May 03

Check Out Redeeming Leadership: Shoulder Pads

Just finished reading Mark Riddle’s new book Redeeming Leadership: Should Pads.  You can download it for free for Amazon Kindle (today only) by clicking here.  It is a very short read (37 pages), but it is full of practical wisdom for leaders in the Church.

Riddle uses the image of Shoulder Pads to explain the responsibilities that everyone carries.  He quickly points out the dysfunctional reality of the leader in the church who wears everyone’s shoulder pads, thus creating a culture of consumerism and entitlement in the Church.  This is a systemic problem when we displace leadership to ourselves through people-pleasing, solving problems rather than helping them solve their own problems, etc.  Here is the biggest takeaway  I took from the book:

We Must Spend Our Days Making Sure That Every Interaction Is An Intentional Decision To Make Sure The Shoulder Pads Are On The Right People:  Whenever we interact with people, we have to help them own responsibility in order that they are engaged, learning and growing.  This is a subtle mistake we make when we find it easier to do things ourselves, and when we don’t empower others to lead.  If we find ourselves doing more ministry rather than delegating ministry, the shoulder pads are not on the right people.

Here is how a few of my interactions changed yesterday:

  • Instead of solving a problem for an upcoming event at our church, I asked questions that caused others to think about solutions.  Problem was solved better than I would have solved it.
  • Rather than needing to address a scheduling need for our retreat this weekend, I asked someone else who was perfectly capable to negotiate the time we would need on our retreat with the point person for the retreat.
  • When I was called to ask how a situation should be handled, my response was: “I trust you completely to keep moving in the direction you are going.”
  • Instead of telling several leaders what to do (delegated tasks), I asked them to own major portions of our retreat this weekend.

I would encourage you to read this book.  I guarantee it will change the way you lead immediately.