Hunting for Leaders

Hunting for Leaders

If you take some time to speak with hunters, you will learn a few things:

  1. Hunters are purposeful.  They do not just step out in to the wild haphazardly.  They know what they are hunting, where they are hunting, and why they are hunting.
  2. Hunters know what weapon is required for each individual hunt.  Not every arrow, spear, trap, snare, or net is created for universal use.
  3. Hunters learn about what they are hunting.  They take the time to understand their prey. Where does it live, what does it eat, how does it move about the landscape, what does it sound like, what will scare it off, and what will draw it closer?

When we are on the hunt of new leaders, we need to apply a modified version of these points.

Be Purposeful.   Understand why you are searching for this new leader.  Are you looking for your replacement?  An assistant?  Building up a new ministry team?  Responding to new growth or need?  If you know the why behind your search, it will help you identify the right places to seek new leaders.  Understanding the why, will also help you spot the who!

Know Your Tools.  In other words, understand what is going to secure new leaders.  Is this a paying position?  Will you be providing tools and resources for their spiritual and leadership development?  What are you going to use the seal the deal, once you identify the leader?

Learn About Leaders.  Hunting for new leaders does not consist of putting a call out for just anyone who wants to join the team, or putting up a sign up sheet in the lobby, and taking anyone who signs up.  Take the time to learn about the potential leader.  What are her strengths and weaknesses, what does her spiritual walk look like, talk with her about what gifts and talents she possesses, pray for God to reveal how she would fit as a solution to your leadership needs, and what type of development does she already have or would need to step into leadership?

Hunters will lie in wait observing, sometimes for weeks ahead of their actual hunt.  They do this to understand the habits of the game they are hunting, and to make the animals more familiar with their scent and presence so that they are comfortable on hunting day.

A good leader is also watching and waiting, paying attention to the people in their ministry or organization.  As we watch and take in the information we learn about a potential leader, we will be able to determine if and when they are ready for the next step.  We also want our leaders to become comfortable with our presence so that when they are leading and we pop in to check things out, we don’t make them nervous.

A tribe that celebrates a successful hunt, is not just celebrating the prize of food they are bringing home to their families.  They are also celebrating the culmination of all the work that went into preparing for the hunt.  In fact, many will tell you most of the work when into the preparation before the hunt.  A tribe foresees a need to replenish the food stores, prepares the tools, trains the new hunters, and when the time is right they set out to put all the preparation into motion.  If the tribe waits until they are out of food, their hunters may not have the strength needed to endure the hunt.  Or, if the hunt fails, the entire tribe will suffer.

A good leadership team should not wait until a moment of desperation to seek out a new leader.  Waiting until a vacancy appears could mean that the team is running out of time and energy to get their work done.  In desperation and exhaustion we can give up, give in, or make poor choices.  If we put effort into preparing future leaders that have already been identified, prepared and developed; then we are just waiting for the moment all of that preparation is put into motion.

Don’t hunt for leaders when your team or ministry is starving.    Put the time and effort into preparing future leaders.  Do this, your tribe will be healthy and strong.

Leading in the Storm

Leading in the Storm

There have been a few times in my life where something major was going on in my personal life in tandem with active ministry responsibilities.  One of the first responses from others is the desire to take away my burden by giving me time off from ministry, canceling ministry plans for a future date, etc.  The intentions are good hearted, out of a desire to make my life easier during a difficult season.  However, as leaders, we must be careful to not to assume that is the right course of action.

Yes, with most certainty, there are going to be women who need a grace filled pass to let things go, or step down for a season or even forever.  However, there are women like myself who find that our responsibilities (work, school, or ministry) help to take our mind off the circumstances we are facing.

When Another Leader is Facing a Storm:

  • Don’t make assumptions.  Ask if she needs time off, or would like to continue in her role/capacity.
  • Inquire how you can support her personally (meals, running errands, etc.) as well as in her ministry work (assistance, volunteers, etc.)
  • Check in with her occasionally to see how things are going, if she needs help, or resources.

Unleashed

Hillary Clinton

Whether it is the women on your leadership team, or the women sitting in the pews each week… they are waiting.

I don’t know if you can sense it, but I can.  When I slip into a local women’s event hosted by one of the local churches or sit in during conversations with other leaders… there is a pulse.

Our women are feeling called to move, but many are not sure what for.  They are signing up for studies, starting prayer groups, reading more, talking more, finding places to serve, and for those who don’t have the opportunity to do any of these thing… they feel a longing they can’t understand.

Your women are waiting to be unleashed.

So, what can we do?

  1. Connect your women to one another, in relationships & community.
  2. Encourage your women to dig into the Word on a deeper level.
  3. Foster solid prayer habits in your women.
  4. Engage the women in opportunities to serve.

Connect Women:  Host events at your own church, go as a group to other women’s events, encourage the women to have lunch or coffee with one another, and as a leader help set the precedent by being an example of this.

Women in the Word:  Offer not only topical Bible study groups, but find ways to help the women dig deeper.  Look into curriculum for study groups that will take them to the next level, consider hosting or attending a workshop on study techniques, create a discipleship plan, and help the women discover resources that can help with their personal study.

Praying Women:  Prayer habits can make for a great brunch topic, group study, or workshop.  There are great books and resources on the value of prayer, and how to pray.  Create a prayer room in your church building, develop a women’s prayer group, utilize prayer chains, and set the example by employing prayer in your women’s events.

Women who Serving:  Find opportunities to serve in your community on your own or with your leader team.  Share testimonials from these service opportunities with your women, and then invite them to join you in future service project.  Encourage the women to share their ideas or organizations that are close to their own hearts with you.  As they make suggestions, they will also help generate excitement from other women in the church to participate.

The women are ready to be unleashed, engage them & equip them… then watch them flourish for the Kingdom.