This blog is directed to our LifeBox campus missionaries around the Philippines. Full-time staff, feel free to share if you think it would be helpful to you. Everyone else is welcome to read as observers and draw whatever insight that you get from it. Feel free to share it while keeping in mind who the target audience is.
Thanks for the feedback on the last blog. Here’s a hopefully short follow-up to it based on the helpful comments I got.
- Serving well isn’t natural to people. It require training and encouragement in the right direction. So if your current team doesn’t respond that way right away, don’t feel bad. It doesn’t mean they’re hopeless. It means we just have to train them what real leadership looks like. Just like the way we were trained. It might be helpful to have a conversation with the other members of your team regarding how to give them more opportunities.
- There is no leadership without service. I don’t know if this is a recent trend or we’re only hearing these stories now, but there seem to be a large number of people who are eager for leadership positions, even presenting themselves as leaders before anyone recognizes them. This is from personal experience and from accounts of other campus staff.
I’ve observed this with some people coming forward and asking to be put in charge of things or being critical of the current leader, asserting that they can do a better job.
I’ve been surprised to even hear one person say, “I’d like to be given the chance to speak on stage.”
This from a person who isn’t even volunteering in a ministry or leading a Victory group. Wow.
These requests used to shock me because I’m more used to people feeling inadequate and needing to be encouraged to step out in faith. These people don’t have an inferiority complex; they have a superiority complex. They don’t have low self-esteem; they have an over-inflated self-esteem. But the situation is not hopeless.
Points for dealing with them:
- You, the leaders, don’t owe them anything. If you don’t have a good feeling about a person. If the person hasn’t proven themselves in discipleship and faithful service without looking for recognition or reward. If the person has an arrogant attitude and doesn’t connect well with the rest of the team. Don’t give them a leadership role. It’s for everyone’s good – yours, the church’s, and for them.
- Give them an opportunity to prove themselves. Don’t close the door on these people. Maybe they don’t know better. Maybe they haven’t been trained the right way. But don’t turn them away, let them serve. Show them in the Bible that real leadership is serving – not speaking from the stage, having a title, or bossing people around.
If their heart is right, they will appreciate the feedback and serve well. Then you’ve got an upcoming servant leader. If their heart isn’t right, it will reveal itself in their lack of enthusiasm, laziness, excuses, or sudden unavailability. In which case, you know you’re dealing with an attention-grabber, not a servant leader. Either way, the situation resolves itself.