Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Follow me

Main Entry: 1fol·low
Pronunciation: \ˈfä-(ˌ)lō\
Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English folwen, from Old English folgian; akin to Old High German folgēn to follow
Date: before 12th century
transitive verb
1: to go, proceed, or come after
2 a: to engage in as a calling or way of life : pursue b: to walk or proceed along
3 a: to be or act in accordance with b: to accept as authority : obey
4 a: to pursue in an effort to overtake b: to seek to attain
5: to come into existence or take place as a result or consequence of
6 a: to come or take place after in time, sequence, or order b: to cause to be followed
7: to copy after : imitate
8 a: to watch steadily b: to keep the mind on c: to attend closely to : keep abreast of d: to understand the sense or logic of (as a line of thought)
intransitive verb
1: to go or come after a person or thing in place, time, or sequence
2: to result or occur as a consequence, effect, or inference
— as follows : as comes next —used impersonally
— follow one's nose
1: to go in a straight or obvious course
2: to proceed without plan or reflection : obey one's instincts
— follow suit
1: to play a card of the same suit as the card led
2: to follow an example set

So lately I've been thinking a lot about leading and following. Maybe it is due to me being the Children's Coordinator for our church. Lately our KidRidge Ministry team has been looking for ways to recruit and retain volunteer workers for our Sunday morning services. To give a little background, Randy & I became a part of TCAL in April of 2006. That was when the church was meeting in homes and weekly services hadn't started yet. Weekly services launched that October and Randy & I were the ones heading up the Children Ministry Team. By Christmas of 2006, we were having 20 to 30 kids on a Sunday morning. Jump ahead one year. The church hit 100 in August of 07, and by Christmas we were having 50+ kids on Sunday mornings. Just ahead another year. We launched our 2nd service in March, hit 400 in total attendance on Sunday mornings, and we're averaging 90 to 100 kids each week.

We've been very blessed to have some extremely committed volunteers on our team. They are truly the ones that allow each Sunday to run smoothly. And I've been blessed to have a great partner and teammate in Jami Cope, our preschool coordinator. God really knew I needed someone like her in my life, and brought her family back right when she was needed the most. I am so thankful for her and our other volunteers.

So that brings us to today. I know my leadership role has grown immensely in the past 2 years. I also know one of the most effective ways to lead is by example. Jesus used this method with his disciples. He lived out each day with them. They saw how he lived, served, taught, and gave of himself. I want to be a leader like that. I want to lead by example. The challenge I am facing, though, is how to lead by example when I only see most of my volunteers on Sunday mornings. We are working on developing our leadership team so that every team leader has no more than 15 people they are leading. We also would like to implement a training/mentoring program where every leader is being mentored by another leader, and every leader is mentoring someone else. It is the Paul/Timothy principle.

Now it is your turn. What are your thought and suggestions on leading by example? Leave me a comment and let me know.


Jacob Haynes said...

There are several ways in which we lead.

We can lead by personality, simply inspiring devotion with eloquent speeches and charm. I personally don’t have this personality and believe it only really works if paired with other forms of leadership that contain more substance.

We can lead with knowledge. By having an understanding of what needs to be done and what it will take in order to accomplish something, we can provide leadership. Unfortunately, it usually only works when presented well (see number 1) and has the proper authority (either is proven correct by time or is presented by someone with the proper credentials).

We can lead by example. I think this is the most honest form of leadership and when it come down to it the most difficult. Works best when coupled with respect; someone is more likely to emulate another’s example if they admire that person. I think you are right to suggest that Christ lead in this fashion (though He also had help from His authority, knowledge, and arguably personality).

Keep at it, the church needs more of your type of leadership to keep it strong.

Perri said...

I am example sort of person for my kids. Whether it's cleaning the toilets at church or doing volunteer work, I think they have the idea that they have a good life and when they see people we may be helping, they take it to heart and know the meaning of the phrase "there but for the grace of God, go I."