Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Biting the Bullet for New & Young Leaders

All this talk about making room for young adults and new leaders makes for nice theory. It’ll even sound good talking about it over a cup of coffee. But it’s more difficult to pull off. Those who already have a seat on the leadership bus are seldom cooperative when asked to share the seat or sit somewhere else, especially when it’s for a younger person or newcomer who ought to wait their turn.

As a leader, my choice is clear. Either I can slowly kill off the future of our ministry by allowing tenure to determine who sits where, or I can bite the bullet and start moving people around.

There is no easy or pain-free way to do it. Asking someone to move to another seat on the bus almost always leads to hurt feelings or even conflict. Sometimes the hurt is so great that the lay leader or staff member will decide to get off the bus and find another church. There is no other way to make room at the top. No one ever decides to change seats on their own.

A few years ago we added a highly gifted individual to our team. A few of our key leaders were not very thrilled about it. If the truth be known, they were jealous and it showed. It was ugly. Eventually they left PCC.

Fortunately, most of our staff members and leaders welcomed the new addition to our team with open arms. Almost immediately, he began to infuse our ministry with a fresh wind of insight, enthusiasm, and new ideas – none of which would have been heard or heeded if he’d been forced to sit outside the bus.

This is only one example out of the dozens of similar changes that have occurred at PCC. Even as recently as this summer we have moved people around, enlisted new people, put fresh eyes on certain ministries, expanded other ministries, and delpoyed new talent. Each and every time it results in our church going to another level.

That’s what happens when you make room for others. Although it is never easy, it seems like every time I’ve asked someone to move over to squeeze someone new in, the pain and the pushback on the front end has been well worth the rewards on the back end.

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