By Linda Jones
Our team’s aim is for people to encounter Jesus, to become His disciples, and to become disciple-makers. While this aim is simple enough, we have not always found the journey to be free of challenges!
We have learnt the importance of:
This is so important when leading a team. Yes, we are here to help and equip people to function, but it is easier to do that when we have good relationships with them.
As a songwriter once wrote “I’m being myself in Jesus, and doing it naturally”. We all have our faults, and we must be open about these, both in ourselves and in others.
As much as we like them, and they like us, people do let us down. It’s best to be honest about that, show forgiveness (without being a walkover), challenge (where appropriate) and be open to the same conversations about your own actions.
Trustees, Management Teams, PCCs etc. – groups like these exist for the greater good. They help us pioneers to diagnose (and solve) problems which we were not previously aware of. They help us to stay within the letter of the law, and to avoid costly mistakes.
Seeking out supportive, yet occasionally critical friends, who may not have any involvement in what we are doing, is an under-rated behaviour. We could all use such people in our lives, because often things do not work out quite as we had planned.
When we have to wait for things to change, we mustn’t be discouraged. Have faith! God is journeying with us! When things lie fallow for a season, it gives us an opportunity to re-connect with God again, and to hear His still, small voice of love.
This is essential for us to be spiritually fed and energised. Model living a healthy, balanced, joyful life to your team, with some spice and space in it for yourselves. None of us are actually indispensable, in what we do.
We have a God of surprises, who smiles on all our ups and downs. To all who love and serve Him, He will one day say these words, with gladness: “Well done, my good and faithful servants – we did it!”
Linda Jones was Chair of the Diocesan Board of Mission until 2002, when her role evolved into her current role as Director of Mission. Alongside this she has been actively involved in developing Missional Communities in parishes in Bootle and Ormskirk. Her passion has always been to explore what is missionally authentic for parishes in their local communities.