One cannot underestimate the Importance of Developing Second-Tier Leadership in the Church/Ministry.
It is true that the pastor/visionary is ultimately responsible for the overall welfare of the church and its ministry. This statement is true in many cases as it related to the progressiveness and stability of a church. Therefore, we can say, “the buck stops here.” Although the buck stops with the pastor or senior leadership, it would be almost impossible to accomplish significant goals without an informed, prepared and energized team or what I will call, The Second-Tier Leader(s).
From the Fortune 500 corporations, to the illegal drug trafficking, to the urban street gangs, to the ambitious politician; they all have something in common; you may look at this very diverse group and ask yourself the question; what do they have in common? This commonality is that they all understand the importance of developing and utilizing a second-tier of leaders. No company, group or organization can experience the ultimate peak of success without a functioning second-tier.
My definition of second-tier leaders are persons who have shown a strong commitment to Christ, the church, the vision and the visionary/pastor. The second-tier is persons who walk under the authority of the senior leader, while utilizing the authority invested in them. These are persons who absorb all that is poured into them and ready to step forward whenever duty calls. The second-tier leader places the team and the vision as the reason for service.
It is time for the church, the sleeping giant to awake from its slumber and begin to utilize the tools and concepts that will help build the Kingdom in a more efficient way. The first tier, which is comprised of the lead pastor or senior leader, must shoulder the responsibility. It is the first-tier that plays a major role in developing the second-tier. It is my desire and intention to give leaders a few key points to help facilitate the development process.
The mindset a first-tier leader must have in order to facilitate building the second-tier…
• Self-Secure The first-tier leader must be secure in who they are. This leader must be keenly aware that God has called them and anointed them for the position they now hold. Insecurity in leadership will do untold damage to staff, as well as the vision. Insecurity is a growth killer and a divine instrument that causes conflict in ministry building.
• Sold on the Vision The first-tier leader must be the chief proponent of the vision. This leader must write the vision, speak the vision, and live the vision. This first-tier leader must leave no doubt in the mind of the second-tier leader(s), that as the first-tier leader, he/she believes the vision that he/she sets forth.
• Willingness to validate/affirm others First-tier leadership must be willing to appreciate and affirm other person’s gifts, talents and abilities. To affirm and validate others, contributes to the building of relationships and team camaraderie. Remember, affirming others never diminishes who you are.
• Ultimate Team Player Any good first-tier leader is the ultimate team player. Nothing is more important than the team and vision/ministry. To be an ultimate team player means to be willing to sacrifice for the good of the team. It is important to recognize team spirit is “contagious”, therefore, always put the team first.
• Creative in the transfer of information The first-tier leader must always be thinking…how can I transfer what I know to others? In what ways can I pour into those I serve, to help them be effective in their servitude? First-tier leaders must be creative in the use of new means such as social media and other technical advances. First-tier leaders must also use forums such as workshops, seminars, retreats, conventions to transfer information. Dramas, plays, skits and various types of role playing is another handy tool to consider. First-tier leaders should be willing to explore new and outside the box ideas to strengthen the team.
• Practice Perhaps one of the key attributes a first-tier leader must display in building a good second-tier is to have patience. Patience is a virtue and patience recognizes that everyone has a different learning curve. Patience sometimes requires first-tier leads to be repetitious in sharing information. Patience requires establishing a continuing education and reminder program. Patience will have a perfect work.
These six enumerated points must be part of the mindset of a first-tier leader if the first-tier leader expects to build a productive second-tier.
Remember, God is a God of order and structure. He does all things well. Since the church is the institution Christ established to represent Him in this word, leaders should strive for excellence and order.
Authored by: Dr. Donald Kenneth Barrett
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