A note from Kelly King: I love today’s perspective from Simone Monroe. There are so many times leaders want to selfishly keep women on a team, when the best thing that could happen is to launch them into a new phase of leadership. One of your goals when developing a team is to multiply your leadership. It’s not just a good practice, but a biblical approach to reaching others.
Last week while scrolling through Facebook I came across a question that had been posed to leaders. The question was “What is the most difficult thing you deal with as a leader?” Simple enough. Anything about leadership grabs my attention, so I read through the responses. One answer literally jumped off the screen at me. The response, “losing my leaders,” though short, was so revealing!
It immediately saddened me for numerous reasons. I fear we have lost the proper perspective on what leadership is truly about and our place as leaders in developing those we have on teams.
Let’s begin by adjusting our perspective concerning leadership. Why did this leader refer to them as “my” leaders? Leaders don’t belong to you or me. The Lord will position them, grow them, and, YES, even move them according to His will. The leaders we are privileged to work with are not “ours.” They belong to Him. They are serving alongside us to build His kingdom. When we remember this truth, we can begin to lead out of the proper perspective of His ownership.
When we remember Whose they are, we can address what saddened me most when I read the response, “losing my leaders.” I assume this leader was speaking to the situation when a leader leaves the team.
Why loss? Why not launch?
Loss implies they are missing, a failure, wasted, disappearance, destruction, forfeiture, casualties, weakening, downfall, impairment, ruin, demise, or even death.
Though possible, none of these are usually the case when someone leaves a team. The common reasons people leave are due to life circumstances, physical or health issues, family needs, or because they sense the Lord calling them to serve elsewhere. None of these are necessarily “loss” as defined above. They simply represent a new season of service or a time of rest from service due to situations.
Our responsibility to those we lead is to develop them. Much like a parent helps develop a child by guiding, teaching, training, and then launching them to live a life they are passionate about and have been prepared for as the opportunities arise, this is also the job of the leader.
It would sadden me to think of having kept my sons from living the life they now have because I did not want them to leave me. But this is exactly what we do when a leader leaves the team for whatever reason.
We never lose leaders. We are to launch them. It is difficult to watch someone you have poured into go elsewhere to serve. Often it is one of your best leaders that leaves. When this happens, there is a feeling of panic and being discarded, left behind, or unappreciated. However, when I stop and put what is happening into the perspective of how God works, I understand that if God is truly calling them to serve elsewhere, it is best for them. And then I must admit, if it is His will for them, it is His will for our team and for me as well.
Leading is the process of developing others to serve more effectively and become leaders of leaders. Your time and effort in coaching and mentoring a leader are the perfect preparation for God’s plan. We should never develop leaders with the motive of using them for our ministry, because they make us look good, or even because we like working with them. Instead, we are to pour into them with the knowledge that they will become a better person and leader no matter where or how God chooses to use them.
Therefore, launch should be the perspective we take with every leader we have a part in developing. We are preparing them for a future that only God can see. If we assume the attitude that we are launching leaders, then we have a part in the outcome of ministries in which we will never participate and with people we will never meet. Talk about multiplying ministry! How exciting is that!
And that brings us to something not yet mentioned about our ministry of developing leaders…legacy! You see, when we gain this perspective of launching leaders instead of losing them, our legacy becomes exponentially multiplied beyond anything we can accomplish ourselves.
So, go out and launch leaders for His work and relish in the places God takes them and their accomplishments because they can be considered your accomplishments too. It can be likened to a proud mama when her adult child steps into something that is beyond what she had dreamed for him. Realize you have not lost them. Learn to enjoy knowing you had a part in launching them and that becomes your legacy.
Simone is an Alabama girl who relocated to Texas by way of New Orleans. As Women’s Leadership Advisor at Lake Pointe Church, Rockwall, Texas, she concentrates her efforts on finding and developing women as leaders for their ten campuses. Before coming to Lake Pointe, she served on staff at First Baptist Church Dallas. As an adult trainer with LifeWay for more than 30 years, she has served for 20 of those years as a LifeWay Women’s Trainer. She enjoys presenting God’s Word in a fresh and relevant way in order to encourage growth in the lives of her listeners at events, conferences, retreats, and leadership trainings. The delight of her life is her two adult sons, their wives, and nine grandchildren to whom she is known as Mimi.