As I move through the senior years of my ministry, I find I am blessed and my ministry is truly enabled by remembering and putting into practice a basic principle of leadership; the networking of people resources.
1. Accept ideas:
One way the leader needs to network human resources is to accept the good ideas that others offer. My stance has always been, “I need your ideas.” My current sermon series was suggested by my former administrative assistant, now retired, Marilyn Wilsch. Sometimes, these ideas will stretch the leader but that is good. When ideas come from folks of different ages or different music tastes, or some other different subgroup, the result of accepting them is to connect the leader to more people.
2. Give away work:
A second way to network people power is to delegate aspects of a project that enhance it, but are not your gifting. For example, our logo for the 50th needed to be changed because the previous one was not working well in print. While I have a good special sense, I am not an artist. So I called together the designers of the previous logo, and the folks who usually to the print media for our church and asked them to create a new one that worked in all the media that we needed it to work in. The talent in the room was tremendous, and the result of their collaboration was evident.
3. Encourage, encourage, encourage!
Not everything will go completely smoothly. Sometimes, those you are working with will fall short of expectations or there will be unexpected friction. Once in a great while they may even need to be nudged into a slightly different direction for the sake of the whole. But I have learned that networking human resources requires that I am always an encourager. My words value the contributions of those I speak with. I assure them they are growing, maturing and stepping up for the kingdom’s sake and I am grateful for their efforts. As I build them up, they are strengthened to serve with both confidence and diligence.