Great Leaders Eliminate the Lone Rangers

Every ministry at Granger Community Church is connected to someone on the senior management team. There are no exceptions.

I recall a time we were discussing the launch of a new ministry. One lay leader had a burden for a certain ministry, and she wanted the church to embrace it. We all thought it was a good idea. While it wasn't critical to our mission, it still contributed to one of our core purposes. However, there wasn't a natural fit for that ministry in any of our existing departments. No one felt right about adding it to his or her plate. So we decided against it. 

Why? Because at Granger there are no "Lone Ranger" ministries. Every ministry has a leader, and that leader is connected to a pastor or director for care and support. In a church with a different structure, you might want to make sure that every ministry is supported by an connected to an elder or deacon. There are many reasons for this:

Lone Rangers have no one to cry with them. When life is tough, they are all alone. (Yes, even Lone Rangers cry).

Lone Rangers can easily lose sight of the mission. Since there is no organizational or relational connection to the overall mission of the church, it is easy to get lost in the micro-purpose of the ministry and forget the macrovision of the organization.

Lone Rangers have no one to celebrate with them. When things go well and lives are being changed, there is no natural way for those stories to be shared with others.

Lone Rangers have no one to challenge them to measure their success. Whatever the ministry, its purpose is not mere existence, but accomplishment. A connection allows evaluation of effectiveness and ideas for improvement.

Lone Rangers have no one to represent them. In discussions about budgets or schedules or staffing, there is no one on the leadership team who has a hand on the pulse of that ministry. Lone Ranger leaders may soon begin to feel devalued and unappreciated.

Lone Rangers are, well, alone. Even if they do have others working with them in their ministries, as a group they are disconnected from the church. They don't have the benefit of being on a team. So let's keep everyone connected, loved, and supported. After all, it's rarely fun to be alone.

This post is an excerpt from Chapter 56 of my book "Simply Strategic Volunteers."

Tim StevensComment