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?