by Jessica Bealer
View original publication on OrangeBlogs.org
For many of us in ministry, summer is a welcome break, a time to take a breath, shore up standards, and try new things. Programming is a little less rigid, and that’s a good thing because volunteers tend to be sparse this time of year.
Summer is also a great time to evaluate your current leadership development model and see where your ministry is coming up short. If you want fall to be a strategic season of growth, you’re going to need a plan to RAISE up additional leaders to help you manage your ever-expanding mission field and capture the momentum.
Using the acronym RAISE, here are five questions to help you assess your effectiveness as a developer.
Are you RESPONSIVE?
A great leader dispels uncertainty. He or she responds to questions, concerns, or ideas promptly. It’s not enough to ask for feedback. Those you lead should feel acknowledged and considered when decisions need to be made.
Ask yourself …
- Do I return calls and answer emails in a timely manner?
- Do I hoard information or do I share details as soon as they are available to me?
- Do I discount others’ ideas or do I listen and consider implementation?
- Do I have a system for those I lead to offer feedback on a weekly basis?
Are you APPROACHABLE?
Passion activates creativity. Most leaders want passionate people on their teams, but is your demeanor actually diverting creative solutions? When you’re accessible, open-minded and amicable team members will eagerly bring suggestions and proposals to you.
- Am I social and friendly?
- Am I confrontational or easy to talk to?
- Do I ask questions and offer compliments freely?
Are you INVESTED?
When you choose to invest in someone you lead, you intentionally carve out time and put forth effort to see him or her successfully reach the next level of leadership. If it’s not personal to you, it’s not a true investment. Dividends require risk and a sacrifice on the part of the investor.
- How much time do I spend each week with those I lead?
- Do I consistently speak vision?
- Do I offer constructive feedback?
Are you SUPPORTIVE?
You’ve heard the saying: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” It’s easier said than done. Like lemons, life can sometimes be tough and messy. Those you lead need to know you will be with them through whatever comes their way. Supporting your team means knowing them, loving them, and doing life alongside them.
- Do I seek to know the individuals who make up my team?
- Am I committed to seeing my team through the highs and lows of life and ministry?
- Do I celebrate the successes of those I lead?
Are you EMPOWERING?
The life span of your ministry is directly linked to your ability to pick up and release tasks and initiatives. Those you lead need to know you trust them. They need to feel comfortable making important decisions. At some point, you were given the opportunity to lead, and you made the most of it. Those on your team are ready and waiting for the same opportunity. Don’t allow your fear of failure to rob others of their calling.
- Do I authorize team members to brainstorm and implement solutions?
- Do I micromanage or encourage ownership?
- Do I vocalize my trust often?
The product of healthy leadership is the development of great leaders. Let’s make a resolution this summer to begin to produce leaders who are responsible, approachable, invested, supportive, and empowering. Let’s build the necessary infrastructure this summer so our ministries are positioned for impact this fall.