Without ownership, the vision and mission of the church will never come to pass.
In fact, it is the responsibility of every individual to hold the vision as their own. Ownership creates a "whatever it takes" attitude and a "second mile" commitment. Great churches are never built in the first mile, but are always built in the second mile where the unexpected, above and beyond attitude is found.
I remember going to a store 10 minutes BEFORE closing time only to be told by the attendant that she was finishing early for the day and I would have to come back the next day to make my purchase. I walked away thinking about how obvious it was that the woman I had spoken to did not own that business, because if it had been her store, then she would have stayed open as long as it took me to buy the item I wanted.
We need to have an attitude that says, "I am here to serve the bigger picture in whatever way I can." Let's not get so locked into our role, profile, or responsibilities that we lose sight of the overall vision and mission. It is not what is asked for that matters, but rather what is not required that makes all the difference.
We have the saying around our office, "Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be snapped."
In order to ensure that leadership is dynamic and not static we must always remain flexible. Church must be organized, but there must also be room for things to change anytime, anywhere, and without notice.
Instead of being fickle or indecisive, we need to leave room to adjust when necessary in order to keep things on course. Sometimes we become so rigid, structured, organized, programmed, and planned, that we leave little room for spontaneity (which has the potential to bear great fruit!)
I am a great believer that zeal for the House of God must consume us.
You do what you want out of passion, but you do what you have to when it is an obligation. Nothing is as destructive to leadership as a loss of passion. When we are driven by obligation, we simply go through the motions of a religious experience instead of ministering out of the overflow of a passionate relationship with the living God.
When Nick was pursuing me, he made a point of being at the local swimming pool at 6 a.m. every morning because my best friend told him that was the time I swam laps every morning. (He did this for several months leading up to our engagement, and it worked!) We have now been married for 14 years and I am here to testify that he has NEVER once gone to the swimming pool at 6 a.m. You do what you want out of passion, but you do what you have to when it is an obligation.
If we are passionate about Jesus, the cause of the kingdom, and building the church, then we are able to accomplish so much more. Things seem to click more easily, and we are less weary and overwhelmed. While there is great strength in passion, we must always remember that there is a difference between passion and hype. Passion will sustain you, but hype will destroy you.
One of the best ways to build a culture of growth into the church is to ensure that you are constantly empowering people to fulfill their God-given purpose.
We must ensure that our own fear, insecurity, pride, or laziness does not make us hold on to things we should be empowering others to do.
We need to be committed to releasing others and to multiplication through empowerment. We need to give people permission to grow, learn, fail, and continue to support and affirm them. We must be committed to releasing the gifts in others and achieving results through others.
The A21 Campaign stands for abolishing Injustice in the 21st century. Anyone can join. Everyone can make a difference. To find out more information about The A21 Campaign, check out the A21 FAQ page. Reading the descriptions of the 21 Ways to Help will help you find an action step that feels right for you. Once you've committed to it, tell others!
CC Image • millicent_bystander on Flickr