We Fear Others Being Better Than Us
There are some leaders who don’t share responsibility and if they were really honest, would admit that some of it has to do with fear of others doing it better than them.
When we look at Jesus and His leadership, once again we are encouraged to move beyond this fear and make it a hope. Jesus says that His disciples will do greater things than what they saw Him do. He didn’t have a fear that they would accomplish more and do greater things, it was His hope and plan! Isn’t that amazing?
We see this same mentality in Barnabas in the book of Acts. If you follow the story of Barnabas, you see that he was the one who took a risk on Paul and discipled him. Over time Acts tells the story of how the discipler (Barnabas) takes a back seat to the disciple (Paul).
Great leaders don’t fear others being better than them, they aim for it. Shared leadership can be the best way to empower and develop leaders that will take the community to greater places. It will redefine success for leaders who tend towards wanting credit and seeking glory, to wanting the same for others.
Leader who seek the glory can tend towards using people to get their own ends, instead of being for people, wanting greatness for those they lead.
We Don’t Know How
For others, and specifically for the Community Group leader I had lunch with, they don’t know how to share leadership.
Over lunch, we discuss the various aspects of his Community Group. They were seeking to be a healthy missional community. A community that prayed and discussed the scriptures together, ate meals together, served together, had accountability and incorporate non-Christ followers into the community. The main problem was that he was the only one initiating all of these things.
After discussing the people in his community and what they are passionate about in the community or naturally gifted in, it became apparent that the next step in his leadership development was to help them and given them ownership.
The first step in shared leadership is personal invitation as opposed to mass messages of requesting help. This means identifying the potential gifts of those in the community, encouraging them in those gifts and personally asking them to use their gifts for the benefit of the community.
I encouraged the leader to work with them to get started and follow up with them after they began leading, but then to give them the freedom to lead. Eventually, a leader has to move from directing to coaching to fully trusting those with whom they share leadership.
The biggest transformation that takes place through shared leadership is the death of a consumer community and the birth of a contributing community. An entire community that seeks to contribute to the overall health of the missional community based on the gifts God has given them.
Only when this happens can the community truly display Jesus to one another and their neighborhood, and as a community, embrace shared leadership.
This article originally appeared here, and is used by permission.
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