Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Leadership and Ownership

Lately I've been bombarded with thoughts about leadership and how leaders affect the operation of various groups and ministries around the place. Something I've been thinking about a lot is the idea of leadership in terms of ownership, and why leaders can be committed to a group, and why leaders can't. Here are some of my unordered and random thoughts:

1. Leaders have to have a passion for whatever group they are leading. Recently I've been reminded of the needs/passion/ability diagram... and to me, I believe someone passionate about a certain group will commit fully to its cause, while those who are there just because they think they need/have to be there, will not excel in leadership. This is something that has been overlooked greatly, and a lot of us have been pushing needs, or apparent needs to new leaders.

2. Leaders who are not passionate for a ministry will eventually show their true feelings. They won't be 100% committed, they will just do what's required and no more, they will be going through the routines. This in turn impacts the leadership group and gives off negative vibes. They don't 'want' to be there and therefore they don't see any ownership over their group/ministry.

3. Leaders who are passionate about their ministry will subconsciously develop a sense of ownership over their group. They are more willing to commit to and above what is 'required' or 'adequate'. These people genuinely care about the group, and in the long term, will grow the group and create a successful ministry.

I agree that people should find where they should serve by factoring in the current needs, the gifts and abilities, and the desires of the individual. Unfortunately many of us forget that we have to consider all three factors when analysing a person, and we push ourselves into bad leadership decisions.

My 2 cents on leadership today.


Steeejei said...

Great thoughts Josh, here are some of my reflections.

While I agree with points 1 and 2 I don't think point 3 is necessarily true.

Firstly, we never own a ministry. It is never 'my' ministry/church/group...etc. All ministry belongs first and foremost to God.

Secondly, having a sense of ownership doesn't equate to being able to grow a successful ministry. A key point from that ministry training night with Steve Chong was that success in ministry always stems from faithfulness. I know of some people who feel a strong sense of ownership over a particular ministry...but because of their 'ownership' of it, and their failure to accept feedback (which I think is part of faithfulness), they have strangled the ministry to death.

My 2.5c on top of yours ;)

Joshi said...

Yes you're right Steve - I was more meaning in terms of accountability - if you feel like you 'own' something you will be more likely to care about it and be responsible for it. In the last day leaders will be called accountable over their flock, and those who do not 'care' about their flock and their responsibility will be dealt with accordingly. I'm not saying passionate leaders are the 'only' people who care, but I think that on many occasions, a big factor in people caring about their ministry is their passion.

I left the point of faithfulness out of my spiel... but yes I agree with you. Somehow I think its something I assumed when I wrote this post. Failure to accept feedback (good or bad) is probably an example of when someone's extreme passion transforms into 'self reliant' or 'arrogance'.

In the end, whether you lead because of need/passion/gifting or whatever mix, you still need to be practicing Christ's example of humble, servant and self sacrificing leadership :)

3 cents!