If you have led women’s ministry for very long, I bet you have asked this question yourself. Today Simone Monroe, Director of Women’s Ministries at Lake Pointe Church in Dallas, helps us look at this question differently. Read her thoughts on helping women get the vision.
It never fails! Every time I teach at a leadership conference or consult with a leadership team or individual leader in ministry, someone asks the question, “How do you get commitment from the women to carryout the vision?” or it might be asked this way, “How do you get the women to buy-in to the vision/ministry?”
When those questions come up I know that the answer is quite different than the leader expects. Leaders always want to know if their people will buy into their vision. Most people have it backwards when it comes to people buying-in. They believe people will automatically buy-in and follow if the cause is good enough (worthwhile). That is not how it works.
The leader cannot be separated from the vision. So, in order for people to buy-in to the vision, they must first buy-in to the leader. The credibility you build with your followers as a leader is what gives you the credibility for them to believe in and follow you in the vision. If the leader hasn’t built credibility with the people, it really doesn’t matter how great the vision.
John Maxwell says it this way, “People first buy-in to the leader, and then they buy-in to the leader’s vision.”
Understanding this leadership principle is crucial for the success of a vision. This should change your whole approach to leading people. Neither position nor title earns us the trust of our people or their followship. Every message that people receive is filtered through the messenger who delivers it. As a leader, you don’t get credit for “being right” or for failing in a noble cause. You have to be trustworthy.
As leaders, we must earn that trust. If the leader hasn’t built trust with the people, it really doesn’t matter how great a vision the leader has. In fact, they will most often look for another leader.
Your success is measured by your ability to actually take the people where they need to go. In order to do that you must first become a better leader. This means spending time, lots of it, with your people. You cannot expect to just greet them and then talk only about how they can serve and carry out your vision. You must really get to know them as an individual- some of their hopes, dreams, and visions. Let them know that you care about them personally. How many people do you really find trustworthy with whom you have never spent any time? Most of the leaders you would follow “no matter what” are people who invest in us, and not just for what they can get out of us. People have to buy into YOU before they buy –in to the vision. That is the price you have to pay if you want your vision to have a chance of becoming reality.
Simone Monroe serves as Director of Women’s Ministries at Lake Pointe Church in Dallas, Texas, and is a Global Strategist for ProvenWay Ministries, and a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier. As a speaker, conference leader, and freelance writer, she is also a member of the Association of Women’s Ministry Professionals. Simone has earned a Masters degree in Christian Leadership and a Certificate in Women’s Leadership from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Simone’s passion is teaching and developing women to fulfill their God-given potential. She enjoys presenting God’s Word in a fresh and relevant way in order to encourage growth in the lives of her listeners. Her two sons, their wives, and her five grandchildren are the light of her life.