In our first post about relationships, we talked about the most important relationship…our relationship with God. Of course, all we do in ministry should flow from this relationship. It is central, core, non-negotiable not only to our “success” in ministry, but also in our individual lives.
The second most important relationship that a KidMin leader can build, in my opinion, is with core leaders. These may be staff members or key volunteers. I believe with all my heart these two principles:
- Everything rises & falls on leadership (something John Maxwell taught me that has proven itself true over and over again over the past 20 years).
- You children’s ministry will only rise to the level that you and your core leaders can take it.
If these are true, then growing yourself as a leader and developing leaders around you
is the most important thing you can do to grow your ministry.
The starting point & common thread in all leader development is relationship.
So what are some keys to building relationships with your leaders? Here’s a few ideas (and, of course, with the understanding that appropriate boundaries will always be kept between men & women)…please add yours in the comments below.
- Build relationships first & foremost for the sake of relationship. Yes, we want to develop leaders, and that is a goal, but get to know your leaders as friends first. You want to do life together, build community, understand their wants & needs…you can’t do this if you don’t know them.
- Spend time away from ministry settings. One of the best ways to get to know people & build relationship is to see them in different environments. Your “getting away” may be for the purpose of growth, planning, etc., but it will also go a long way toward building your relationship.
- Don’t always make communication about ministry. If the only time they see your name pop up on their phone is when you are calling them to ask them to do something, attend another meeting, ask a ministry question, etc., then something is wrong.
- Serve them. Personally or within the ministry setting, serving others helps them want to connect relationally with you, their friend and leader.
- Share your life with them. It’s not always appropriate for leaders to be fully transparent with everyone, but it’s important to be real, genuine & authentic with your leaders. If they are the leaders you want them to be, then seeing your weaknesses, frustrations & hurts (appropriately, of course) will only strengthen your relationship. Creating opportunities to know each others’ families is also a great way to share your life.
- Trust them. Being a leader means being vulnerable. Are you listening…before too long, someone will hurt you. You cannot let that prevent you from trusting those you lead and those you want to lead with you. To lead effectively, you must trust the leaders around you with relationship. Deal with the disappointments when they happen, and choose to trust again.
So what would you add?
How do you build relationships with your leaders?