Friday, October 23, 2009

How can I help you?

Last month I blogged about our Executive Pastor here at Grace Church, Tim Auld, taking our ministry staff and managers through Andy Stanley’s video series, Becoming a Great Staff. Last month we saw that a great staff is made up of great leaders and that the goal of that staff should be to have a culture characterized by mutual submission. This is a culture where the question is constantly asked of each other, “What can I do to help?”

Stanley than gave some best practices for creating this kind of great staff. Last month he talked about and I blogged about the principle, “Do for one when you can’t do for all.” This week we met again and looked at four more of these best practices for creating a great staff culture that is characterized by mutual submission. Here they are:

The second practice is to systematize top down service. Stanley said that random acts of kindness and service are not enough in ministry. Notice, he didn’t say that random acts of kindness were bad, just that they are not enough. We need to build top down service into the rhythm of our organization. This is the type of top down service that Jesus advocated in Mark 10:32-45 as we saw last month.

The third practice to ask the following question in response to your staff’s key objectives, “How can I help you?” We are good at demanding objectives from our staff and letting them know it when they don’t fulfill them, but when was the last time as a leader that one of my staff brought me their goals and objectives and I said, “Great, now what is one thing that I personally as the Senior Pastor of this ministry, can do to help you accomplish this task?” That is powerful. I confessed to our staff that instead of asking, “How can I help you,” I tend to say, “Now here is how I will help you!” I wonder how many times they have thought inside, “Oh, no! That is going to make my life so much more difficult, please don’t help me like that!” Maybe I should have asked.

The fourth practice is to create and maintain a sustainable pace. Without margin, there is no room to serve each other. When people are under pressure they become very self-centered. Without margin, we end up seeking our own kingdoms rather than His kingdom. Remember, this thing we are in is a marathon, not a sprint.

And the fifth practice Stanley gave to build this kind of a great staff is to celebrate and reward greatness. Now remember again what greatness is according to Mark 10. When you serve when you don’t have to serve, that’s greatness. Reward this kind of service when you see it in your ministry and among your staff. Stanley said that one of the most important leadership phrases in the entire world is this, “What’s rewarded is repeated!” Let me reward you by repeating that, “What’s rewarded is repeated!” You deserve another reward so let me say it again, “What’s rewarded is repeated!” So with that in mind, who do you need to reward? Who do you need to write a note of thanks to? Who served you this week when they didn’t have to do it? Who made your life a little bit easier this week, expecting nothing in return?

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