*This will be my final post for 2017. I look forward to sharing with you even more in 2018!*
I have learned quite a bit about blogging over the past 11 months. Today, I want to share the most important part of what I do.
My blog would not be what it is without you. Whether you just click over and read, or you have commented or sent me an encouraging word: Thank you!
I am always thrilled when someone likes, shares, comments, or even gets in touch with me about anything I’ve written. Hitting “publish” can be a very scary proposition, so all feedback is appreciated.
But most importantly, thank you for reading. Whenever you joined me on this journey, thank you. I plan to keep it up for another 12 months and see where we are next year, but until then…
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Last December, I bought a domain and published my first post. Then, in February, I fully launched this blog. It has been an interesting journey, and I’d like to finish out 2017 by sharing a few things I’ve learned along the way.
That seems like a pretty obvious statement, but I had not done the math when I started. Posting 2-3 times each week is an interesting endeavor, and one that has helped me grow over the past 11 months.
But more than the time it takes me to write, edit, prep, and publish, is the time you take to read. If you have spent any time reading anything I’ve written, let me say thank you.
I know you have important things going on in your life and your time is being fought for everyday, so I appreciate the time you spend reading my ramblings.
Some days are shorter, like today. So let me close by saying I have had a blast over the past 11 months, and I’m thankful that you have joined me along the way, or stuck with me through the ups and downs. I’m looking forward to the future!
I have what I would like to think of as a giving personality. I’m always willing to do something to help someone else. Well, usually.
But sometimes, my willingness to serve and to help may be the thing that prevents me from expanding my leadership influence.
Most areas where I serve, whether at church or somewhere else, my willingness to help may actually be harmful. My desire to equip those around me may actually be undercut by my desire to serve.
What about you? Are you someone who is willing to let go of something?
Think about it like this: I really enjoy running sound on a Sunday morning. Because of a few shifts in our congregation over the past year, I have gladly taken on a much larger role in the sound operation of a service. I have a few people who I have shown how to run sound, established some work-arounds to make it easier for someone else to do the job, but because I enjoy it, I haven’t fully let go.
This would be fine if I weren’t on staff, on stage, or regularly distracted by other responsibilities on a Sunday morning. So, what I’ve managed to do is handcuff anyone who might be willing to take a larger leading role.
So, what if I handed off that responsibility to someone else? What if I was willing to fully equip someone else to fulfill that need?
Are you unknowingly holding on to something in your ministry or at your work that might be holding those around you back? What do you need to let go of in order to let someone else shine?
Have you ever considered that you are not who you are today without who you were yesterday? Is that confusing enough for you?
Think about it like this: in the last few days, my youngest daughter has lost 2 teeth. This is a normal part of the growth process. Every adult has lost at least one tooth along the way. But, if we didn’t have our baby teeth come in first, those adult teeth would be a killer.
If you’re a parent, think about that for a little while. What if your baby never cut teeth? Then what do you blame the nasty diapers on? Oh, and there’s the whole chewing food thing that becomes essential for health.
So, in order to have our adult teeth come in, we have to have baby teeth come in first. This seems like a simple concept, and it is, but do you think about your leadership the same way?
If you’ve been leading for very long at all, I’m sure you can think of a time where you were cutting your baby teeth. It was undoubtedly a big deal at the time. Then, as you’ve grown, that baby tooth has fallen out and been replaced by another tooth, one that has stood the test of time.
One example would be the foolishness and arrogance of a minister in their early 20s. I knew everything at 23-24. Except, I didn’t. As that baby tooth of confidence (which was important at the time, but eventually taken too far) made the initial cut, it made the way for the adult tooth of realizing I don’t know everything and I need to ask more questions, and always be learning.
What’s your most recent tooth loss? How have you grown in the past few weeks as a leader? Are you willing to grow some more? What tooth do you need to pull?
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How do you sharpen your leadership sword?
Obviously, the most efficient way you do so is by reading this incredible blog. But other than that, what have you built into your daily and weekly rhythm to help you expand your leadership ability?
I’ve talked around this subject before, but perhaps you learn by reading, or by listening to podcasts (I share some of my favorite podcasts in this series of posts).
Here are a few thoughts I have about how to build into your rhythm a sense of leadership development:
The bottom line is if you are serious in growing in your leadership, you have to be serious about learning. However you learn best, embrace it. Don’t be comfortable, but don’t guilt yourself into apathy, either. Always be willing to learn, and your leadership will continually expand.