think that's one reason I like baseball.  It's a game of failing.  Right now, Mookie Betts plays for Boston and has the highest batting average this season at .350.  That means my man is the best in all of MLB and fails at the plate more than he succeeds!

With every failure we just need to learn.  Like John Maxwell says, "Fail forward."  Every failure is merely a stepping stone to move forward.  No one who is successful never fails.  Failure is part of the process.