Six years ago, I stepped into a role I didn’t feel even slightly prepared to take on.
My husband, Todd, and I had came down from the Detroit area with our kids so that he could take on the position of Youth Pastor at a growing church in the Cincinnati area. We had only been at our church for a few weeks and we were still getting to know our new church family, when there was a change in pastoral leadership. That change brought about a shift in other leadership positions as well.
Within a span of four months, I was thrust from a vocalist on a “new-to-me” worship team to the worship “leader”.
In the beginning, I felt a little like Moses in Genesis 3 when God told Moses he was going to lead the Israelites out of slavery. Just like Moses, I was full of questions and self-doubt. Though I had grown up in the church music scene, I had never done more than serve as a vocalist or lead a worship set here and there. I found myself quickly having to organize and schedule volunteers, create music sets and learn everything I could about how bands should be put together in a very short amount of time.
I went through quite a journey, but looking back, I am so thankful that God didn’t listen to my fears and instead gave me the confidence to follow His calling on my life.
If you have ever been in the position where you think you don’t have everything there is to lead, here are three simple tips to assist you on your journey:
The worst thing a leader can do is to come into a leadership position and pretend to know everything. If you do, it won’t take long for volunteers to catch on that you are not all you seem. Be honest with your team about what your strengths are and be equally honest about the areas you need to grow in. They will respect you for your authenticity and you will find that they will support you more than they would have if they discovered your lack of skill or knowledge on their own.
As you get to know the team you are leading, pay attention to the strengths in your volunteers. If you see a skill that they excel in, make note and use them! Ask questions, give them authority to teach others what they know (including yourself) and recognize their skills publicly. The more you utilize those who are strong in certain skills beneficial to your team, the better your team will become over all.
Whether its learning directly from your volunteers, attending seminars or finding books that can guide you, find opportunities to grow in knowledge and skill. Being a leader is not an excuse to stop learning. Regularly seek the wisdom of other leaders who hold the same position you hold. Subscribe to blogs, podcasts or websites that will push you to acquire new skills.
God did not send Moses to Egypt because he had the best skill set. He sent him because he saw his potential to lead.
The true test of any team is not how much the leader knows but how the leader leads. If you are authentic, utilizing the skills you see in your volunteers and continuing to grow, you will inspire your team to not only support your leadership, but also take ownership in the team as a whole. You don’t have to know everything to lead; you just need the ability to bring people along with you on the journey.