We all have acquired various beliefs that lay the foundation for how we lead our teams. Some of these beliefs are propelling you forward, while some are limiting your trajectory. What are these thoughts? How are they hindering your ministry? Here are six beliefs that can stunt your growth in leadership.
YOU MUST BE THE BEST
Our society constantly measures people, companies and teams against one another. Who are the best and brightest? Who is the most influential? I know I fall into this trap quite often. I will measure myself to other churches, teammates on staff, and leaders within my team. I want to bring the best ideas or solution every time! It is never fun to have ideas shot down.
Not only is your expertise not essential, but neither is having the superior talent. The best coaches for many sporting teams were far less talented than those they coach. They just have an effective way of communicating the blueprint to the finish line.
As a small group point person, one of the greatest lessons I learned and (slowly) embraced was to function within my gifts and not strain to be someone I was not. I needed to be who God called me to be. I am proficient in some areas but in others I excel. It may not cover the entirety of our ministry needs, but our team will succeed when I stay in my lane and allow others to flourish in theirs.
YOU CAN DO IT ALONE
As Small Group Point People, we preach this non-stop to our congregations. “You must be in community to really fulfill your God-given purpose!” is a message that I’ve heard for years. Yet when it comes to executing events, finding families groups to connect with or implementing new strategies, it is easy to hold on to the control panel throughout the process.
Like in the previous belief, it is important to defer to other talents. It is also essential in long-term success and group growth to empower the most leaders as possible. Our group launch may take a tiny step back in one area if I share the burden of various areas this time around. But we may take leaps forward in the coming season due to their hands on experience as the first time point person. By sharing the leadership load, you will in turn grow your overall reach.
YOU CANNOT CONTROL THE TEAM’S NARRATIVE
As a point person leading a team it may seem as if you cannot control what each group talks about or what each leader thinks about their role on the team. It may seem inevitable that leaders will think they’re “just group hosts” or they’re not “essential” to the work of your local church. As I was reading through Steve Gladen’s new book, Planning Small Groups with Purpose, he illustrated in appealing to the desire that people have to feel “needed” and “essential” to your ministry. You have the power to enhance their ownership and contribute to growing their group and influence. Helping a positive and life-giving narrative permeate within your team will squeeze out any negative thoughts that could otherwise create bad pockets of leaders.
Help your leaders understand they are shaping not only their group, your church but also the Church globally. During a pre-service volunteer rally at our church a few months ago, I thanked our volunteers for their contribution in growing the Church globally. I used a recent Harvard Study that shared stats that were encouraging for the growth of Christianity. Many volunteers shared with me their excitement that they played such an important role in God’s Kingdom. This new realization of necessity and ownership will only enhance the effectiveness of groups.
IT DIDN’T WORK BEFORE, IT WON’T WORK NOW
In many ways it is vital to learn from past mistakes and move forward, but some mistakes may not be in WHAT you tried but HOW you tried it. Several years ago, we moved away from a Sunday Small Group sign-up event in favor of a mid-week experience. The reason was due to an extremely low retention of those who signed up. We did find that the mid-week retention rate exceeded 80% but we recently brought it back to Sunday. We just tried a different method of sign ups and saw a great leap in retention.
I know there are many examples throughout my time as a point person of things failing or not going as planned. Some ideas may have been simply bad ideas, while others could just been before their time or pre-maturely attempted in accordance to my leadership abilities. I want to identify these failed attempts and determine if they could be a part of our Small Group future (again).
DO NOT ADMIT WHEN YOU’RE WRONG
For many it is important to guard the visibility of imperfections from others, while I would argue it is these imperfections that make us all unique and our best selves. Superman isn’t as likable of a superhero without kryptonite. The best leaders are transparent and proud of their whole makeup.
When we as point people are able to say “I don’t know” or “I was wrong” it let’s everyone else in on the obvious, we’re not perfect! When a point person can own a mistake, they become trustworthy and reliable. An admitted mistake or weakness can actually strengthen your ability to lead.
LEADERSHIP ISN’T LEARNED
You have probably heard about the “natural, born leader” a time or two in your life time. You may even be one. Just because you aren’t born a leader or may not contain all the great qualities of leaders, doesn’t mean you cannot grow and develop into one. This may be the biggest belief that is impeding you from taking that next leap into your calling.
If you feel locked into your role or in a leadership rut, learn your way out. Know there isn’t a prototypical leader that you have to be. Use your leadership gifts, develop new ones and grow into the leader God has called and empowered you to be.
As a Small Group Point Person, these misbeliefs are stunting your leadership growth. I encourage you to test your beliefs, establish new ones and grow in your capabilities as a Small Group Point Person.
For more on this subject, listen to our podcast “Top 5 Things Not To Do When Coaching Small Group Leaders”