What Kind of Leaders Do You Have In Your Ministry?
Developing Leaders: Starting, Growing or Renewing
By Kris Swiatocho, www.TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries
What kind of leaders are in your ministry? See below for a few you might recognize.
Occasionally you find those amazing self-starter leaders. You know that kind that rarely needs encouragement. They have high admin skills. They are quick, ready to serve. They have great attitudes. They are the kind that when you find them, they rarely stay under you. They usually start their own ministry or company. So, treasure them while you have them because you won't have them for long.
While anyone can struggle as a leader, not everyone should be a leader. These types of leaders seem to have drama follow them wherever they go. No matter how many times you set up a leader or training meeting, something has happened in the lives that keeps them from attending. Sure, death should be an excuse, a broken-down car, a boss requiring you to work late. The problem though is this leader has one of these things happen each week. It could be God saying they should not be a leader or simply, the timing isn't right.
CAN’T COMMIT LEADERS:
Now, don't get this mixed up with the one prior. This leader also rarely can come to meetings and events but not because they seem to be cursed. It's because they are also on every other leadership team. They have all the skills you are looking for except they can't come to anything.
BURNING OUT LEADERS:
Often these leaders take on too much and do not know when to say no. Sometimes they appear as the perfect leader, everything going well. But then, out of nowhere, they tell you they need to take a break or even quit. These leaders often do not have good boundaries of what they can do or not do so they don't burn out. This is why it's important to stay close enough to them so you can tell when you start to see them get overwhelmed or tired, this way you can recommend others to help take some of the load off. Note: Not everyone can do the same amount of work. What might appear little to one person is a lot to another?
DOESN'T DELEGATE LEADERS
These leaders simply do not know how to delegate or they lack the trust to delegate. These leaders do not necessarily control freaks; however, they do have some level of insecurity. Perhaps they have delegated to someone who failed. This failure reflected them so for the future, they just do it all themselves. The problem with this is they never train anyone to help or take their place. The ministry can't grow.
MINISTRY OF ONE LEADER:
This is similar to the ones who control or don't delegate but it goes much farther. They either do not know how to find other leaders or don't want too. The bottom line, building leaders takes time, lots of time. You have to have coffees, email them, call them, train and follow-up. I mean, can't we just all show up and help. Why do people need to know their jobs? Why do they need to know what is expected of them? Why? OK, I hope I don't have to answer that.
These are the types of leaders that either attempt to manipulate you or take over your ministry. They have their own ideas of how things should go but rarely have the skill or experience to prove it. They offer tons of great ideas but never follow-through. They are horrible at delegating due to being controlling. As a result, they may sound like a leader but are more of a pain in the__________.
SELF APPOINTED OR HOW DID I GET HERE LEADERS:
Often when I start working with a church there are several so-called leaders that have either been there for years or someone brought them on who had no idea what it takes to make a great leader. They are controlling, have issues, do not have a Jesus' heart or they are the other end, have nothing to say, way too passive and lazy. These leaders need to be re-evaluated and ask to go to a volunteer position or leave altogether. They will be cancer to your new ministry. People will judge your leadership by who you have on your team.
A VOLUNTEER, NOT A LEADER:
These are the type of leaders that are really followers. Sometimes they great and sometimes not so great. Sometimes they show up, do the work and sometimes they never show up. This is why they are a volunteer. A volunteer has more flexibility as their expectation is lower. I prefer everyone to be a volunteer first to see if they take is seriously. Some volunteers may be leaders elsewhere. Some may never want to be a leader and some are there for a one-time event. No matter what, recognizing the difference can make all the difference in your ministry.
Then there is the kind that may need some help at the start. They need you to either micro-manage or follow-up with on a regular basis. They have skills but often are not sure of them. They need your encouragement, support, and knowledge to help them become the leader you see that they can be. These are my favorite kind of leaders. They know they need some help, but are Faithful, Available, and Teachable (FAT) plus I add an "S" for service-minded. They are going to Church, Bible study, growing in the Lord. They are available, not overly committed anywhere else, and they are teachable…they have a great attitude. And finally, they love serving in any way they can.
WHAT I SEE NOW!
