Tip: Let Them Own It; Leaders.
I am trying something new. This past summer, we made a number of significant changes to our programming. One of the major changes was introducing a redesigned small group ministry. In the redesign, we have handed over the leadership of the small group to the adult leader and the group. What that means is, I am allowing the adult leader to take ownership of what I hope becomes their ministry. As a group, we plan, lead, and love on students together. But in small groups, this becomes the role and responsibility of the leader.
I’ve learned that ownership of ministry impacts the involvement my leaders. First let me define what a I mean by ownership. Clearly all ministry belongs to God. But part of the ministry is ours too. Ownership is the idea that we become invested in the call that God places on our hearts. Ownership is the commitment someone makes to the ministry. I have asked my leaders to “own” their small groups; to be responsible for the planning, prep, care, follow up, and everything else that comes with leading a small group. Sure, I will stay involved, give a certain level of direction, and help in areas needed. But, the small group belongs to the leader.
1. Ownership Says Value.
– I have a high level of respect for my leaders. They are more than volunteers, they are my friends. I do life with them. I respect them. I trust them. And I value them. My leaders are mature, Jesus-followers, who love working with students. I value their input, time, gifts, and commitment. Asking them to take ownership is saying that I trust them and what God is doing through them.
2. Ownership is Growth.
– It’s sometime easy to work with students if the program is dependent on the main leaders gifts and talents. If the number one guy is the number one guy and all others are glorified chaperones, where’s the growth? Ownership provides your leaders with the opportunity to step out, be challenged, and grow. Spectators don’t learn because they don’t do. Leaders learn when they are asked to do. By giving ownership to my leaders, I am asking them to grow.
3. Ownership is Joy.
– My leaders love what they do. I see that in how they interact with students. But I know what brings joy, watching students mature and grow in their faith. I want my leaders to know joy. I want them to know the joy of watching a student open up, share, grow, and mature because of the relationship that God uses. Ownership is investment; investment in the lives of our students. You can’t invest if your sitting on the sidelines. Ownership launches a leader into the game and into the joy of doing ministry.
I look forward to seeing what God does with both our leaders and our students. I asked my leaders to take ownership and that is what they are doing. Value. Growth. Joy. Ownership.