Do you have a particular iconic image that comes to mind when you hear the word INCOMPETENCE? Whether it’s the Keystone Cops, Cher in Clueless, or someone else entirely, we all know what incompetence looks like in the real life work-a-day world. And it’s not a pretty sight.
Particularly in Christian ministry, where we should be giving Jesus our very best in all that we are and do.
So using the life of Daniel as our guide, let’s take a look at one of the key characteristics that made Daniel such a stellar example of successful leadership—competence: HOW well you do what you do.
Leadership the Daniel Way
What was it about Daniel that took him so far, so fast, as a young man in a foreign land? You may recall that in the past few energize articles we looked at:
But now we come to an area that is often viewed as less “spiritual,” and maybe even “worldly.” Yet, it is a vitally critical component of effective leadership—both inside the church and out.
Check out this passage in Daniel 6:3-5, and you’ll get a snapshot of Daniel’s on the job performance:
“Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, ‘We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.’”
It’s clear from this passage that Daniel was good at his job. In fact, more than good. He was excellent—without fault—they could find absolutely nothing to hold against him when it came to character OR competence.
How Well Do You Do What You Do?
How about you? How well do you do all aspects of your job? As a youth leader, your range of responsibilities spans a very wide gamut. I’d guess that if you’re in youth ministry, you are very likely a highly relational person. And quite frequently, that means that you may not be a highly organized, administratively-inclined person.
Still, there are administrative duties in your job that you simply have to develop competency in, if it doesn’t come to you naturally. You don’t want to lose your job because of duties you procrastinate on or slough off entirely.
Plus, think of it this way. These duties can build your character and expand your skill set. These kinds of duties come with every kind of job. If they can’t be dumped or delegated, they simply have to be done with competence.
So take the following inventory that measures your personal job performance preferences. After you do your own assessment, you can also run it (or your own customized version of it) by your adult and student leadership team. Compare your results, and assess which of these tasks you might reasonably delegate to others and which you could help your leadership team develop so that they can all grow into more well-rounded, balanced leaders. You’ll learn a lot about the way God wired each of you. And you’ll be better able to utilize each team members strengths, while helping them grow in their areas of weakness.
Love, Hate or Tolerate?
Circle the response that fits you best. Then identify which one thing on this list you hate to do most, and which one thing you love to do the most.
Love Hate Tolerate Organizing games
Love Hate Tolerate Ministering to parents of teens
Love Hate Tolerate Staff meetings
Love Hate Tolerate Accounting stuff (receipts, budget planning, etc)
Love Hate Tolerate Preparing lessons
Love Hate Tolerate Newsletters
Love Hate Tolerate Discipling teens
Love Hate Tolerate Going to camps, retreats & conferences
Love Hate Tolerate Details for camps, retreats & conferences
Love Hate Tolerate Mentoring staff
Love Hate Tolerate Recruiting volunteers
Love Hate Tolerate Coordinating mission trips
Love Hate Tolerate Going on mission trips
As for the areas you don’t love or tolerate, if you can’t delegate them, then dig in and get to work on improving your serve!