“Raising the bar.” We’ve all heard this phrase at some point. Yet sometimes I think we brush it off. Perhaps we give off a “yeah, yeah, I know, I know” vibe. Or maybe the statement confuses us. Something I hear is “I just don’t have time…. if we can just maintain what we’re currently doing I’m ok with that! And so is my senior leader…”

Well, I’m not ok with it!  If we choose to change nothing then nothing will change. We will be ineffective in reaching the next generation if we fail to continue to strive to improve.
The more I Think Orange, and the more I communicate with leaders in ministry, the more I realize that every leader and every volunteer in our ministry are starting at different levels. The first step in raising the bar is making it personal. We can’t ask others to do what we ourselves are not willing to do.

Personal Leadership

  1. Determine your end in mind—You need to know the desired outcome in order to rise to meet it.   When hanging a portrait on the wall we need to know what we want the room to look like. Then we can choose the right frame, the right size, and the right location.
  1. Locate your current leadership level—If you don’t know how you lead, how can you know how to improve? Ask for feedback, get a coach, and look for clues.
  1. Create a series of steps to move you closer to your goals—Remember ministry is a marathon, not a sprint. We need to think in steps, not staircases. It’s not the load that breaks us down, its how we carry it.  Instead of a to-do list, create an “I’d love to accomplish” list.  Put a positive spin on the areas that you need growth in your life.

In Leading Others 

  1. Help them understand the end in mind—It’s really challenging to lead someone somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going. If your goal is a small group leader that invests in kids one service each week, tell them, teach them why and guide them in that direction.
  1. Locate their current level—Get to know them.  This can be done in many ways.  Going to coffee, inviting them over for dinner, taking a stregthfinder assessment. What are their God-given talents? If there’s a way you can help, like Nike says just do it!  What is their dream? If there is a way you can help them reach for it, I encourage you to do so. “You gain those you serve.”
  1. Create a series of steps to move them closer to their goals—And walk alongside them! The key to raising the bar in others is continued alignment and encouragement!

We are all capable of more because we are all created in the image of God! The sky’s the limit!