Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsHEALTHY CHURCH: Turning Loose of Your Control

HEALTHY CHURCH: Turning Loose of Your Control

         We have been focusing on being still long enough to stop and ponder the things we need to turn loose of our grip. Could that be turning loose of having to always be in control and in charge? The way to overcome this is by mentoring others around you who you can discover, develop and deploy. It begins with building a mentoring culture by pouring into others around you that can help you to accomplish what God has called you to undertake. If a leader decides to leave a ministry and reproduction stops, then you were a multiplication person not a multiplication culture.

      Leaders produce leaders, not curriculum, classes or programs. It takes investing in others through relationships that model disciplemaking and leadership development. It requires an intentional mentoring relationship with others which, in its purest sense, is empowering them to succeed. A mentor has been defined as “Someone who has been where you want to go and is willing to help you get there.” John C. Crosby defines it as “Mentoring is a brain to pick, a shoulder to cry on and a kick in the pants.” The apostle Paul describes it this way, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (I Cor. 11:1).

      Bob Biehl says, “The mentor relationship, in its simplest form, is a lot like a big brother, big sister relationship. The big brother really wants to see the little brother win.” Howard and William Hendrick make this observation: “Wherever you turn today, you will find men looking for a guide, a coach, a model, an advisor. They are looking for someone who knows about life. In essence, they are looking for a mentor.” God has a way of providing mentors for us throughout our lives. Many of them occur naturally and some of them accidently, but I want to challenge you to be more intentional in developing and mentoring potential leaders.

      Turning loose of your grip in the area of controlling everything means developing a ministry multiplication culture that is not driven by just one person. The true success of a ministry’s sustainability is that when the leader leaves, the ministry continues to thrive. You must have an exit strategy just like Jesus did in John 14:12. Being a mentor/coach is described by Bob Logan as “The process of coming alongside a person or team to help them discover God’s agenda for their life and ministry, then cooperating with the Holy Spirit to see that agenda become a reality.”

      J. Robert Clinton states, “Mentoring is a relationship experience through which one person empowers another by sharing God-given resources.” What does it look like for a leader to develop leaders through mentoring relationships?

         • You must have a willingness to lead through others. If you are not careful, your commitment to excellence will hurt your desire to develop leaders. The temptation will be to think you are the only one who can do things the way they need to be done. You know what I’m talking about because many of you have also said, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!” The risk in this willingness to lead through others is trusting other people by delegating responsibility, but this risk must be taken, and it is worth the risk.

         • You must focus on training leaders to do the work. Remember, Jesus did not ignore the crowds, but He did focus on His small group by pouring into their lives and encouraging them to do greater things than He did. Someone has said that to encourage means to “pour courage into someone else.” It is easy to develop a culture in your ministries where everything depends on you, but that is not scriptural. Learn to share ministry responsibility by being willing to train and mentor others.

      Who are you pouring courage into through intentional relationships so they might develop into reproducing leaders? In Intimacy with Christ, Charles Swindoll states, “Are the good things keeping you from the best? Jesus could have taught 120 disciples and traveled farther than Paul; yet He chose to invest His life in only the 12 and go no farther than 200 miles from His birthplace.” Do not underestimate the impact you can potentially have in the lives of those around you when you are an intentional leader, developing relational environments and utilizing a reproducible process.

         • You must be willing to equip and hand ministry off. If you are too busy to mentor potential leaders then you are too busy. Begin by saying “no” to things that are energy and time robbers. Take a closer look at what you are doing and realize that 80-85% of what you do could be done by someone else. Take the time to develop leaders and develop a multiplication culture of reproducing disciples and leaders. What could happen if you were to dedicate 5-10 hours a week to mentoring others who would then mentor others? Think simple and focus work on developing systems that enable discipleship and leadership development.

      There are three types of mentoring to consider in turning loose of your control:

         • Upward Mentoring — This is someone who has gone on before you and can give you direction and perspective; someone who can help pull you up. They keep you from plateauing by providing perspective, accountability and stimulus to persevere. They have gone before you and can show you the way.

         • Downward Mentoring — This is a focus and concern for those coming up behind you and how to pass the baton to them. It is someone you can help pull forward by helping develop the capacity, commitment and values that will enable them to serve faithfully.

         • Peer Co-Mentoring — Friends provide a great source of mutual encouragement, creativity and protection by walking beside one another. Look for someone from outside your church or even outside your tribe that is on the same journey as you and mentor one another. Also, look inside your church or your tribe of churches. You are looking for someone who can provide mutual motivation and personal accountability. This journey you were called on to traverse was never meant to be walked alone.