Leaders provide direction not directions.
Leaders lead with their eyes not their hands. They lead with vision not control. If none of the people in your ministry can make a decision without your approval, you’ve led them to slavery not salvation. God provided for sons not slaves. God placed His Spirit within every believer, not just you.
Don’t forget that all are capable of greatness. God gave certain people the gift of leadership, and this gift is essential in the body of Christ. Those called to lead should lead with diligence (Romans 12:8). However, if your people can’t make a pot of coffee without your approval, you’re not leading a ministry; you’re controlling people.
Lead like Paul.
Paul gave Timothy direction. He sent Timothy to establish leadership in new church plants. He gave Timothy directions about the type of people who were qualified to lead in these ministries. Paul knew the people in those churches. He didn’t give Tim a list of names. He didn’t even give him suggestions. He just gave him guidelines and let the Holy Spirit be his guide.
Some ministry leaders have such a strong grip on their ministry that no one can do anything without their approval. That’s not leading by the Spirit. That’s leveraging the flesh. People should serve alongside you in ministry, shoulder to shoulder. They shouldn’t serve so far underneath your feet that they are crushed.
How to provide Direction … not Directions
- Give people room to grow.
- Ask 3 questions for every direction you give.
- Provide godly direction, and get out of the way.
- Let them make decisions.
- Provide frameworks for success, don’t put people in prison.
- Lead with a compelling vision of your preferred future.
- Refuse to enslave people with fear.
- Don’t control the minutia of today.
- Encourage errors of commission rather than omission.