10 May 20 Things I’ve Learned as an LDP
One of the things I am constantly re-discovering is how much I don’t know. For one, I didn’t know fast time could go. These past nine months as an LDP at Gwinnett Church have flown by.
And, as I wrap up my time here, I don’t want to lose sight of the things that I’ve experienced and discovered. I believe that when we take time to look back, we not only realize what we have learned, but we are reminded and challenged to live in those lessons.
So, here is a list of some of the most important things I’ve learned as an LDP:
1. Show the people you lead that you are for them and don’t just want something from them. This is key. So often Sundays run into Sundays, and we end up only focusing on what we need from people instead of remembering to show them that we are for them.
2. Always ask how a decision will effect the people you lead. Every decision you make effects the spirit of the people you lead. Even if a decision has to be made that is not ideal, ask how you can best set your team up for success.
3. Express gratitude like it’s your job, because it is. The value of a simple thank you note is huge because when someone receives it, they realize that their leader (a) recognized them going above and beyond, (b) remembered it, and (c) took the time to write it down. Try writing three a week–five minutes each. The return on those fifteen minutes will be so worth the investment.
4. Don’t be afraid to show up. Maybe this isn’t a cultural thing, but I’ve found that when you’re not in the South, people are afraid others will think they’re weird or creepy if they go out of their way to be nice. But, here’s a question: Would you be upset if someone took the time to reach out and encourage you? Show up in people’s lives. It makes a huge difference.
5. Start with the why and continue with the why. Share your why over and over until it sticks, and then over and over so it keeps sticking.
6. Celebrate often. Sometimes, it feels like we don’t have time to celebrate. But, here’s the thing: celebrating isn’t optional. The day we no longer make time to celebrate is the day we need to re-evaluate our vision and how we are measuring our win.
7. Meet yourself, and then continue to get to know yourself. Know how you think, how you work, and the climate you bring to a room. Don’t assume people think like you or work like you, because odds are, they don’t. Then, get to know the people you work with and serve alongside.
8. If you don’t lead yourself well, or lead at home well, you won’t be able to lead in ministry well. Eventually, your empty cup at home will start taking from the cup you are trying to keep full at work. In the transfer, spills and messes happen. Then they both end up empty.
9. Busyness does not mean you are winning. Constantly check your heart to make sure you are not addicted to busy or defined by busyness.
10. Force yourself into situations that make you confront your leadership lid. Then, leverage your lid and the areas you struggle in to reach new people in new ways.
11. When you feel inadequate, it’s okay. You are. That allows God to be glorified because he is more than adequate and will go before you. He just wants you to invite him in. Also, express those thoughts of inadequacy out loud to someone. They can speak into the lies you begin to tell yourself; remind you who you are and to whom you belong; and that it is God working in you that accomplishes immeasurably more–not you working in you.
12. Constantly pray for humility. Continuously ask God to humble you. God always honors those prayers, and you end up having to remind yourself that you asked him for it in the first place. Then, thank him. And then, keep asking for it.
13. Pursue joy. Joy comes from knowing that we have a Father who loves us so much that he pursues us and made a way for us to be restored to him. Your circumstances don’t determine your joy–the fact that you have a Savior does. Pursuing joy means constantly reminding yourself to live in that knowledge.
14. Doing for God isn’t the same as being with him. God sent his Son so we could have a relationship with him. That’s the best news ever. Live like it. If someone else sacrificed the thing that was most precious to them to have a relationship with you, wouldn’t you want to spend time with them?
15. We are defined by the fact that we belong to God. When you realize that you are allowing the lies to speak louder than the truth, remember that you are God’s son or daughter. We have a good, good father, and we are loved by him–that is who we are.
16. Pray. Pray often. Pray long, and deep, and wide. Pray with others, and alone. Out loud and in silence. We talk to everyone else, but sometimes we don’t talk to God.
17. Love people how Jesus did. People should know that whether or not they ever choose to follow Jesus, we will still care about them. We care and desire what is best for them. Jesus did this perfectly. He died for every single person, knowing that some would never love him back or choose him. He shared his message knowing it was best for us, but doesn’t stop loving those who don’t respond.
18. What you are doing in an environment that is for the people who aren’t there yet is important, but you also have to go where they already are. Go out, show up, and don’t make it about promoting yourself or your brand. Promote others with no agenda other than to further them.
19. The local church is the hope of the world, and the next generation is the hope of the local church. Invest in them.
20. For too long the church has been known for what it’s against. We should be known for what we’re for. That’s how Jesus was known.