Five leadership habits that hinder multiplication
Church life sometimes resembles a football match. A small club toils and the large crowd watches.
By Hans Euser
Church life sometimes resembles a football match. A small club toils and the large crowd watches. It is as if Paul is only half understood. He writes that “God has given apostles and prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers…for the work of his service, the building up of the body” (Ephesians 4:11-12). At least that's how it often goes. The church planter, the pioneer or pastor, and the team leading the way, or the singing leader and the children's worker, run wild and the rest…
Those who do understand Paul well know that apostles and such are not given to do all the work, but "to equip the saints for the work of his service." They should not do the work themselves, that is the task of the community! The pastor and evangelist are called to equip. The same word is used in the Gospels for the fishermen mending their nets. There's a hole here, there's a stitch coming loose. And that's how leaders in the church are when things are going well: by equipping the church with what it lacks to be able to do the work well.
This is not well understood. Teachers teach, pastors pastor and evangelists, yes, they evangelize. But with that you limit the growth and development enormously and your people get exhausted as a football player in a stadium. But what if you do put into practice what Paul advises? When teachers teach others to teach? When evangelists equip the saints to evangelize? And what if prophets don't just use their specific gift as ministry, but teach the community how to speak prophetically? Then the possibilities are limitless.
Liz Wiseman (you may remember her from the Global Leadership Summit in 2013), researched leadership. She discovered two different ways of leadership and called them multipliers and diminishers. Multipliers assume that the team is smart and can do the job well. It results in twice the productivity. Reducers have the impression that the team can do nothing without them. And they only get half the power from their team.
Multipliers see the talents in others. They create the (liberating!) conditions necessary to perform the work properly. And they challenge their people to go the extra mile and do something a little outside their comfort zone. They also involve their people in decision-making (debate) and invest so much that they can step back as leaders themselves.
Reducers do the exact opposite. And that sometimes happens unconsciously. Take a look at the behaviors below and determine to what extent they typify your leadership.
- Jump into every hole
- Never say no
- Constantly spewing ideas
- Be the first to respond
- Playing the eternal optimis
They are all (unconscious) forms of diminishing. They hinder the culture of multiplication that should characterize the church. And that's why you have to get rid of it. Let it happen once that the chairs are not set up. Say no once when you are asked to open the meeting again. Don't know for once. Please don't hesitate to respond. And try to put yourself in the shoes of a realist.
It sounds crazy, but by doing less you get more done. We are not called to the work of his service, but to equip the saints for the work of his service. That's multiplication!
Reading tip: Liz Wiseman, Multipliers, for managers who want to get 2x more out of their team, Academic service 2015.