I don’t think I’ve written leadership thoughts here before- but as well as being a Mum, I am the leader of a Church in Manchester, called Ivy Church Sharston, meeting in The Message Trust building, I am in my fourth year and love it!
Last week I sat in a room of Church leaders from across the UK and beyond. Then I was asked to share, in a couple minutes time, how I have built team at my church. My initial plan was to blag it, but then made some notes. What I shared was given such positive feedback and I’ve been asked to share it more since, so have made my notes into a blog in case it’s helpful for you!
When I started leading one of my first thoughts was – I know I need team, but how?
I didn’t know much but I knew that I didn’t want to just ask into leadership friends or people who might slack-off and it be awkward a few months in! I had seen too often people start with their friends and it become a struggle when people’s initial enthusiasm doesn’t match the work and commitment needed.
So the process began with finding servant-hearted leaders.
FIND THE SERVANTS
The best way to know who is servant hearted is to stay a servant leader yourself. You’ll know who is there at the end stacking chairs with you if you are stacking chairs. You’ll know who set up the crèche rota when there was no ‘leader’ if you are helping in kids. Even now as the full time leader I put myself in situations that will show me who is there early, who is there late & who is clearing up the mess instead of walking by it.
‘I SEE IN YOU’ CONVERSATION
When a leader is spotted- HONOUR all they have already done, I talk to them the personal detail of what I have seen and bless that. Then call out what I see they could be in leadership, what that would look like in detail.
If they aren’t interested/are too busy bless them, thank them, they will still be amazing like they were!
If they seem interested, I will send them a letter (via email) and ask for them to pray then write a letter back.
1) I see this in you…
2) This is what you’re saying YES to…
(& open to being asked in future)
– Fully invested
(Be at Church and events and fully IN!)
– Gathering as leaders
– Giving your best
(in spirit, soul, time, finance)
-Investing in other leaders
(it doesn’t end with you, it begins with you as you raise up other leaders)
-Initial Time (1yrs) then review
3) Our promise to you
-Trust: You are a leader, we trust you, please dream and do it!
– Honesty: Open to hear from you
-Love: All with and for love
(1 Corinthians 13)
4) Vision ending
Close with vision and inspiring them into the call.
All IN Team
This makes people either IN or OUT quite clearly!
When people are IN they are so IN & clear about expectations and you’ve set a bar that can be talked about if it is slipping because they signed up.
Looking at my team (now 18) only one person was my friend before – now they are all my friends. I love them – we have to love our team.
I am by no means perfect and have a lot to learn, but ways I love my team –
For me this means THANKS, I write cards and give small gifts (not only at Christmas), I pray for them and let them know it, I support them when they have problems and I encourage them. I think it’s useful to look around a person too- if for them to come to a Team Day their spouse was home looking after kids, I send a card & costa voucher personally written to the partner to thank them for growing the Church with us and enabling the time.
In turn I have a team who love and support me, for example:
Kids TB: talks to me personally about my children, she treats me as a parent under her leadership to support not as the leader who doesn’t need it.
Presence TB: Meets me to pray with me every other week for couple hours for me and our church.
Pastoral TB: When I was off sick and txting them work stuff, they said not to and wouldn’t reply till I was better! Looking after my rest, helping me see they are the right people for this role!
My leaders know they are leaders, they are trusted to have meetings/make decisions/ grow team and they pass onto their teams these values to be servant hearted, ‘I See In You’ conversations and to truly love the team and in turn love all who are still to come into this Church family.
To have truly great leaders you have to let them lead. People quickly feel it if they are only called a leader but with no room to dream or grow. We have to let them lead while supporting them & guiding the vision.
I am only a few years in but I’ve seen team grow from the initial four who said ‘yes’ and led everything with me & my husband to now Team Builders (leaders) for Kids, Youth, Worship, Hosting, Prayer, Presence, Pastoral, Grow Groups, Mission, & our 5.15 service.
I am thankful for each leader & all who build this Church with us. Might blog some more leadership thoughts in future 🤍
Church info: Ivychurch.org