I was reading about some of the leading professionals in the designer world. Kate Spade, Donna Karan, Tory Burch. (In my fav mag – Fast Company )
The most successful leaders know that they need a team. But why do we feel like we have to do things on our own in the church?
Why do we feel like it’s all on our shoulders?
I feel like we (as women but this applies to men too) get too serious sometimes.
We get serious so people will take us seriously.
But, serious doesn’t always equal being taken seriously.
Early in ministry, I felt like asking for help and leaning on others for anything was a sign of weakness. If I didn’t know how to do “it”, then I needed to learn how to do “it”. That was my mindset.
What resulted on occasion (maybe more than one occasion…let’s say six occasions times approximately 10) was me becoming a little too serious.
With decision making.
With project planning.
With leader development.
With message writing.
With pretty much everything I did on a regular basis.
And when something came up that would threaten the equilibrium of my “I’ve got this” mentality. I’d fight it off like a female human version a teenage mutant ninja turtle, except in heels and wearing a youth ministry t-shirt. It could make me on edge. It could cause anxiety. It could make we feel insecure.
Early on, that meant “getting out” when leaders hurt me. When things didn’t go as planned. When the “storming” process of things was just too stormy for me.
It was in Lakeland that I learned that getting help isn’t a sign of weakness.
Thinking I could do it all on my own was.
Seriousness and self-sufficiency at that level leads to a super stressed out and self-serving ministry.
Six years ago, I surrendered seriousness for wit.
And it’s still winning.
You can still be a strong, capable, visionary, creative, safe, leader—and still have fun.
You can give away ginormous parts of your responsibility if you’ve invested the time in relationships and in building your team.
You can rely on parents to do what they do best (loving and leading their children).
You can decide that winning isn’t about how much you can accomplish or check of your list but that it’s more about connecting teenagers with other adults who love them, their parents, and each other. (Notice that we are the smallest number in these groups. One among many. One with potential to motivate the many.)
If you want to be taken seriously?
Hand over your seriousness.
Take it down a notch.
Brush the dirt off your shoulder.
Use wit to win over the things that will keep you from connecting with others who can partner with you to move things forward faster, better, stronger.
(If you’ve gone through something majorly painful, then yes, by all means do everything you need to do to get healthy and whole, before you brush that dirt off and move on. But once you do that…then do that…move on. You’ve got so much to give. Seriousness will try to squelch your potential and your passion.)
You can still be a Zukerberg status youth pastor, leader, volunteer, (insert your awesome role here) and have fun while you do it.
You can do anything, you know?
Because you know the God who can do anything.
Now get out there and find someone awesome to do what takes three hours of your day away from doing what you do best. Go on. It’ll feel like you’re giving someone your puppy. But I promise, after you’re done. You’ll be so glad you didn’t keep all of those puppies.
Puppies are cute. But they are a pain in the awesome when you’ve got 12 of them.
You’ll be fine. Just do it. Lean on others. And you’ll be revered as pretty smart, pretty generous, pretty effective in your leadership.
And it’s ok if you call yourself the most fun and intelligent leader of the year. Just be humble about it and only post two or three selfies a week. More than that would just be too many. #prideIsWAYworseThanSeriousness
Hope this helps- guys too. We’re for you.