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Trent Dunham “Are You A Secure Leader?”

Leadership in ministry often involves two things: Important decisions and big transitions. And in order to navigate those things effectively, you need a good grasp on what is called ‘secure leadership.’

What does a secure leader look like? Here’s a start…

A secure leader chooses the right team.

It’s been said that the level of success and effectiveness of an organization is directly related to the people on your team. So, you could say that who you hire is kind of a big deal. And once you find the right people to make up your leadership team, anything is possible.

So why do we so often get stuck?

Sometimes, churches or organizations don’t attract high-capacity leaders because they fail to give them the space to be who God called them to be by supporting and resourcing them.

A secure leader gives people space to run.

Secure leadership is having people better than you around the table, pouring into them and enabling them to be who they are. A secure leader feels comfortable with what God has called them to do and then simply gives people space to run.

Here’s a good inventory for any leader: Are you allowing space for the people on your team to do what God has called them to do? And are you then giving them actual opportunities to do those things?

A secure leader learns from others.

As a leader, when you walk into a room, you typically think one of two things:

One, “I’m the smartest person in this room.” Or two, “I’m walking into a room of really smart people and there are things I can learn from them.”

Here’s the thing: High-capacity leaders are not going to stay on a team with a senior leader who thinks he or she has all the answers. They’re not going to be attracted to that kind of team.

But if a leader walks into a room with a realization that great minds are around the table, gifted people will be attracted to that kind of team.

Because when you prioritize people, those people directly affect your culture, and culture is vitally important to the health of any church or organization.

A secure leader knows how to make important decisions.

These decisions include people you’re bringing on, shifts within the organization, and people you’re helping to move on. Sometimes, we can lose sight of the reason our organization exists in favor of, “I just like these people!”

Now, it’s possible to have a solid team and like them at the same time, but you can’t lose sight of your cause. That’s your foundation.

How do you know when it’s time for someone to go? It’s a lot like crooked arrows. If all of your arrows are headed in the same direction, it’s easy to locate one arrow heading in a different direction.

And sometimes, it could be that the crooked arrow is you! Perhaps the organization hasn’t shifted, maybe you yourself are shifting because your passions no longer align with your role there.

If you find yourself as a crooked arrow, be careful not to drag the organization down or make a scene on your way out to prove a point. Instead, lean into the realization and understand that it very well could be God leading you toward a whole new mission. 

For more leadership insight as it relates to important ministry decisions, be sure to listen to the Decisions Podcast episode, Navigating Life’s Biggest Transitions with Tim Stevens.

Trent Dunham is President/CEO at Dunham+Company.

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