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Leading Strong Men and Women Part 4
Welcome to our 5 minute leadership podcast. We’re busy looking at the skills required to lead strong and powerful men and women.
In this series, we’ve seen that every shepherd is obligated to lead the poor, weak and needy. But there is a different set of skills that is required to lead strong men and women. We’ve been looking at David (1 Chronicles 12) as our reference for this type of leadership, and today we look at three last points.
Leading like King David
When you’re leading strong people who are actively pursuing what they feel called to achieve, give them feedback! It is very important to talk to them – not necessarily about the microscopic detail – but talk to them about their goals, objectives, their progress and how things are going.
Feedback is so important. For a strong person, even lousy feedback is better than no feedback at all. So phone your leaders, meet with them, get hold of them. When Jesus sent out the 72, in Luke 10, he waited for them to return and when they came back he adjusted them. He said you guys are getting excited because the demons are listening to you. You shouldn’t be getting excited about that because your names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Jesus gave feedback to his leadership team.
Paul also spoke about, and gave adjustments to his team. We’re not talking about criticism, we’re talking about keeping the communication lines open. Keep the phone calls going. I know a guy who is a strong leader but has a terrible habit of not answering phone calls and when you’re craving to get some feedback from a message you’ve sent him, he is just silent.
Your aim is for strong leaders to set their own goals. If they haven’t got clear goals, then set goals for them and let them buy into the goal setting process. In other words give clarity on what they’re trying to achieve, but don’t break it down for them or just hand them a to-do list. Strong people are able to do that on their own.
Don’t look over their shoulder or keep checking up on them or getting other people to spy on them! You’ve got to trust them. David sent off raiding bands but he didn’t tell them where to go or how to collect men for their bands. He just said you’re in charge – go do the job. For strong people you need to give them that sense of freedom and ownership.
There obviously needs to be a reckoning, where they are held to account for what they have said they would do, but that’s not micro-management.
Rather than task them, challenge them. Instead of simply saying I want you to do x or handing out a to-do list, challenge their ability to help win the war. Don’t make them runners in the skirmishes. Rather give them the idea that they are together with you; generals in the army winning the war. They will come up with new ideas and new angles.
As a church grows, you will need to depend more and more on strong men and women. If you do it all yourself, your church is not going to grow. I’ve learned a fundamental principle that has guided me over the last 10 years:
The bigger it grows, the more you’ve got to tighten the relationships and loosen the functionality.
In other words; grow the investment that you make into people’s lives. Invest in them one-on-one and build relationship. Look after your friendships and let them know that you love and care for them, and then release the function to them.
If you have a good relationship with these strong men and women; if you trust them, it will hold you together. You don’t need to rely on policies and administration and all sorts of intricate little contracts to hold you together – rather be covenantal in your relationships and loosen up your contracts so that they can get on with the job.
I hope that this four-part series on leading strong men and women has been useful. It is such a vital skill to have if you want to grow something big.