I have been thinking a lot about leadership and specifically the organizational ability of the leader. There are two ways of looking at this issue. The first is that a leader is anyone who can influence others and that organizational ability is something that can be delegated to someone else. The way of looking at this is that while you may be able to lead through your influence, you will be less than effective because the inability to organize, plan, create systems will hold you back.
If history is any indicator then it has shown us that a lack of organizational ability has not limited some of the great leaders throughout the ages. Part of that many be due in large part to their ‘personality’ as people often are attracted to larger than life figures who capture our attention. There are countless examples of these kind of leaders and when we look back on them we often think of them as a ‘leader’ but not necessary dwell on how organized they were or were not.
Question: Is being organized an integral part of being a leader?
Bill Donahue & Russ Robinson wrote in their book “Building a Life-Changing Small Group Ministry” that they believe there are two essential Spiritual Gifts that must be present in the Small Group point person: Leadership & Administration. A point person for small groups with the gift of leadership is able to motivate and paint a picture of the church of the urgency of small group ministry. The gift of leadership is crucial to the church in fulfilling it’s potential to be a church of small groups and not just a church with small group because of the vision component of this gift and its ability to ‘rally’ others to a cause. The administration gift, which at first seems out-of-place in a ministry such as small groups, is crucial for the small group point person. Whereas the leadership gift will get a church excited and motivated to get into small groups at the onset, it will be the gift of administration that will allow the ministry to continue over the long haul. Donahue & Robinson rightly observe about the importance of the gift of administration,
“The gift of administration is essential for the small group champion because of the nature of the ministry. The requirements of structuring small group ministry, making tactical decisions, and organizing the support systems demand something more than just a leadership gift. When a gifted leader can exercise great management capabilities, small group ministry will flourish, season after season, as an expanding network of communities that meets needs, develops disciples, and strengthen the fabric of relationships with the church. Everybody gets the benefit of a strong infrastructure, so their efforts become easier due to how it all fits together.“
Filling this role on a church staff with a candidate who possess these characteristics can be a challenge. Many churches have opted instead to build a ‘team’ of people who each posses each of the individual gifts (leadership, administration, shepherding) so that collectively they can accomplish the mission of their respective ministry. Still others have ignored gifting completely and just tried to find to fill the role with a person who was maybe passionate about small groups but really did not have the right make-up for the role.
Question: what gifting is ideal or essential for someone to be a good Small Group Pastor?
 Donahue, Bill & Robinson, Russ. Building a Life-Changing Small Group Ministry. (2012). 50.
Tonight at Velocity we are gathering our leaders together for our first leadership community. I love it when leaders get together, celebrate and dream about the future. I pray that tonight’s gathering will be the first of many to come.