Choose Your Own (Leadership) Adventure

More people involved is better. More people invested in a project means more ownership players will take over the outcome which means less top-down dictatorial leadership.

Only, when we’re making something new, does it actually work like that?

Joe has an idea for a service project at his church. He wants to support kids at a low-income school in town by providing backpacks filled with school supplies at the start of the school year. He’s talked to the school, and they’re on board.

So, choose your own adventure here. You’re Joe. You want to put a call out in your church for people to work with you on it, so you’re going to make an announcement in worship. Does your announcement say, “If you want to be part of this let me know,” or does it say something more like, “Here’s how to sign up to help” and include a list of specific tasks people can volunteer to complete?

Choice A is a path toward open-ended collaboration with anyone who heard your call and felt compelled to respond. The major decisions about how to accomplish the project are on the table for the whole team. In fact, the nature of the project may even change.

Choice B is a you calling the shots and assigning responsibility for particular pieces.

As church leaders, are we encouraging people with ideas more toward path A or B? And which one are we actually taking with our own ministry ideas?


5 thoughts on “Choose Your Own (Leadership) Adventure

  1. Both. *Some* people will have ideas of how to help. Some people will want to help but need direction on what to do. So have the “Here are some things we want to do to start helping. AND there is a lot that these schoolkids need, so if you have ideas and/or resources that you want to share, come talk to me!”

      • let’s just say I’ve seen it done poorly often enough to have some ideas for it could be done well.The kids who are recipients of the help and not the only ones being helped. Pencils and erasers are needed, and JUST AS TRULY open hearts and giving hands are needed. Helping the people find a path towards open hearts and a way to give is equally as important (and maybe more important) than the pencils.

        A list of easy items/tasks for people to start giving is great. AND keeping open a path for each individual to act on the voice of the spirit they hear in their heart is also vital.

        Let the spirit in each of us recognize the spirit in all the others. The spirit can come in the form of pencils. It can also come in other less familiar shapes. Leaders should keep reaching to remember that.

  2. Donna Supinger says:

    First A then after organized B. Keep the announcements in worship services going changing it as the specific needs change till the job is complete.

  3. DrB says:

    Sometimes initial structure and guidance is needed until emerging leaders reach their comfort zone and alternative ideas begin to flow. A group with no initial objective and direction is a pretty good definition of a mob.

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