I distinctly remember early on in my time with HCC that we about team ministry. I had great examples of leadership from the get-go. having come up through Cobb's ministry i already knew the way that he liked to do stuff and it was an easy transition from being in his ministry to being under his leadership on paid staff. Ralph Nader once said, "I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers." and that is what this ministry was all about.
so you could imagine the kind of pressure that i was under. the funny thing is that i never really thought of it that way. i knew that Cobb would not have brought me onto staff if he did not think that i had the potential to be that kind of leader. and i always felt encouraged. now, i did have the luxury of coming into a small ministry but the challenge of the goal to make it bigger - much bigger. and that is what we did.
Cobb told me that if i learned how to create leaders then i would excel in ministry. he reminded me that in any job with peeps under you who are paid... they have to do what you tell the to do. but in ministry it is all about influence. peeps were going to spend time with us because they believed in the message, program and people. and that was the vision. we ended up bringing up tons of leaders, men and women who were much better than us at most of the ministry stuff that we did. but that was the beauty of it; everyone knew his or her skill set and applied them in the right capacity. and that was my job and ultimately Cobb's as the leaders - to help others excel.
One example would be my boy JP. this kid has more ministry ability in his pinky than most peeps have in their entire bodies. he just got it. at one point a few years into his time on staff, Cobb and I thought that it would be a good idea for him to take on more responsibility, as it would make our ministry grow significantly. and, we knew that JP was at a place in his life where he wanted to be as effective as possible. now, the hard part was for him to see that by giving up influence over the many boys in his small group would be a good thing for the ministry as a whole. and that is prolly this main issue in an instance like this.
As i thought, JP did see that it would be best for him and the ministry to move into a new role. we strategically moved him out of a small group and replaced him with a new leader. then we let him do what he was best at - leading. he pretty much took control of the junior high group on a program level. he took that baby by the horns and made it work in ways i could not have done. it got to the point that he was telling me what to do. on one occasion he told me that i only got half the message time in front of the kids that i usually took. "But," I pleaded, "I need that time, homie." he gave me the old "no-can-do" and that was that. there was too much to get done on that particular nite. i understood... i had to - i mean, i am the one who put him in that position. and for him to do the job i needed him to do, i had to let him roll with it - his way.
Teddy Roosevelt once said, "The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it." who is in your ministry that needs to be unleashed. Guys like JP are one in a million. however, if you can spot them then these men and women will take your ministry to a new level. as the leader, do not be afraid to give away power. the more you give away the more you will make yourself invaluable.