|Credit: Free images from acobox.com|
It always blows me away when I get to witness a teen grow in leadership and faith. This past Sunday I was co-leading my 6th grade guys small group with a high school teen when he did something pleasantly unexpected. He took control and lead the group into one of the deepest discussions I’ve ever had with a group of 6th graders. It was surprising because for a while I was questioning whether or not this teen was built for leading a small group. However, he proved that he just needed the time to get accustomed to this new role.
But, it never occurred to me that his lack of participation could be due to something else. It didn’t dawn on me that maybe the reason he wasn’t stepping up was because I was standing in the way. Has that happened to you? Maybe you didn’t realize it. It happens from time to time for a variety of reasons. But, if we do it too many times we end up stunting the growth of our ministry.
So, how do you know? What are the signs that you are standing in the way of growth? Here are four:
- Your Ministry Never Changes: Your standing in the way because you are either too comfortable or too scared. The biggest obstacle to change is when leadership refuses to embrace it. If you don’t change or even tweak what you do, you’ll soon lose the interest of the students, and ministers. During these times we just need to look at what we are doing and ask the question, “Why are we doing that?” If it’s purposeful to your vision keep it, if not get rid of it and change.
- Your Leaders Leave: One of the main reasons people leave your ministry is because you won’t give them permission to fail. Maybe it’s because you need to have control or, maybe it’s because you fear failure; either way you need to step aside and let them make a few decisions without you. If it stinks, you’ll survive and move on; however, if you stand in the way, they’ll just turn around and leave you.
- Your Ideas Are Never Executed: You are constantly brainstorming and dreaming; however, none of them ever play out. Many times we stand in the way of a vision being fulfilled because we never take the time to work on communicating the idea to others. It’s like we convince ourselves that telepathy is real and that people should know what you are thinking. If an initiative isn’t being played out, we need to answer the question, “What am I not saying?”
- You Feel Burned Out: When you stand in the way of others you prevent them from carrying the burden. When we see that no one is picking up the slack we take it into our own hands and then we find ourselves frustrated, tired and overwhelmed. To get out of the way one needs to learn the art of delegation. When you can pass tasks on, you are stepping back so that someone can run with it.
Sometimes we’re in the way because we want control, sometimes it’s because we’re afraid of failure and other times we are just not even aware. Church is a movement and our ministry needs to be progressing. If it hits a stand still you need to wonder if you are standing in the way.
What are some other signs that we are standing in the way of growth?