Keys To Longevity #6: Lead Differently!

I apologize for the distance between my last post and this one…been a bit crazy.

A sixth contributing factor to my longevity is to simply choose to lead differently. Here are a few ways I have tried (I don’t always get it right) to lead over the years:

Here’s a new idea: SERVANT LEADERSHIP! I
‘m shocked at how many Christian leaders preach and teach about servant leadership, yet fail to actually practice the concept. Here’s my hunch: Everybody starts as a servant leader because we have to in order to gain the trust and respect of our fellow leaders, to earn the trust of people we lead and, frankly, because we are low man on the totem pole….servant leadership isn’t an option early in a ministry career. But as we move up the ranks, gain influence and responsibility, it becomes very easy to slip into a leadership mindset that is just about everything except servant oriented (dare I say “Jesus oriented”?).

Don’t ask others to do something you’re not willing to do (everybody says this, but few mean it)
Again, I hear it all the time, but don’t see it in action. I think most leaders used to do the stuff they now ask others to do, but many are simply unwilling to re-engage at that level. Obviously, you can’t always do the stuff you used to do, but a healthy leader gets his/her hands dirty…a lot!

Empower, Empower, Empower Leadership gets very fun when you begin to switch from a “I equip folks to do what I need them to do” mentality to one of “I equip and empower folks to do what they feel led to do”. An empowering leader creates the broadest boundaries possible and allows his team to dream, create, execute, eliminate, etc. within those broad boundaries.

Give away the credit! It is my opinion that the simple act of giving away the credit is the single most effective way a leader builds health, trust, community, teamwork, etc. It’s also one of the toughest things for many leaders to do! Leaders are typically high achievers and competitive by nature. Because of this, giving others the credit doesn’t come easy for many. Practice giving away as much of the credit as you possibly can. It’s easier than you may think, and it’s well worth it.

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Kurt Johnston
Kurt Johnston has been involved in junior high ministry since 1988 and is currently the junior high pastor at Saddleback Church in Southern California. He's the author of Controlled Chaos: Making Sense of Junior High Ministry and Go Team! He loves providing resources for junior high ministry almost as much as he loves junior highers themselves.