DISTINGUISH BETWEEN PURPOSE AND METHOD
There are two predominant styles of leadership in the campus ministry today. The first concept is that of the team leader being the “high-scorer” on the team. He sees his role of team leader as the pace setter. He wants to lead by example. He gains his satisfaction by doing more evangelism, having more students in groups, and spending more hours on campus than anyone else on his team. He’s really more concerned with how he is doing rather than how his team is doing.
A second model for leadership is that of a player-coach. A player-coach is a player who coaches and a coach who plays. As a player he does what he can as a team member to score as many points as possible. As a coach he develops his players and organizes his team in such a way to have the maximum chance of winning. Good coaches develop the individual’s skills and competencies. They know that the teams with the best skills and comptencies usually win the most games. Football Coach A.A. Stagg said this, “No coach ever won a game based on what he knew, but on what his players knew and did.”
The amount of coaching in proportion to playing is determined by your natural leadership style, experience, years in ministry, size and maturity of your team and leadership, size of the movement, marital status, number and ages of children, expansion responsibilities, etc. The design of our job dictates that we can never be all-player or all-coach. My purpose remains constant but my leadership style (the method of leading) will evolve over the years.
For example, a first year team leader will most likely have to lead primarily as a player who does a little coaching. The team wants to see him in action. He won’t have the ethos to lead as a coach. However a director who has had ten years on the job can function more as a coach who plays. He doesn’t need to lead the team statistically in any category to be effective. The apostle Paul’s method as a leader changed though his purpose did not. The book of Acts is a chronicle of his days as a player. The pastoral epistles describe his ministry as a player-coach.
THEY DISCERN WITH WHOM TO INVEST TIME
Gordon McDonald has identified five types of people that we meet with:
VIPs (Very Important People)–These people are important because they are your proven leadership- -the staff and student leaders of your movement. It’s very easy to neglect these people because they often seem to be self-motivated and self-sufficient. They are not the ones screaming for your attention. These people, however, are those that you should give yourself to. What you do with these people is what they will do with the people God gives them. The principle is this: Invest the maximum amount of time with those who are assuming the maximum responsibility for the future of the movement.
VTPs (Very Teachable People)–These are your progressing leaders–the next generation of leadership, the leaders of your movement in the coming years.
VNPs (Very Nice People). These are the people who are good people… nice people but are just not going anywhere. If we had unlimited time and energy we could meet with everybody, but we don’t. We have to make choices for the good of everyone involved in your movement.
VDPs (Very Draining People). These are the people who often are demanding of your time. Meeting with you, the team leader gives them a sense of importance. Their main tool for motivating you to give them your time is guilt. After spending one hour “counseling” with them, four hours of energy has been drained from your life. Learn to distinguish between the genuinely needy and the chronically needy. Howard Hendricks says, “Don’t meet with anyone who demotivates you.” Meet with anybody for one time but don’t make VDPs a part of your regular schedule.
VRPs (Very Resourceful People). These are people who minister to you–those who recharge your spiritual batteries, refill your spiritual reservoir. It may be a mentor, your pastor, another director, a past director or discipler, or maybe just a good friend. All of us need VRPs in our life. Take time to cultivate these special God-given relationships. If no one is available locally for you to talk with, pick up your cell phone.
As a leader you should probably spend 90% of your time with VIPs, VTPs, and VRPs. I’d also suggest that you make this same guideline for people you minister to in the kingdom of God
THEY UNDERSTANDS THEIR “HINGEPOINTS”
Hingepoints are those small things that we do on a consistent basis that lead to long-term effectiveness. Studies have shown that 80% of the desired results come from 20% of our activities. Hinge-points are high leverage activities which yield a great return for a small amount of time or effort invested. Here are some examples (Think through what good these might accomplish in your life and ministry):
- Studying a different book of the Bible each month.
- Weekly appointments with close friends
- Running 1/2 hour per day.
- Read one book month.
- One day with the Lord each month.
THEY KNOW EFFECTIVENESS AND EFFICIENCY
Steven Covey has noted the difference between efficiency and effectiveness. Efficiency deals in the arena of results. Effectiveness pertains to the arena of relationships. Our goal is to be effective with people and efficient in our tasks. Being effective with people takes time. When we try to be efficient with people, it usually backfires on us.
Often it is not having all the answers that is most important but knowing which questions lead to the right answers. Questions are the tools for analysis, diagnosis, and change. Effective leaders know the importance of questions. Here are some examples of good questions:
- What is one thing you could do, in your personal life or ministry that, if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your life or ministry?
- What are the obstacles or roadblocks that we seem to consistently face that keep us from getting where we want to go?
- What am I not doing that I should be doing in order to be more effective in ministry?
- What can I do, that no one else can do, that will really make a material difference in the kingdom of God?
- What can I contribute that will significantly affect the performance of this ministry, my personal ministry, and the Kingdom of god?
- What do I do that wastes my time without contributing to my effectiveness?
Ministry is a lesson that is learned daily,seeking God for true guidance is how you will become an powerful and effective leader.