FRESH IDEAS: Be a better leader

Tags: leadership

PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) -- You may have made them for your family or for yourself. Be on time. Lose weight. Read the Bible daily. Keep your desk organized.

But if you're a leader in your church's women's ministry or another church ministry, what resolutions might you make to serve God even better in the year ahead? Here are a few fresh ideas:

-- I will resolve to learn from criticism. A great leader must be able to receive input with sensitivity and grace. Prayerfully, lovingly listen. If you disagree, don't criticize the critic. Look for some element of truth. A defensive response is rarely merited. Your greatest improvement this year may evolve from a critique.

-- I will resolve to say "thank you" to my leadership team at least monthly. Thank those who help you lead, both publicly and privately. Notice their faithfulness, joy and behind-the-scenes efforts. Make a calendared plan. Write it on your teaching stand.

-- I will resolve to intentionally keep learning. Spend time with others who serve well in similar ministries. Utilize state convention or associational resources. Attend every class about your specific ministry. Take a seminary class. Leaders are readers; scour books, blogs and online articles on your topic. Keep improving.

-- I will resolve to include my family in my ministry. Involve your kids to help with a project. Invite your spouse to a special event. Talk joyfully at the dinner table about how God is working. Ask for their prayers.

-- I will resolve to personally take the challenge of the Great Commission. A key element of every ministry is sharing Jesus with those who don't know Him. There's no greater thrill than helping someone find salvation. Set the example. Make a point to personally share God's salvation plan with someone every week this year.

-- I will resolve to take time to meet one-on-one with each member of my ministry. Nothing says "leadership" like caring for those you lead. Take time to ask: 1) How can I be praying for you? and 2) What do you enjoy most and least about your involvement in this ministry? Listen well. Pray for them.

-- I will resolve to encourage my pastor and his wife. Your support and respect for authority will positively impact those you lead. Speak only positive words about them -- and do it often.

-- I will resolve to pray. I know, prayer is a given. But is it really? Do you pray daily for those you lead? Stop talking about prayer and start praying. If it helps, post a list of names on your desk or screen-saver or set a daily phone alarm as a reminder.

-- I will resolve to challenge my leadership team or group members spiritually. Do they need to learn to pray? Share their faith? Love? Discover what they need spiritually to grow one step further in their relationship with God. Confidently help "equip the saints for the work of ministry."

The best leaders often are those who have a healthy dissatisfaction. They constantly focus on improving their serve, not just on repeating yesterday. As you impact your world for Christ, resolve to give God your best in 2016. "Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus...." (Hebrews 12:2a).

Diana Davis, on the Web at www.dianadavis.org, is an author, columnist and ministry wife in Pensacola, Fla. She is the author of "Fresh Ideas for Women's Ministry" (B&H Publishing) and the newly released "Six Simple Steps - Finding Contentment and Joy as a Ministry Wife" (New Hope Publishers).
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