Dealing with Leadership Surprises

Being a leader is hard. But you never know just how hard until you’re the leader.

Here are the things that surprised me the most about leadership:

1. Delegating is hard. I admit it—I have a type A personality and maybe control issues and OK, maybe trust issues, but sometimes it just seems easier to do everything myself. Wrong attitude! I can’t do it all; I don’t have the skills, time, or patience to do everything with excellence. I am robbing someone else of a blessing and the opportunity to use his or her talents for the kingdom. How will anyone else learn to serve or lead if I do everything? Delegating is hard, but it is the right thing to do. Even Jesus delegated the feeding of the 5,000 to the disciples and His mission here on earth to us. 

2. Finding workers is hard. Look outside your comfort zone and your friend group to let new women and men get involved. Young, old, new members, longtime members—it doesn’t matter. In fact, it’s great to have a variety of people serving together. Keep recruiting—don’t wait until an emergency. Tell all your leaders that they should be training their replacement at all times. No one “owns” a position—we’re training for the future.

3. Being the go-between is hard. Encourage the different volunteers develop a relationship with each other, ministerial staff, administrative staff, and janitorial staff. Step completely out and allow your leaders to use all their potential. Be there to help or advise, and know enough to get someone out of a jam and make sure the event actually happens, but let go. Give people have the freedom to do things differently. You don’t have to do WMU “the way it’s always been done.”

Remember leadership is for a season. Train up the next season of workers so that the work of WMU continues in your church. Let God use you and others to make His name known in your church, community, and the world.

LeeAnn Lewis is a pastor’s wife and the coordinator of Oklahoma WMU’s Human Trafficking Educator Team.

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