Daniel VillarrealBlog


Leading people is not easy but it’s especially tough in church life. It is an emotional, mental and spiritual job. In “the regular world” you hire/fire/coach/reprimand/replace, etc. And there’s almost an accepted liberty to speak of people negatively based on there lack of performance, dropping the ball or “getting the job done.”

In church life though, it is a different set of rules because it’s a not about a goal, but rather the most important cause in which we will ever participate together. We serve a King and His Kingdom and He calls us to love one another as we serve His purpose on the earth. As we serve together and get closer we see each other’s shortcomings, faults and weaknesses. We see the authentic person not just the enthusiastic servant. We discover what frustrates and annoys one another. We experience where people let us down or drop the ball.

EXAMPLE: Kids ministry can be rostered with FIVE NECESSARY volunteers for a class. In an instant, (usually on Sunday morning 20 minutes before a service begins)….ONE volunteer can simply not show up and not even bother calling, ONE can get sick and call in, ONE who is new to the team might not even remember that they even signed up a month ago and accepted the responsibility to serve others and ONE is brand new to the team. All of a sudden you have TWO people (with ONE completely lacking experience) when you needed FIVE minimum.

What happens next is that chaos ensues as you scramble to pick up the pieces and make it through the Sunday as the TWO volunteers endure the stress, anxiety and pressure of dealing with what happened. A well planned out and prayed over Sunday is now a circus of frustration. Parents see screaming babies and an under rostered class. They wonder if this is how things are done all the time? Is this place even organized? Do these people know what they are doing? Does the pastor and staff condone this disorganization and chaos? Why should I tithe or serve here if it’s a circus? Believe it or not…God is still in it and will do something great that day amidst the chaos.

Leaders, here is the remedy: Keep building with who God has placed around you. Invest in them and lead them purposefully…and they will become the right people. Then, the right people will reproduce more right people and a culture of passion, focus and purpose will multiply.

Here is what the right people look like:

1.) They are humble, teachable and hungry to learn, not “know it all’s.”
2.) They bring passion and a servant heart to all they do.
3.) They understand their impact on a team so they follow though on commitments.
4.) They initiate communication (email, text, call, talk) with you/others and seek to understand people/situations rather than criticize or complain and say “nobody told me.”
5.) They seek to take things off your hands and lift the load.
6.) They are connected to serving the overall vision of Grace Avenue and not just the individual ministry they are serving in.
7.) They build up and encourage others and don’t speak negatively of others including other people on the team, other leaders or pastors.
8.)They aren’t entitled or territorial of areas/positions and can serve anywhere when needed (especially when chaos unexpectedly hits you).
9.) They bring an attitude of faith and expectation to what they do.
10.) They understand that the task is not actually “a task” but about relationships and a common vision God has given us as a church.
11.) They see the opportunity to serve as a joy and not a burden.
12.) They can handle feedback and direction and not take it personal.
13.) They are virtually unoffendable and seek to bring peace and solutions to problems. 
14.) They take responsibility when they drop the ball.
15.) They love Jesus and love people. (Simple…yes, I know but you’d be surprised.)

Know that the right people aren’t perfect people. They don’t have it all together in life and they are growing in their understanding of God and His purpose in and through their life. They are being built by God as they are building His Kingdom. However, the core element to look for is humility and a desire to learn. Without those two elements they are not “the right people” who can reproduce more right people. The right leaders make all the difference. They rarely, if ever, just show up at the doorstep, so make sure you build them. – Daniel