As I have traveled I noticed that rarely do leadership teams get any training. Sometimes their churches offer it to the entire church or their leader might suggest a book or they might have a planning meeting but that is it. Most teams are not meeting regularly nor are they getting training on how to build the ministry. This is why I came up with a short, 6-week course that anyone can commit too. I promise, if you do this course, you will not only have the skills to build your teams, your ministry but you will also learn more about your team and who should be on it.
• Leaders that Last is 6 weeks, 6 topics Curriculum:
The first 3 weeks that are inward focus towards personal development and last 3 weeks that are outward focus towards building and unifying the team.
• Leaders that Last Curriculum includes:
A trainers guide with additional questions, icebreaker ideas, small group discussion, and weekly assignments, etc. plus participants outline.
• Leaders that Last Curriculum is a:
Microsoft word document so you can alter to fit your specific group whether young adult, single adult or single parent, divorced or widowed.
Week 1: Who You Are in Christ
Week 2: Affirming Your Calling as a Leader
Week 3: Spiritual Warfare
Week 4: Mentoring/Finding others with a Similar Calling
Week 5: Building the Team
Week 6: Caring for the Team.
Week 1: Who Am I?
Description: Everything starts and ends with a great team but a team starts with a great leader. A great leader should know who they are in Christ first in order to lead others. This leader also should have a personal, growing relationship with Christ. This lesson will focus on your identity, your personal growth in your faith, and your walk with the Lord.
Week 2: Who Ya Going to Call?
Description: Learning and affirming your calling to be a leader. Most maturing Christians are serving the Lord but often in the wrong area, this lesson will help you focus on the right area God is calling you into.
Week 3: The Devil Made Me Do It!
Description: This lesson focuses on how to recognize the enemy’s attacks on you, your team, and your ministry, and what to do when it does happen.
Week 4: Making Copies!
Description: This lesson focuses on the importance of recognizing potential leaders by starting with those who are voluntold versus volunteers.
Week 5: There’s No “I” in Team
Description: Everything falls and rises on leadership. Without a great team that is unified in the path to reach the goals God has put in place, leadership will fail. This lesson will focus on how to build a team that builds the ministry.
Week 6: Are You a Care Bear?
Description: This lesson focuses on how to keep our team, our leaders, and, ultimately, our ministry going and growing.
Creative Things to Do In Your Ministry by Kris Swiatocho
Note: If you would like a list of over 100 icebreaker ideas and team-building exercises, only $5, click here.
Note: The list below is a compilation of years of doing social/mixers, activities not only by myself but from others around the country. If you have an idea not listed, or an expansion of an existing idea, please send it to Kris at email@example.com.
Note: Any item listed on this handout can have a Spiritual theme connected with it.
The ideas listed below may duplicate some of the ones above. However, each item listed below specifically would work in doing outreach.
One-day type events/activities:
Top 10 Reasons Singles Dislike Zoom
by Kris Swiatocho Ministries
Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. –Hebrews 10:25 ESV
Since the start of COVID-19 most churches, companies, families, and friends are using Zoom (and other online software). While it’s been an incredible resource that has helped keep us connected, something vital during these times, it has not replaced what singles so desperately need or desire…to be with each other.
In a recent interview with a large church in Houston, I asked the pastor about his numbers regarding Zoom. While his married Sunday school classes were either maintaining or growing in attendees, the singles classes were declining. Only a percentage were joining their zoom meetings. So why is this?
1. Need to Fellowship. God has designed us for fellowship. While most married couples have fellowship at home, most single adults do not. Sure, there are those with roommates, who live with their family or are single parenting, but Zoom just cannot replace what it feels to be in a group of others, smiling, laughing and sharing life. Some ministries are doing Zoom scavenger hunts, trivia, Pictionary, etc. and it has helped. But singles need to physically be with others.
2. Need to Touch: Like all humans, touch is very important. So, when you are single and living alone, the lack of touch starts to mess with your mind to the point that some singles have ventured out of quarantine, risking their lives. A Zoom meeting nor those cute emoticons can replace a real hug.
3. Desire to Date. While Zoom can still lead to initiating friendships that could lead to dating, it has definitely slowed the process. We strongly encourage Zoom meetings to include break out rooms. While you are not able to pick who goes into the room if your group is random each week, you can still trust God in the process. We also encourage singles to initiate contact through the private chat.
Note: See Article on Dating During COVID-19
4. Feel Zoomed to Death. They are simply worn out, fatigued by the end of the day because they are using Zoom at their work and other ministries. While they do desire to connect with their singles Sunday school class or small group, they are simply struggling with energy. So, to combat this, we have told singles it’s OK to not join each week. Come as you are able.
