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Dumbing Down Your Leadership

I have a life long friend who works in the youth ministry at Lifechurch.tv. My buddy came down to visit for the weekend and among many other conversations we had, we spent some time over dinner talking about leadership.

One of the things we talked about was the idea of having to dumb down your leadership. That sounds offensive but it’s a regular part of life in certain seasons intentionally or unintentionally that is a reality every leader faces.

Where you serve is an environment. A part of that environment is how you fit and behave within the boundaries and platforms that are around you. In one environment you might be a prized, celebrated, and victorious champion. In a different environment, without changing one thing about you, you can become easily checked in place and held back forcing you to make certain choices.

Some would argue that a leader overcomes their environment creating options and doorways for themselves in order to accomplish their goals and desires but there are certain things that you can’t lead into or out of without compromising the overall church dynamic, direction, and values.

For those areas you will have to decide if you can exist and willingly put those things aside or step out in order to keep from compromising the health of your passions and conviction. It doesn’t make anyone a bad person and within in the context of realizing that the grass is not always greener on the other side it’s worth thinking through at the least.

This is dumbing down your leadership. It’s willingly making the assessment that you could do more or are capable of different things but are foregoing them and operating below your leadership capacity because you have placed something else as more of a value than your potential.

Here are some examples of things that may make you let go of your aspirations or true leadership strengths.

1. The community- You feel connected to where you live.
2. Your time – You do less because you’re expecting less and that is advantageous to the quality of life you live.
3. Trust – You are holding God’s providence over your fear that you are missing out because you let go.

What might be offensive to you is the idea that you would not obey God. This is not what I’m talking about. For the most part it’s your experiences and skill sets that often get the most compromised. Some leaders have a wealth of untapped potential in strategic thinking or planning but will never be utilized or empowered. When a leader is aware of it they either absorb the idea of never being utilized or they become bitter and frustrated.

Voluntarily letting go of those things happens a lot we just talk about the symptoms more than we talk about the root.

Here are some questions to consider about this topic.

What is value?
What are real priorities?
What is the difference between probable and just possible?
When are you doing people a dis-service?
Who benefits from your choice to let go and who suffers?
What does God want and what is it that “you” just want?
What questions do your leaders ask and what are they not asking?

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Chad Swanzy has served in youth ministry for 15 years and currently works as the student ministry director at Gateway Community Church in Austin, Texas. Learn more from Chad and ask him your questions at ChadSwanzy.com.