Share what you got or you might lose it

This past weekend there was a middle school retreat for the student ministry I oversee. Dozens of middle school students brought their glorious chaos to a weekend filled with fun, very little sleep, and lots of junk food. It was all aimed at helping them grow closer to God.

I didn't go to it.

On Wednesday night we will have our regular youth ministry time where we will begin with a teaching time before breaking up into our small groups. Well over 100 middle school and high school students will come for pizza, snacks, fellowship, and intentional time talking about God.

I won't be leading it.

What will I be doing if I am not leading these events? Am I sitting at home watching Sports Center or out on the town eating pizza and wings? No to both.  Instead, I am watching other leaders who have stepped up to the plate and taken the proverbial bull by the horns as they lead and teach our amazing students. These guys and girls aren't leading by accident. They have been placed in key positions to either lead or blend into the background.

Some may call giving responsibility to others delegation, but I prefer to see it as shared leadership. I know for a certain that I can't do everything on my own and I really don't even want to try. In fact, I am keenly aware of my areas of weakness and I do my best to bring people on board who are strong in those areas to make up for my deficiencies.

If you are in a position of leadership you have two choices: Share it or bear it alone. When you share leadership with others, amazing things begin to happen: People take ownership of the organization, they are less likely to complain, morale rises, and results improve. You have a unique vision for what you want to see happen - share that vision by inviting others to walk with you, not follow from behind. If you are hesitant to share leadership with those who serve with you, then they more than likely will not share the passion that you have.

What if you are not a leader, the one making the key decisions? You have two choices as well: Claim opportunities or clam up. Show a willingness to lead and a leader will spot you from a mile away. Don't be afraid to step up and take a chance at more responsibilities. If you choose to clam up, then you have chosen to set the bar as low as you might ever go. And what happens if you serve under someone who refuses to share their leadership? Continue to be available but also accept the fact that it may be time to look for other opportunities to serve elsewhere.

At some point in your life you are going to lead something or someone. If you are a parent, share leadership roles with your kids - allow them to invest their time in preparing meals and doing other jobs around the house. That may not sound very glamorous for your kids but it does take certain things off of your plate as well as equip them for real world challenges later. And if you are the leader of a ministry or other organization, don't even think about shouldering the burden alone.

When you share leadership you equip others to excel in areas they may not otherwise see their gifted-ness. If you aren't willing to share the leadership that you have, you might lose the opportunity to lead altogether.


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