5. Struggling with Depression: Some singles are really struggling during this isolation period. They are concerned about their work, finances, family, and their own chance of getting COVID-19. This depression is keeping them from joining in, creating even more isolation. The problem here is without us trying to contact them, we won’t know. We need to encourage folks to contact those they have not heard from, even if it’s by mail or dropping by their home.
6. Don’t Know Anyone: Some singles whose churches do not offer Zoom or a singles ministry are looking for ways to connect outside their church. However, the fear of not knowing anyone in a foreign Zoom group has kept some of them from joining or returning.
7. Having Tech Issues: Some singles struggle with the tech side of Zoom. We hear how they have to use their computer to log in and their phone to talk. They struggle with this each week and eventually stop joining. There is no one in their home or who can visit to show them how to use the software.
8. There is No Leadership: Some singles feel their Zoom study is not connecting them. They never hear from their leader or teacher outside the meeting. They are convinced that no one truly cares about them. Some have even said they have never heard from anyone in their church. My concern here is when our churches do open up, will we lose singles?
9. Concerned over Safety Issues: Some singles are concerned about how safe Zoom really is. From the viruses they hear about to the zoom bombs, they choose to stay off. Typically, these are also the singles that don’t like social media. They want to stay private. Unfortunately, social media and apps like Zoom are the way churches are staying connected. This is making it extra hard for them. Churches and ministries do need to continue to reach out to those who choose not to join the Zoom meetings.
10. Not Meeting Their Needs: Sure, some are loving it and you can tell by how much they share, the messages in the chat, and how they interact. But some feel apprehensive to share and as a result, feel even more isolated. They simply want to physically be around people. They want to share and be heard. And as much as they understand this is the way it is for now; they prefer to just wait till church opens back up.
So, we have listed the ways Zoom has not helped but what about the ways it has helped?
What Zoom has done for singles that are having a positive effect on their lives?
1. Kept singles connected in one way or another. And if you stay connected, if you comment, ask for prayer, share about things in your life, you open the door for further conversation from others. This conversation will help in all ways during this time. These conversations can lead to new friendships.
2. Given us a resource, a tool to invite others who might not go to your church or live in your area. We are finding that some singles were not in any kind of small group or even attending church and are now joining Zoom groups. For my own ministry, I have been able to connect leaders from around the world.
3. A tool to help us in our work, with our families and friends. For some of us who weren’t staying as in touch with others prior to COVID-19 but are now connecting more and more with others. We are getting to know folks that we never knew before. It reminds of the importance to check-in with people who might have fallen through the cracks.
4. It gives you something to look forward too; some structure during a time of little structure. We know lack of structure, of routine, creates a crisis. Zoom has helped keep people off the ledge.
5. Reminds us God is still in control. We can hear from others, their stories, their praises, and prayers. It can encourage us to keep going.
6. Reminds us to use the resources we have to do the work of the Lord.
7. To listen more and talk less. Zoom is a tool that requires us to listen more.
8. To be thankful, even when we feel stressed, angry, and concerned for our future. God hasn’t forgotten you.
So whether you like Zoom or not, remember the important thing is we stay connected in one way or another. We remember to check-in, encourage, pray for, and support those God has placed in our lives. The enemy wants to destroy but Jesus came to give life.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 NKJV
Kris Swiatocho, Director
Teaching Topics for your Singles Ministry
Whether you are teaching singles in your Sanctuary, in Sunday school, a small group, at an event, on a mission trip or even by zoom (or other media service), the topic needs to be relatable so that singles of all backgrounds and life-stages can:
TEACHING TOPIC IDEAS:
More topics ideas? Email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Navigate Leadership Retreat
Each year we piggy-back our annual singles retreat over Labor Day weekend with our leaders retreat, Navigate. This year we had over 60 leaders and pastors from around the country gather to learn, connect and grow. We have table top discussions from experts on aa variety of topics such as single parent ministry, leadership development including team building, socials for singles, relationships, counseling, discipleship, para-ministry, social media strategies plus so much more. We also have testimonials by Pastor Jay George, Pastor Freddy Johnson and myself, Kris Swiatocho. We also have group projects, worship and prayer. This year's theme was EPIC: Empowered People Imitating Christ. For more info, go to www.NavigateRetreat.com or www.LaborDaySingles.org
For a long list of leadership resources by Kris Swiatocho and other authors, click here.
