I’ve written several series of posts that I developed from a meeting with all generations of women’s ministry leaders this past spring. This is the beginning of the final series from that dialogue. The last issue we addressed in our meeting was a list of leadership dos and don’ts. The first three posts in this series will deal with the dos. Today I want to specifically share those that apply to all generations. (In the third article I’ll address some specifics to older and younger leaders.)
Let’s start with 10 do’s for leaders of all ages:
1. Know the past and talk to previous leaders. You can move forward better in ministry when you know where it has been. Ask questions so that assumptions can be corrected early. Take time to evaluate why you do certain things and be willing to change if necessary.
2. Ask for thoughts and prayers. Getting input from each leader shows that you value their expertise. Praying for one another unites your hearts. As you invite others to share, really listen to them. Listen closely to the feelings and emotions behind the words. Use discernment as to when to share and when to keep silent.
3. Have a purpose/mission/objective for your goals. Share your objective clearly and often. It’s important for you as a leader to know the goals and keep them before the leaders. That way everyone stays focused on what’s most important.
4. Take risks. You will never be open to new things if you don’t take some risks. Be willing to fail and learn from failure when it happens. Show those you serve with that you have their backs even if they fail.
5. Be an encourager. Every leader at any level needs encouragement.
6. Be flexible, current (relevant), and trainable. There is always something you can learn. Be a lifelong learner and be open to new ideas.
7. Make your relationship with God the primary focus personally and as a model for those you serve.
8. Prioritize people over programs. Relationships should always take precedence over tasks. For those of us who are task oriented, this is an ongoing challenge and point of prayer. Be diligent about learning the names of women you work with and serve.
9. Recognize your limits. Let other people help you. No leader can or should do it all. Know what to delegate and delegate well. Always train others to lead. When you do delegate, help leaders know what resources and support they have to complete their responsibility. To delegate well you must trust them (and let them know you do).
10. Be available and approachable but set appropriate boundaries. Always keep this in mind to be sure you haven’t headed too far in one direction at the expense of the other. Watch for the next article in this series for more of the do’s for all generations of leaders.