You Can't Lead Beyond Your Life

"Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."   I Timothy 4:16 

Now read these verses found in Deuteronomy 6.:

"And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up."

Both of these passages remind us that we must lead by example.  Leadership is caught more than it is taught. 

You will never lead beyond your life.  You can't share with others what you don't have yourself.  

If you were to measure the effectiveness of your children's ministry from 1 to 10 (with 10 being the best), what score would give you the ministry?  

If you gave it a 5, then your current leadership level is a 5. 

If you gave it a 10, then your current leadership level is a 10.

You can't have a 9 level ministry if you're only leading at a 4 level.

The title of this article is "You Can't Lead Beyond Your Life."  It is so true.  Show me the current level of your ministry and I will show you what leadership level you are leading at.

If you want to see the children's ministry you are leading grow and flourish, then you must first lead from a place of personal growth.  

Look what Rick Warren (former Pastor of Saddleback church) said about this.

Years ago, I stopped worrying about how to grow our church and instead focused on growing me.  As I grew me, our church grew.

You can't effectively talk about sharing your faith,  if you are not sharing the Gospel.

You can't teach others to pray, if you are not praying yourself.

You can't effectively teach others to read the Bible, if you are not reading the Bible yourself.

You can't effectively show others the importance of going to church, if you are not faithfully attending yourself.

You can't effectively show someone how to grow their ministry,  if you have never grown a ministry yourself.

Everything rises and falls on leadership.  This includes children's ministry as well.  

Here's the encouraging part of this. YOU CAN GET BETTER.  If you are intentional about growing yourself, you can see your ministry grow.

Read.  Leaders are readers.  Constantly have a book on hand that you are reading that will make you a better leader.  

A great place to start is by reading my book "Lead Well in Children's Ministry."  It contains over 300 pages of how to lead well in children's ministry.  You can get it at this link.

Find a mentor.  Find someone who will push you and help you grow to the next level. Find someone who will ask you the tough questions.  Find some one who is currently leading at a higher level than you are.  Watch them.  Listen to them.  Ask them questions.  Soak it all in.

Know yourself.  Know your strengths.  Know your weaknesses.  Ask people who know you well to share with you what your blind spots are. 

Be faithful where you are now.

If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.  Luke 16:10

If you want to lead at a higher level than you are currently, be faithful with what God has entrusted you with now.  As you lead faithfully, God will entrust you with more. As you faithfully serve, He will take you to the next level of leadership.