Pray for a Mate™
About Pray for a Mate™...In my 25 years of ministering to single adults, I have found one major thing common to 99.9% of them—the desire to be married or married again. From conferences to retreats, articles and interviews, the subject continuously comes up.
I hear questions like:
“Do you think I am meant to be married?”
“Is there such a thing as ‘the one’?”
“Why hasn’t God brought me the man/woman of my dreams?”
As with all of these questions, I can only send them to the one source who knows the answers and that is Jesus Christ. But saying this doesn’t always communicate to an action or a direction.
Okay, so you go to the Lord but then what? Well, they would say they have gone to the Lord but what I found was they would gripe, cry and fuss at Him. Few were serious in their purpose when it came to praying. Few were serious when it came to listening and as a result, changing.
THE CHURCH AND SINGLENESS
For the last two decades, I and many of my fellow ministers to singles have seen the decline of the church’s efforts to minister to single adults. While the singles population is now over 52 percent in the United States, with most being never-marrieds, churches are not making the effort to the reach us. The focus more than ever seems to be on the family.
But what churches don’t understand is the family starts with two single adults. If the church would spend time reaching singles, helping them in their identity in Christ, in their personal growth and developing healthy friendships, as well as by offering Bible studies and counseling for marriage, then the greater success of our future marriages and families will be.
We can’t keep hiding behind youth programs and a pro-family focus and hope healthy marriages will just happen. The church needs to help single adults meet each other in a healthy way, directing them toward godly friendships and teaching them the principles of courtship and marriage preparation. Otherwise, they will find other ways to find a spouse, often outside the church and, possibly, with someone who isn’t a believer.
Although not all single adults will get married, many due to their own fears and issues, I do believe in marriage and I believe God still brings people together. With that in mind, I have been praying for a solution to bring singles ministry back into the church.
Singles ministry in general takes a lot of work. You have to build a team of leaders, offer training, meet regularly, plan, pray, and do. Because of the work involved and due to so many pastors being fearful that members might “hook-up,” churches have stopped having a singles ministry.
Also, we are still seeing more women than men in church. As a result, most singles ministries are started by women. Unfortunately, groups led solely by women only grow other women. The team has to include men. Without this pairing of the sexes, your ministry will often fail. In addition, we are seeing a lot of singles ministries focused on social events rather than on teaching the Word of God.
Another problem comes when leaders who don’t find a team to share the responsibilities with gets burned out, resulting in a failed ministry.
So, what do we do? How do we bring a singles ministry back into the church and have it be successful? And how can we do it if we are limited in finding men to help? What about resources and support?
SOLUTION: Pray for a Mate™
While spending time in the United Kingdom doing ministry, I came upon a wonderful lady who shared with me something amazing. She had gone to her pastor and asked about doing a singles ministry at her church. Again, due to past experiences of what singles ministries could become, he said no. She then prayed and went back and asked if she could have a “prayer group for those who wanted to be married.” (Remember, 99.9 percent of all singles want to be married—maybe not this minute but eventually). She didn’t say anything about singles or ministry, but she did use two key words that most churches care about: marriage and prayer. They agreed and even offered her the space to meet.
She quickly gathered her team of friends—some married and some single—and they started meeting to pray, not sure what God would do. That small group turned into a larger one and before long they were meeting each month. From the start they only allowed women to come as they had enough men. They also created a structure that appealed mainly to serious prayer warriors.
The results were amazing. They saw lives changed, individuals found healing, some developed amazing friendships and others even got married. It’s now been over year and they are up to eighty men and eighty women. And it hit me—with a few slight changes, this could work in the U.S.
I realize not all singles would want to come to church to pray for a mate. Some might even get upset if this was the only activity their church offered singles. But if a church only has this, it’s still better than nothing. This program has the potential to lead to something. It’s certainly worth trying and making the investment. And the result? Healthier people who become healthier followers of Christ.
How to get started!
1. Go to our contact page and fill out the registration form.
3. Once we receive your registration, you will be given a password to access the other pages where you will learn how Pray for a Mate™ works including the structure and the prayer themes.
Kris Swiatocho and the Singles Network Ministry that you operate. Our singles group at my local church is flourishing and I give much credit to you.