“In whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:21-22, NKJV
Leaders generally enter a position of leadership based on some kind of achievement. Usually, promotion comes based on what he/she has done and accomplished. However, being a great doer, doesn’t automatically mean you will be a great leader; that’s a totally different ability. The Lord told His disciples to pray for laborers to go out and do the work of the ministry. But the more laborers there are, the more teams are needed; the more teams there are, the more leaders are needed. But how do we shift from being a doer to being a leader and a builder? In other words, why do we get stuck, even though we have received a great vision from the Lord to accomplish?
Often, we know what to do theoretically, but don’t always know how to make this happen practically. Usually, the vision a leader receives from the Lord is too big for just one person to accomplish. If we don’t know how to get other people involved or which people to get involved we can get frustrated. In addition, the work of the ministry can be felt like a constant demand, so the leader – when actually functioning as a doer – often wants to keep doing those tasks that he/she knows. These are familiar and comfortable to the leader and it often seems convenient to just keep doing them. However, in order to build, we need to challenge ourselves and others to keep growing.
I remember when I founded a church in our city; since I was the founder, I was the leader as well. I soon realized the more I did, the more was expected of me to do. Something needed to change! I knew it wasn’t just me who should do the work of the ministry, but rather I was to equip others to make this all happen (Ephesians 4:11-12). I started to preach and teach along these lines. Often I chose not to do something which the church members expected me to do. I was spending most of my time praying, studying, and equipping others. I was on the look out for those whom the Lord was preparing for various kinds of work. Instead of functioning as the doer-leader, I made a radical shift and became more of a builder-leader.
‘You can lead without building, but you can’t build without leading.’ - David Scholing
Being a builder-leader helped me to see what I needed to do and what I didn’t. It took time for others in the church to grow in this way. But it became such a joy to see them become willing to do and to lead. In many cases, they did a better job at something than I could have done all by myself. When I became a builder-leader it took away the heaviness of the leadership responsibility; I no longer had to make all the decisions by myself. Being a builder-leader put me in a position of involving other people with the important things at church. Being a builder-leader enabled me to take time to make the necessary changes in the organization. I knew the phrase: “If you build the people, the people will build the church”; however, seeing this actually happen was a greater joy than just knowing about it.
If you recognize that this is an area in which you need and want to grow, make sure you understand which stage you and the church or ministry are at:
When you, as the main leader, are doing more than leading, you’re in the stage of “having church”.
When you, as the main leader, are more the leader (manager) over practical things, you’re probably “running the church”.
When you, as the main leader, invite others to work as teams and build together, you will be able to be “expanding the church”.
So how to grow from here?
Take a little time and honestly evaluate yourself as you go through the following questions:
What is your current leadership ability? How many can you handle to lead right now? Is that about 10, 50, 100, or more members?
What stage is the church or ministry at organizationally? Is it still in the foundational stage? Has it been more about maintenance? How many leaders do we have? How many teams do we have?
What you require of yourself and others concerning leadership? What are your standards, expected behavior, attitudes, rules, boundaries, communication?
What are your leadership skill sets and those of others around you? Can we build a team? Can we turn them into a team? What kind of leadership qualifications are needed to lead a team well? What can I do to increase this?
Whatever the outcomes are from point 1-4, make the necessary changes and make it happen together as a team.
Here at The Church Building System, we have tools and resources available to help you along your leadership journey.