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Growing Leaders

Leaders aren’t born, they’re grown. Yes, there are some people who seem to have native leadership skills, but I think it only looks that way because some people are more attentive to group dynamics than others and some people seem to more quickly clarify a problem and its solution. But, even with some born-skill, leadership has to be developed and grown in relationships.

Everyone has the potential to become a leader, that is, a person who listens and helps people communicate their dreams, goals, and problems, and then helps organize people to think and act to achieve the goals and solve the problems. Leaders have done it for a long time at St. John’s. Most recently, leaders at St. John’s listened and heard a need from our neighbors who are homeless to have showers available. The leaders then organized people to accomplish that goal: a shower ministry! That’s a very visible problem and solution.

In other places, leadership is needed in more ordinary and hidden ways. For example, St. John’s needs to welcome people to worship services and be ready to assist, especially in emergency situations. How do we solve this problem? Ushers! Ushers accept leadership, and ushers must organize themselves and others to meet these goals. Ron Helvig has led the usher ministry for many years now—please thank him when you see him! Larry Flatau has accepted the responsibility of head usher as we move forward. (Thank you, Larry!) Several people stepped up to be a Lead Usher at a service once a month. A huge thanks to everyone who came out to the Usher meetings in August to help organize and understand the roles!

Another example: the worship spaces must be prepared for worship each weekend, including preparing the wafers, wine, and grape juice, the cloths on the altar, and so on. How will we accomplish that goal? Altar Care! One or two people come in on Saturday to set up for the weekend, and after each service different teams clean up and refresh the altar for the next service. Is that something you could help with? Talk to Barb Kapla, who leads the Altar Care ministry.

Many functions of the church need leadership, especially people willing to organize others. Any kind of leader has to: (1) Make others generally aware of the need. This means through newsletter, email, and perhaps social media. (2) Personally ask. Most people are willing to help, but won’t volunteer unless asked. (3) Train and mentor. People may be reluctant to do something they’ve never done before. Most of these things aren’t difficult, but take some time to train and develop skill. (4) Follow up. Many people need a reminder, especially at the beginning, of something they committed to do. Sometimes people forget, and a caring phone call asking how they are doing helps express both care and the need for their help. (5) Gather feedback and improve. Sometimes people have feedback about how to do something better—what a gift! This is how we better serve God and our neighbors!

What dreams, goals or problems do you see? Who do you know who could help? God may be calling you to grow as a leader!

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Peter


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