By Casey Ross, Director of Ministry Services, Browns Bridge Community Church
The church needs different kinds of leaders. It needs leaders that are good at leading teams of people. It needs leaders that come up with ideas. It needs leaders that are good at accomplishing tasks. It needs leaders that know how to effectively lead worship. It needs leaders that communicate well. It needs leaders that understand numbers. It needs leaders that understand people.
You and I cannot be all these things. If we try to be all these things, we will never excel at any of them. If we think we are all these things, we are deceiving ourselves.
Early on in leadership, I fell into the trap of trying to be a “well-rounded” leader. If I could do it all, then I was a “real” leader. That was short-lived because it was exhausting and because my strengths, passions, and successes kept pushing me toward specific areas of leadership.
While over the years I’ve become more focused on my strengths, in the past year I’ve learned to answer a very tough question that helps me know where I need to be going. It’s a question we all could benefit from, one we need to answer:
Where do I add the most value to my organization?
Until you honestly answer this question, you can waste a lot of time and energy pursuing things at which you will never be the best. You will not experience doing what God created you to do. And you will prevent others from following you—because you are leading in ways in which you do not provide the most value to your organization. A great example of this is communication.
In most churches, communication is the holy grail of leadership. As a communicator (you don’t even have to do it well), you are considered a top-tier leader. Therefore, many leaders pursue opportunities to speak and say yes to every invitation they receive. They think the more they communicate, the better leader they become and, even more appealing, the more others will perceive them as a great leader.
I used to feel this way. I enjoy communicating. As I’ve become more self-aware, I’ve realized that communication is not an area where I add the most value. So I no longer pursue speaking opportunities or spend large amounts of energy in that area. Yes, I still communicate, but only when I’m asked to do so and only in a setting and with an audience where I can be most effective. Overall, though, communication is not where I add the most value to Browns Bridge Community Church or to North Point Ministries.
Where have I determined that I add the most value?
• Leading teams of people
• Achieving results
• Problem solving
• Providing perspective
I will always have to do things that do not fall into one of these areas. But the more I understand where I add the most value, the more I develop in and give attention to these areas.
Determining where you add the most value to your organization is not a matter of where you wish you added the most value. It’s a matter of honestly looking at yourself and realizing who you really are. You can start by answering these questions:
• What am I doing that creates energy in me?
• What am I doing that feels most natural?
• What am I doing that elicits the most positive feedback from others?
• What am I doing that makes me feel like I am working twice as hard to produce normal results?