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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

19 Jan '14

The magic of empowerment

Posted by T.J. Addington in empowered ministry structures, empowerment


I believe that our need to control others is a result of the fall. Wherever I travel, it seems to be a universal phenomenon.

Control rather than empowerment is the operating mode of much in both ministry and business. It comes in the form of micromanagement, meddling in the responsibilities of others, telling others how they should do what they are supposed to do, frequently changing something already done, giving too much advice, the need to constantly ask permission or get approval and in many other forms. 

All of that is sad when it happens to good people because it disempowers, discourages, frustrates, and smothers the God given capacity and creativity that could be unleashed if empowered.

Unempowered organizations or teams are a sign of poor Emotional Intelligence (EQ) on the part of leaders. The inability to unleash people is a sign of insecurity rather than that of leadership. And insecurity infects many (even high profile) leaders who think that their command and control is actually a sign of leadership. Or, that their ideas are the best and the ones that count so any others must be vetted through them. They may say they are guarding the ministry but what they are actually doing in many cases is guarding their ego's.

In reality, the higher the control factor, the higher the hubris factor - it is about them, not the mission nor the staff working beside them. Further, the higher the control, the less likely the ministry will rise above the skills or abilities of its leader since high control always brings people back to how the leader would do what is done - losing out on the magic of multiple people bringing their creativity to the table for the purpose of maximum ministry results.

There is magic in empowered organizations where good people are unleashed (within clearly articulated boundaries) to use all of their creativity to accomplish what they are tasked with. And when empowered individuals collaborate with other empowered individuals that magic is multiplied and results in significant ministry breakthroughs.

If you are a leader and wonder how empowering you are - there is a simple way to find out: ask your team. If they trust you they will tell you. As you empower you grow as a leader and the ministry will grow in proportion.