What is your most valuable resource? I've come to discover that time is one of the most valuable resources I have and that it is nonrenewable. I can always make more money but I can't make more time. There is no end to the demands on my time. There are people who need my attention, problems to solve, messages to prepare, opportunities to take advantage of and issues to deal with. Does that sound familiar? In the midst of busyness, how do you decide on the most effective way to use your time? What investments make the most difference?
What if I could guarantee a good return on the investment of your time? Let me suggest that any time you invest in developing new leaders will pay off 100x over. When you invest in leaders and generously give your time toward their development, these leaders will share your load and take the ministry to levels you could never achieve on your own. Want to spend your time wisely? Be an extravagantly generous leader who invests lavishly in others.
1. Relational Generosity- One of the most powerful ways to be a generous leader is to invest relationally, not just during designated staff and committee meetings, but in creative ways that go above and beyond the expected. Wondering what relational generosity looks like? Text those you lead and ask them how you can pray for them. Drop in on them during the work day or at places where they hang out and spend their leisure time. Call and tell them something you appreciate about them. Drop an e-mail and share a story of how they have impacted you or someone else in your congregation. Give them access to your life- bring them along on a trip or visit and have conversations in the car. Go over and above to make yourself available to those you lead and give yourself to them extravagantly.
2. Opportunity Generosity- Think about how you were developed in your leadership journey. Who was the first person to give you an opportunity to take charge, do something new, and step into a leadership role for the first time? Who believed in you enough to pass the baton before you were completely sure of yourself? That leader expressed opportunity generosity as they focused on giving power away and developing you as a leader. Leaders are called to make more leaders. Great leaders call out the greatness in others and create opportunities to elevate them to fulfill their leadership potential. When are people ready to be released? When they can do it 70% as well as you can. They will only learn the last 30% through experience. Effective leaders are multiplying leaders who give opportunity.
3. Creative Generosity- The group who created the problem isn't the best group to solve the problem. Yet experienced leaders often spend a lot of time attempting to solve problems of their own making. The reality is that the people who created the problem are rarely the ones who develop the most creative solutions for the problem. Great leaders reach outside their usual circles of influence and seek out others who have different points of view. They allow and expect others to speak new thoughts, new life, and new ideas into the ministry without making them conform to preconceived notions, mindsets and ways of operating. They see themselves as facilitators of creative discussions instead of the originator of all great ideas.
4. Decisional Generosity- Where does the buck stop in your church? Does every decision rest on the shoulders of one leader or a small group of leaders? When you limit decision making to just a handful of people, you create an organization of dependent followers who are unable to fully invest in the vision and direction of the organization. However, when a leader is generous with decisions, they give others permission to make decisions that effect their ministry areas. By giving away the permission to make decisions, leaders create leaders, not followers; they enable owners, not renters. Want to see increased motivation? Empower people with the ability to make decisions.
Want a good return on the investment of your time? Practice extravagant generosity!
Get more bright ideas at www.brightideasforchurchleaders.com!