RELATIONAL LEADERSHIplesson 5 -Influencing through Relationships
INFLUENCING Through RELATIONSHIPS
“They are…raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame.” Jude gives us our fourth picture of bad leadership. Jude v13 Leadership is a relationship of power. Power is the potential to influence other people.
LEADERSHIP IS A RELATIONSHIP OF POWER TO SERVE
These self-serving leaders make a big splash, but they are not going any-where. They make a lot of noise, but they leave nothing of value behind. Good leadership is power attached to a good purpose. Leadership is not about leaders; it is about the people we lead.
TYCHICUS: THE RELATIONAL LEADER
Tychicus is an excellent example of an empowered follower. He is a “dear brother.” Colossians 4:7, 8 He is a loving Christian. Tychicus is a “faithful minister.” He is dependable. Tychicus is a “fellow servant,” and a part of Paul’s ministry team. He is a trusted communicator. Paul is in prison without a telephone, but he has Tychicus. Tychicus is an encourager of people. Both Paul and Onesimus trust Tychicus to persuade Philemon to accept Onesimus’ return. They expect him not to receive him as his runaway slave but as a Christian brother. Paul insists that Philemon act as a Christian.
LEADERSHIP IS A RELATIONSHIP OF DEPENDENCY
Paul has a vision, but he is dependant upon Tychicus to implement that vision. Leaders articulate vision, but they are dependent upon other people to make it happen. Recruitment of new followers is never finished for the leader. A leader is no better than the people who follow him. You can’t FORCE people to do anything; you must make them WANT to do it.
REASONS PEOPLE VOLUNTEER
People volunteer to find self-fulfillment and growth. They are looking for enjoyable activities that help them develop personal skills. People volunteer to promote a cause in which they believe. They want to invest their free time in something worthy. People volunteer to be with their friends. They enjoy their social time more than the activity. People volunteer to serve God. They want to do something eternal with their lives. All volunteers are looking for a return for the investment of their time, gifts and energy. Leaders must not make the mistake of taking them for granted.
RECRUITING NEW VOLUNTEERS
The leadership-volunteer relationship begins with recruitment. Remember we are not in the business of employing volunteers. As Christian leaders we have a mission. Recruitment of volunteers begins with your vision. We only want volunteers which will help us fulfill our mission. Recruiting others is made easy when you have happy people working with you. As a church we need to develop the reputation of being a good place to volunteer, a place that cares about its people. Churches have a notorious record of using people but failing to train them. Recruitment is about finding the best person to contribute to your vision. We should ask them, “Why do you want to work here?” Although most churches find it hard to do, we need to turn down unqualified volunteers or train them for their new positions.
CLARIFYING EXPECTATIONS WITH JOB DESCRIPTIONS
When the right person is found we need to spell out the agreement of service in writing. We need to introduce them to the culture of the organization and clarity what is expected of them. A good job description lets the person know what their job is. It should give a brief description of their responsibility, their authority and to whom they are accountable.
Job title: Date started: Department: Supervisor:
Skills and time required: Training required and provided:
If the assignment is important enough to do; it is worth describing.
LEADERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SUCCESS OF THEIR FOLLOWERS
A job without a supervisor is an unimportant job. No supervisor says to the volunteer, “Nobody cares what I do?” In the leadership relationship, the leader connects the follower with the mission of the organization. Leaders should evaluate the growth of their followers. Evaluation means that someone cares. Good evaluation depends on a good relationship between the leader and the follower. Performance reviews are not times to criticize. They should be check points where you provide opportunities for development and growth. They say to the follower, “You are an important member of this team.”
LEADERS CARE ABOUT THEIR PEOPLE
Evaluation is most effective when it is a part of a leadership relationship of continuous feedback. Annual reviews are not sufficient. Leaders should take personal responsibility to help their people grow. They should help them develop their skills for better performance and train them for better positions. When your people grow, your church grows. Ezekiel 34:1-10
For $10 a month you can help spread the gospel around the world.
About the Author: Dr. Dale Yerton
Dr. Yerton serves as an overseer of a network of churches across the world. What began as a network of six church groups representing 500 churches in Mexico has grown into an international ministry.
He and Evelyn, his wife over fifty years, live in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. They have two daughters: Lora–married to the Rev. Vince Farrell, pastors of Journey Church in Hopkinsville, Kentucky–and Kari—also of Hopkinsville–and are the proud grandparents of Emma and Bennett Farrell.