Where Are You Adding Value?
If you’re a paid staff member or a volunteer leader, there will come a point where you feel like you’ve “made it” in terms of team objectives: you’ve reached that goal. You’ve transformed that culture. You’ve rebooted that ministry.
But don’t allow that sense of accomplishment to let you rest on your laurels. You should continue to lead in your ministry…tweaking, adjusting, vision-casting…but you should also ask “How am I adding value to other ministries?”
“Adding value” allows you to share what you’ve learned and share the DNA of your ministry. It’s the habit of helpfully poking around to see who can use a hand, who can use encouragement, and who can use a fresh set of eyes.
But adding value can be fraught with landmines if you don’t handle it well. Here are three specific landmines to watch out for:
1. Adding value assumes a posture of service.
Don’t start sticking your nose into other staff members’ ministries if you are simply trying to control that staff member or make them into your own image. This is about building the Kingdom, not building your kingdom. And your co-workers can see right through your veiled attempts to make them walk your line.
So rather than control, serve. Rather than critique, serve. Rather than asking passive-aggressive questions, serve. Offer a hand. Offer to help. Ask how you can be helpful. And then serve.
2. Adding value breaks down silos.
Ministry silos are a bad thing, right? So breaking them down should be…good? Well, yes. But it doesn’t always feel good in the moment. And another ministry leader may resent your noble efforts.
So tread carefully. Walk in without an agenda. Recognize that it took a long time to build that silo, so it’ll take some time for it to come down. And it won’t come down easily if you’re subversively trying to tear it down while your co-worker isn’t looking.
3. Adding value doesn’t ignore jurisdictional leadership.
Adding value in other ministries starts with the recognition that it’s not your ministry. It’s not part of your job title or your mix of responsibilities. It’s over and above your normal duties. And it’s recognizing that you’re treading on someone else’s turf.
So honor the other ministry leader as the ministry leader. Defer to them as the decision maker. Ask good questions and offer helpful counsel. But again: do it from a posture of service and a position of “one team,” or it’ll backfire.
Andy Stanley says that leadership is stewardship. We’re responsible for the way we develop, use, and share the giftings God has given us. That includes the teams we lead, and sometimes it may include the teams we don’t have anything to do with.
Where are you adding value to other teams today?