Healthy leaders understand who has helped them, who has supported them, and who got them to the victory that they are reveling in today. I seek to create teams—to build people and create processes. Interestingly enough, when I have a victory, it’s never one that I’ve won on my own. Only a fool would think such a thing. Our victories in ministry have dozens of people behind them. Ministry is not a solo event—it’s a team sport.
Think for a moment about the actress who stands up at an award ceremony after being handed a gold statue. Although it’s somewhat annoying to the rest of us, she goes on for as long as they let her, thanking everyone who was involved in making this opportunity a reality for her. The actress wins the award, but there are hundreds of people who do their part in order to make that happen. In the same way, if you sit in a position of leadership, don’t be fooled into thinking that your victories have been achieved exclusively by your own efforts. It’s simply not true. Teams win victories.
When you win, look out the window and celebrate the contributions of all. Conversely, when you fail, look in the mirror. Now, that’s a hard one—it’s super easy to point an accusing finger at our teams when we fail. But what good is that going to do you? Instead, what if you were to look in the mirror and ask yourself what about your leadership caused them not to be able to do their job? Did they not have the resources that they needed? Did they not have adequate instructions from you? Did they not have an adequate picture of the vision from you? Typically, when things haven’t gone well, and I look in the mirror, it becomes obvious where I’ve failed my team—usually, it’s because of my lack of involvement.
When it doesn’t go well, look in the mirror. Could you have been more clear in your instructions? Could you have spent more time articulating the vision to a time-strapped volunteer? Could you have created a more realistic timeline? At the end of the day, when it doesn’t go well, where should the blame fall? Honestly, it should fall on the leader. If I am honest, humble, and transparent, I have tremendous opportunity for self-reflection and growth.
When a victory happens, look out the window at the team who supported you. When a failure happens, look in the mirror and assess how you could have led differently.
Josh Denhart is a children's ministry curriculum writer and children's ministry performer. Josh is a seasoned educator with BA in Chemistry Education, a MA in Effective Instruction, and earned National Board Certification in Young Adult and Adolescent Science. As a former High School chemistry teacher, Josh melded his love for Science and Christ, creating “The Amazing Chemistry Show”, a traveling gospel-centered stage show with fire, explosions and foam. Carrying this Ministry of Chemistry even further, Josh created “Science VBS”, an internationally celebrated Vacation Bible School curriculum.
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