Collaborate Leadership Empowers

July 5, 2019

by Mr. John Dyer is the Lay Leader at Williamson's Chapel UMC in Mooresville, NC, and President of JD&A, Inc. -- Process Innovation.  His class, "Partnering with Laity" is a wonderful opportunity for local church leaders to explore the value of process management. ​

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church… Matthew 16:18

Imagine how things would be different if the church leaders spent a significant portion of their time doing the following:
  1. Develop (with input from others) and get buy-in for a 2 to 3-year vision that is so inspirational and motivational that everyone can’t help but to want to be a part of the church’s future.
  2. Meet with volunteers on a regular basis to learn firsthand how well the church is empowering their ministry.
  3. Spend more time talking to team members where the process is happening in order to learn what is working and what needs to be improved.
  4. Provide mentoring and coaching to help develop clergy, staff, and laity into a cohesive team. 
  5. Become a cheerleader to provide inspiration in order to make sure every member understands how important they are to the success of the church’s mission of “Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.”
            This is possible in an organization that focuses on collaboration, partnership, and teamwork.
            A few months ago, in order to prepare to deliver a speech, I asked a question on social media: If you had one word to describe the MAIN ingredient to sustaining and expanding a team-based improvement initiative, what would it be?”  Over 100,000 people participated in providing feedback.  I took all of the words that were supplied and created a word cloud (the size of the word indicates how many times that word was submitted).  The results are below:

Take notice of the two largest words: Leadership and Commitment.  These were followed closely by: Culture and Buy-in.  What does leadership mean exactly?  It turns out that there are several different leadership styles and each style is appropriate based on the current needs of the organization.  However, a collaborative leader will focus on continuously improving the culture in order to migrate the entire church body toward empowerment and teamwork.

Migrating from Manager to Style 4 Leadership

What does the new normal look like for an organization that has achieved true collaboration?  Priorities will shift as many of the processes improve resulting in less chaos.  The leader’s time dealing with crises will decline as empowered teams work together to fulfill a common vision and strategy.  This, in turn, will make the church stronger and allow for more time spent on important things such as spiritual growth, reaching out to the community, and fulfilling the overall mission.
Leadership Development