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Leadership Worth Replicating

Leadership Worth Replicating

In Christian Smith’s book, Soul Searching, he reminds us that “we get what we are,” serving as a reminder that young people model the faith lives and practices of our parents, grandparents and other elders. I’m reminded that the same thing happens when we have current leaders train a new generation of leaders.
One congregation I served had an usher named Gary who was responsible for training all new ushers. Gary taught new ushers how to introduce themselves to visitors, strike up friendly conversations with them, and then say, “I’m glad you could worship with us – please join us next week” before they left the sanctuary. He shared how he kept a list of visitors’ names and even when he wasn’t ushering, he’d look for them on future Sundays to deepen a budding friendship. He shared how he remembered where they sat and would ask them if they’d like to sit in the same area again. In this situation, Gary knew how to extend hospitality and was the perfect candidate to train other ushers. This congregation was known for its extravagant hospitality and it was Gary and the ushers he worked with that reinforced that reputation.
When we accept mediocrity and complacency, it gets passed on to others. When we raise the bar and model effective leadership, that gets passed on too! In essence, what we accept is what we teach. You and your leaders are the primary curriculum for living a vibrant faith and modeling effective leaders. What might you do differently in the future to ensure that your leadership and faithfulness is worth replicating?

Some Toughts (13)

  1. added on 8 Dec, 2011

    […] Leadership Worth Replicating (leadingonpurpose.org) […]

  2. Patrick
    added on 9 Dec, 2011

    What might you do differently in the future to ensure that your leadership and faithfulness is worth replicating? First, admit to and learn from the mistakes I’ve made. Second, surrender any emotional baggage associated with those mistakes and get on with my life because as Matt Maher sings in a song (I thinks it’s called, “Love Will Hold Us Together”), “. . . this is the first day of the rest of your life . . .” Third, remain humble. Fourth, and most important, I look up to/point others to the examples of leadership and faithfulness demonstrated by Jesus. Yes, attempting to replicate a life like that is challenging but, thankfully, daily I can ask for and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to help me along the way.

  3. Dr. Bob
    added on 9 Dec, 2011

    What might I do differently in the future to ensure that my leadership and faithfulness is worth replicating? I could leave a paper trail that anyone could follow. My biggest shortcoming is probably leaning too much on my “gut and intuition” and going with the flow. While this kind of approach is great for being a AAA mentor and the youth really like it, it’s not so great if I get hit by a bus tomorrow and someone has to step in and take over. As far as my faithfulness, I’m not sure what I could do other than simply lead by example, which is what I try to do with every breath I take.

  4. Patrick
    added on 10 Dec, 2011

    Bob, you bring up a good point about leaving a paper trail. It would certainly serve whoever/whomever (pick the right one) follows me in the realm of youth ministry in our congregation to have a road map of where we’ve been and where we are going. I confess I stink at keeping detailed, organized files. It’s further complicated by the fact that I like to hand write out my ideas, lesson plans, etc. Inevitably, some of those pages get lost, misfiled, etc. Then it’s hard for me to go back and type stuff up after the event, program, etc. And, that is why the Holy Spirit led me to enroll in Cert School 60. I believe my written plan (okay, I’ll type it, not hand write it) will be enough of a paper trail for anybody to follow should I get hit by a bus.

  5. Kelly :-)
    added on 13 Dec, 2011

    I agree with Bob too! I think that my leadership and faithfulness always reflects the fact that the youth group He has built is not my youth group. I never want to hear are you going to Kelly’s youth group. I want them to always know and hear that is first and foremost God’s youth group. He does the bulding, growing, and leading. I just so happen to be the youth leader. I would hope my leadership and faithfulness would show that if I am ever called away EPIC does not go with me. I pray and hope that anyone can come in and not completely disrupt the flow because God hasn’t left and He is the one ever knows is in control!

    • Summer
      added on 19 Dec, 2011

      Kelly, I think that your faithfulness is amazing and sharing this gift with others is always worth trying to impress on others! I think that any change in leadership brings a disruption to the flow, but prayerfully, the direction and goals-centering in Christ-will remain.

  6. Summer
    added on 19 Dec, 2011

    While I feel that there is always room for improvement, at this time I do not know what I can do differently to make sure that my leadership and faithfulness is worth replicating. I personally think that because the goals and mission of the church and ministry are not MY goals but the CHURCH goals and mission, that this direction is worthy of replicating simply because we are trying to do God’s will. I also think that each person is different and brings new and unique talents to any leadership role. I do not think that any one person’s ways should be replicated. While they are a nice piece to reflect on, and sometimes learn from, we shouldn’t replicate someone else’s work. I do think it is important to do your best, to give your best, and to strive to be and do all God has called you to.

