Leading up is one of those elusive ministry phrases that we like to use a lot as leaders (see also: “doing life together”). But much like the Loch Ness Monster or a Sunday where every volunteer shows up early, prepared, and bearing gifts of caffeinated joy for you, it’s not something that just exists or happens naturally.
Leading up is something that you have to work at, something that can change the way you lead and influence others if you’ll learn to master it.
Leading up is simply this: it’s a way for you to influence those who influence others. It’s going to look different in every church and on every staff, but the idea is the same. You are actively looking for opportunities to cast vision, share stories, brag on your team, and communicate needs.
Leading up invites others outside of your ministry area into the conversation about what’s happening. It gives your senior pastor, your pastoral staff, your elders, and your influencers something to talk about with those that you might not get a chance to interact with each week.
Think about it: Your senior pastor, board members, and ministry leaders from other areas all have a vested interest in making sure Next Gen ministry at your church is winning with families. What they likely don’t have is the right language to communicate it or a simple way to do so. On any given Sunday they are interacting with future volunteers, new visitors, or maybe even parents who aren’t quite ready to leave their kids with your team on Sunday. When you cue them with one or two things they can repeat easily, you empower them to both celebrate and communicate what’s happening with the kids and students in your church.
If you’re a subscriber of Weekly you have access to a monthly leadership email that will help you communicate to your influencers some key pieces of information while casting vision for your ministry area. In just a few minutes a month you can share the snapshot of what’s happening on your team and give them very strategic things to talk about with parents and kids in the lobby on Sunday. When you set them up to win, you win as a leader, and your church wins with parents.
When you take some time to be intentional about communicating with those outside your ministry area you have the opportunity to break down silos and build bridges with other ministries in your church. We hope you’ll use the Weekly leadership email—or create one yourself!—as a springboard within your staff to begin thinking about other ways you can share what’s happening in your ministry.
What are some other ways you can lead up within your staff? We’d love for you to share what you’re currently doing on your teams!