Looking Ahead and Pointing the Way

One of the most intriguing professions in the world to me is forecasting the weather. Sometimes, they miss it, but most of the time, they get it right.

Mr. Webster defines forecasting as “to predict a future condition or occurrence; to calculate in advance by forethought and foresight in planning. These are not just descriptions and duties of a meteorologist. It’s also the responsibility of a leader of volunteers. Are you accurately predicting future conditions and occurrences by advance planning and careful calculations?

Here are twelve steps to become a leader who can look ahead and point the way God wants your team to go.

1. Know where you are headed. Dare to dream. Habakkuk 2:2 tells us we need more than just a vision; we need to make it plain. In other words, be specific.

2. Know where you are.
I think you must evaluate everything from the needs of the kids, your workers, your budget, the policies, and systems, even your thinking.

3. Know where you’ve been. What’s the history of your church and its children’s ministry? Study the numbers, the accomplishments, and the challenges.

4. Know what others are doing. A smart leader studies the successes and failures of others. Attend a conference, visit their facilities, learn from everyone you can learn from.

5. Get God’s plan for your ministry. Here’s what I know: God’s plan always works. There is a difference between “Thus sayeth the seminar speaker” and “Thus sayeth the Lord!”

6. Develop the plan. God doesn’t lead us in leaps and jumps; he leads in steps.

7. Communicate and execute the plan. Start with the level of leadership around you. Next, teach the plan in detail to the next level of leadership.

8. Give yourself a test. Stop and evaluate. Are you on a pace to hit what you are aiming for?

9.  Teach and make corrections to your team. Teaching brings definition. Teach on what you have learned through evaluation. When you correct, correct in love!

10. Set the pace and be the leader. It’s simple: leaders must lead. If you call yourself a leader and no one is following behind you, you’re only taking a walk.

11. Keep momentum and energy moving forward by planning in advance. Think ahead. I try to stay nine months ahead.

12. Outwork everyone. Work smart, come early, stay late, accomplish more, and work hard.  

This article was adapted from a blog posting at JimWideman.com.
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Jim Wideman is an internationally recognized voice in children’s and family ministry. He is a much sought after speaker, teacher, author, personal leadership coach, and ministry consultant who has over 30 years experience in helping churches thrive. Jim created the Children’s Ministers Leadership Club in 1995 that is known today as "theClub" which has touched thousands of ministry leaders each month. Jim believes his marching orders are to spend the rest of his life taking what he has learn about leadership and ministry and pour it into the next generation of children’s, youth, and family ministry leaders.