Monday, January 15, 2007

Success in YM: Question # 2

Am I Managing or Encouraging ? This is question number 2 in the self-evaluation process that I am going through. I am in the process of switching to encouraging. Now granted, there are elements that need to be "managed" but I am placing my focus in on the encouragement aspect.

I will give a little example of how I see this occurring in my ministry and how the shift is starting to play out. I first want to share a little with you about my own personal change and how my style is "evolving".

In Kentucky, I was the "lone-ranger". Now, do not get me wrong, there were volunteers that helped out but that is what I regulated them to - helping out and I put them in the place where there was a "void".

In Alabama, I took my ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT degree principles and maxed them out with wonderful organizational charts, place individuals in ministries where they were gifted and passionate, detailed job descriptions and managed them so our ministry would grow and " be successful ". Yes, we are co-ordinators and leaders in the positions and they did a great job BUT I failed them. They may / may not agree that I failed with them but in my deep reflection - I did because the "encouragement" factor was not always there. I did the pats on the back, and the great job .. but ...

In Indiana, I am begining to lay the foundation for a ministry where I am going to be an ecourager and that my managing will take the "back seat". Yes, the organization and management will be there, but that will not be the highlight. The highlight will be the encouraging the volunteers to carry out ministry. I am going to begin the process of doing this with meeting with them regularly. In January, I have 17 meetings set where I will be listening to their hearts and enouraging them to do ministry.

The goals that I am shooting for is to always give them an encouraging word, have everyone involved in ministry and for me to become "invisible". The invisible part at times is scary - especially at times for youth ministers. I think that when we are working together as a team ..... that when someone is "observing" that they will not know who the ym is .... because of the team factor.

So, as I press forward this year, I will be "managing" to make sure how all the areas are covered but I will not "manage" their moves. I will try to be the constant voice of encouragemnt for them.

The tough part .... when the dynamic leaders take a detour and go down the path that you are unsure about. Do you step in and "manage" or do you encourage. It happened this weekend. I encouraged but I wanted to manage BUT my management "intent" may have been seen behind the encouraging words ... I will work on that.

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