Dr. Gerry Lewis Coaches Leaders to Optimize Strengths on Their Teams
“Most pastors and leaders of small churches try to be ‘the guy,’’ says Dr. Gerry Lewis, Executive Director of Harvest Baptist Association in Decatur, TX. “You know, ‘the guy’ who tries to do everything.”
It’s a recipe for burnout that Gerry has seen more than a few times as he coaches and consults with leaders, churches, and nonprofit groups.
“I help leaders see the futility of trying to be ‘the guy,’” says Gerry. “Instead, I help them see the possibilities of developing the church by empowering the members.”
For Gerry, Leading From Your Strengths has become a key part of the process.
The Profiles: Accessible and Proven
Gerry first became acquainted with the profile in 2008 when he was invited to a one-day Leading From Your Strengths experience sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, and then pursued using the tool more fully beginning in 2015 while working to deepen his coaching skills. He found the profile simple and inexpensive enough to be accessible, yet robust and proven enough to be worth the investment of time and training. He attended the Equipping Conference and was certified.
Since then, the profiles have become an integral part of his coaching and consulting as he works with Harvest’s network of 60 churches. Gerry also uses the profiles in team building for nonprofit organizations, staffing for pastor-less churches, and in cultivating his own staff.
Each year, he leads small group of pastors through an intensive process of self-discovery over the course of 12 months. When he added the LFYS profile as a new learning piece in 2015, he saw the men embrace their strengths and begin to build more effective ministry teams. Since then, strengths-based ministry has become a key focus for these coaching groups.
The Profiles are “an Indispensable Tool”
Such was the case for a pastor of a small country church, Robert, who had been part of one of Gerry’s year-long coaching groups. After Robert completed the profile and began to proceed through the program, he realized that his church needed a consultation to refocus its vision. But Robert also was able to acknowledge that he was in danger of burnout. His exhaustion affected his perception of himself, his ministry, his church, and his family.
The church agreed to a month-long sabbatical for Robert as part of the process – unheard-of in a small country setting – allowing him to focus on his owns strengths and personal vision for ministry. Gerry continued working with the church during Robert’s absence.
“I had planned to go on sabbatical and then come back and resign,” Robert told Gerry later. “But instead, I came back refreshed and reinvigorated.” He had discovered he didn’t need to be “the guy,” but “a guy” who used his strengths to lead his church.
“Nothing is a magic bullet,” says Gerry. But the Leading From Your Strengths profile is an important and vital tool that God used as part of the re-visioning and restoration process.
You Don’t Have to Be the Guy Who Does Everything
Gerry has used several tools over the years, but the profile has proven to be powerful and practical in its accuracy and because of the array of training resources and strong Ministry Insights customer care team backing it up. The support is critical, says Gerry, in helping leaders discover that they don’t have to be “the guy who does everything.”
“I wish every church and organization would take advantage of this tool,” says Gerry. “I now consider Leading From Your Strengths as indispensable to the effectiveness of my ministry.”