Darrel wasn’t new to ministry. He’d been a part of two other church teams before taking on his new role as executive pastor at a growing suburban church.
But what was new to him was the emotional pressure he felt after just one year on the job – particularly the tension he experienced interacting with Matt, the youth pastor. Darrel was frustrated with Matt, but didn’t know why. Everything about the young pup rubbed Darrel the wrong way.
It wasn’t for lack of trying to figure it out, Darrel thought, as he looked back over the hours of his own self-examination, prayer and then face-to-face discussions he’d had with Matt. Nor did he and Matt have any theological disagreements. how to permanently delete gmail accountBoth men were hard-working, lived according to biblical principles, and maintained strong accountability partners.
Yet the strain between Darrel and Matt was palpable and now had filtered down through to the rest of the staff, particularly when Darrel led the weekly team meetings. Just yesterday, the teaching pastor had met privately with Darrel and told him to “fix whatever is up between you two,” but Darrel was at a loss as to what to do.
Shari, like Darrel, was no newcomer to ministry. In addition to more than a decade as a biblical counselor she had also recently become certified as a life coach. Yet Shari experienced an undercurrent of dissatisfaction and confusion in her work. While her skills were instrumental in helping clients to weather a life crisis, afterwards most of them hit a growth plateau or simply stopped coming to sessions altogether.
Shari knew there was more she could do to help her clients live more purposely – in fact, that was a key reason she’d pursued her life coach certification. Yet she simply didn’t know what to do. She was frustrated and disappointed, often thinking, How can I have more impact?
The Leadership Norm is Changing
If you’ve ever worked or volunteered in ministry, you can probably identify with at least some the feelings of isolation, frustration, confusion, and disappointment you see in Darrel and Shari.
Perhaps you work with teams, where discord and division are too often the norm. Or if your work involves one-on-one ministry, your typical day may revolve around crisis management.
But the norm is changing in business, ministry, and in homes. That’s thanks to the strengths movement, a leadership approach that shifts the focus from personal weaknesses to personal strengths. The Leading From Your Strengths process is a key player in this growing movement. Its combined behavioral and biblical foundation is rooted in knowing your God-given strengths, understanding and valuing the strengths of others, and blending the differences to reduce frustration, increase teamwork, decrease conflict, and increase caring and commitment.
Each person on a team uses his or her strengths instead of feeling used or unnecessary. And in the case of one-on-one coaching, counseling, and mentoring, each individual can know his or her strengths and intentionally seek out ways to use them at work, home, and in the community.
Leaders Use LFYS with Teams or One-on-One
Ministry Insights equips leaders and practitioners to use LFYS through training and certification. It’s easiest to become certified at a Ministry Insights Equipping Conference. There you have access to the training material, experts who developed it, and other leaders like you who use it. Conference sessions become a living laboratory as together, with others, you put the material into practice.
Christian business owners, denominational leaders, pastors, staff leaders, administrators, non-profit leaders, and entrepreneurs – people like Darrel – have found that becoming certified in LFYS allows them to build close-knit teams. Conference certification for team members includes how to read the individual team profile, building teams by blending, effective communication, and successful staffing.
Coaches, counselors, mentors, network leaders, and facilitators who become certified – people like Shari – are equipped to use the LFYS process one-on-one with those they coach, helping those they serve to release their God-given potential. A Ministry Insights conference helps you leverage the profile process and integrate it into your existing practice. Sessions equip you to debrief the profile and market your new skills to add high value to your practice.
A Tale of Two Leaders
That’s what happened to both Darrel and Shari. “I worked through Leading From Your Strengths for myself and then attended an Equipping Conference,” said Darrel. Afterwards, he went back to his church and led his team through the process. Literally overnight the strain disappeared from team meetings. What amazed him most is what happened between he and Matt, his former adversary. As the two men grew to understand and appreciate the other’s strengths, they developed a deep, genuine friendship.
And Shari said this: “LFYS is now the first tool I use with new clients. We start with the profile and work from there to address life issues and make a purposeful plan.” But the most important outcome of attending an Equipping Conference, says Shari, was quite personal.
“I discovered why I was feeling so dissatisfied and confused,” she said. “I was focused on fixing problems rather than helping clients understand their strengths. My practice now has more depth and meaning because I’m not just helping clients get through a crisis. I’m able to guide my clients beyond that experience to find their strengths and use them with purpose.”