    I do keep a good paper trail and files (although it’s only filed about once a week). I do make time and keep my scheduled lunches and group plans with the youth to try to be an AAA leader. I do put prayer and praise, and study into each session I lead-my faithful works to God! I continue pray that God will guide us and use our ministry to reach all of our youth. If in the end, someone else is to find themselves behind this desk, I think they can use my resources to reflect on and see where we have been in the past. I also pray that they too find the basis of our mission and church-to empower all to grow in God’s love- worthy for them as guideline worthy of replicating to carry out our youth ministry goals.

  7. MichelleCollins
    added on 17 Jan, 2012

    You ask an important question…one I’m still trying to answer for myself. It seems to me good leaders are often able to think beyond what they’ve been given and push for more than what they see. This morning I met with the local group of clergy for breakfast and Bible study of this Sunday’s text. And we asked the same question after reading Jesus’ invitation the fishermen–“come, follow me.” What was it about Jesus’ invitation that inspired those fishermen to leave their livelihood and follow him? What was so intriguing about Jesus’ proclamation: “The Kingdom of God is at hand,” that made the invitation to “Repent” an opportunity for redemption instead of judgement? I think some of it was that Jesus had a vision for a future his listeners couldn’t vision for themselves. They followed him because he made them think they had somewhere to go…and that was something they hadn’t considered before. So I turn that to my own leadership and ask, “what vision of the future am I offering people who are influenced by me?” Again…a good question worth further contemplation :).

  8. added on 20 Jan, 2012

    I can see what Summer is saying, in that our goal should never be to replicate anyone before us. However, I believe if we strive to build a solid and comprehensive foundation (by curriculum, scripture, hospitality, etc.) it will provide those that come after us (or even beside us) a foundation upon which to build. Specifically, I came into my job 2 months ago, and if there had been nothing worth replicating before, I would have been at ground zero–and that would have been a very daunting task. Fortunately, there was a foundation (not perfect by any means) that I was able to start building on. Therefor, I believe we ought to strive for the goal of replication–all the while knowing that it will not be repeated, but knowing that you are working towards that perfection. It’s parallel to the fact that we are called to be like Jesus–perfect–even though we know we cannot ever reach the mark.

  9. Karen Schultz
    added on 2 Feb, 2012

    Being the nerdy “word” person that I am, I looked at the definition of replicate in dictionary.It says “to repeat, duplicate or reproduce, especially for experimental purposes”. That experimental purposes part got me. So, what might I do – in future, to have my method or style of leadership duplicated? And, we have to note that the premise of this commentary is that we should lead with high standards, not in mediocrity. I would continue to try to be a disciple of Jesus, though -since I’m pretty flawed- it’s an every day renewable challenge. Just praying for the Holy Spirit to lead me, to know how to listen and follow, to genuinely love those in my midst and to be brave enough to try something different if the “tried and true” isn’t working, to allow others to do and sometimes struggle with the task, while gently encouraging.
    Access to documents for future leaders is truly important, too. I came into my position with a new title but under the shadow of a” high pedestal person” and couldn’t find much in the way of what, who, when, where things had been done prior.

  10. Chelsey
    added on 6 Mar, 2012

    You and your leaders are the primary curriculum for living a vibrant faith and modeling effective leaders. What might you do differently in the future to ensure that your leadership and faithfulness is worth replicating?

    Whew, thats a pretty loaded question. I have currently been feeling like I don’t have much to replicate. I have been trying to point others to Christ and where it is failing big time in my personal life, (over half my close friends don’t believe or will talk about spirituality) I put even higher expectations on myself for ministry. Which in turn cause me to feel that I am failing. I once thought my passion for faith was ‘contagious’ and that others were drawn to it, but now I feel bogged down.
    Things to do differently would be 1: Allow God to lead me. To stop putting myself up high and watching myself fall. 2: Be BOLD. I would love for my youth kids and volunteers to know that God is speaking through me. I am not the teacher here, I am just a vessel he is using at the time.

  11. Geri Kearney
    added on 8 Mar, 2012

    We truly have a great congregation that is very complementary of our youth program and will often say, “I don’t know what we would do without you?” This really makes me feel pressure not to fail, and what happens if I do?. But what I have found, and I hope others see this in me, I try to allways give the glory to God. With him all things are possible. I often say “Don’t look at me look at what God has done, I couln’t do what I do with God first and then the many many people of the congregations. I hope that is what I replecate.

  12. Tammi
    added on 11 Mar, 2012

    I am not sure that replicating is always a good idea. Taking ideas or leads from others is sometimes helpful, but everybody has their own strengths. When I took the position of Youth Director, I had been an involved parent and already knew the kids well. I also knew of the turmoil that the ministry had gone through with the previous Youth Director leaving. That being said, I knew there were things that I did not want to replicate, but I would have appreciated the paper trail that Bob had mentioned. I have since, kept records, contacts, follow ups, resources and notes of each event, fundraiser or program. My hope is that it will help the next Youth Director in finding what their strengths are and to not necessarily replicate, but aid them in their ministry journey.

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