By Carey Nieuwhof
You never reproduce who you want to be.
Think about the leaders you are developing in your church. Maybe you’ve recruited a new volunteer or hired a new staff member. You may think, “Great! This person could teach for me.” Or, “This is someone who could launch a second location.” So how do you reproduce what you need?
I have led in a multisite context. I always have a picture in my mind of what I’m going to reproduce for our next location or in the staff that I’m training and developing. But I’ve learned that what I’m striving toward is an idealized picture, not reality. You don’t reproduce who you think you are. You don’t reproduce who you want to be. You reproduce who you are, with all your flaws and all the challenges in your current system.
Take an Inventory of Yourself
One of the best ways to ensure you reproduce better leaders is to take an honest inventory of your leadership and your church’s current development systems. For example, I’m not a great manager. In our multisite setting, not being a great manager doesn’t scale. If I reproduced who I am as a poor manager, it would lead to chaos.I must address this challenge in my own life first before I can grow and scale who I am as a leader.
What I’ve done to combat this issue is surround myself with people who are great managers. I’m a great visionary leader, but I need people on my team to help operationalize our structure and systems. Surround yourself with people who see the holes that you can’t see.
Take an Inventory of Your Culture
You not only reproduce systems in your church, you reproduce culture as well. Think about your church’s culture for a minute. Is what is written on your church’s walls actually operating down the hall? For example, one of our ministry values is to take the low place. Am I acting as a leader who is entitled or am I acting as a leader who wants to serve? Culture starts with you as a leader. You must own it.
I encourage you to focus on the five people closest to you. Are you clear? Are you on the same page? Are you on the same team? Are you modeling the values you say you stand for? When your systems are integrated and aligned, that’s when you will reproduce leaders. If it’s chaos, you will reproduce chaos. But if it’s fine-tuned, you will reproduce the leaders you need in your church or ministry.
Check out Carey’s exclusive Ministry Grid leadership courses here.