Christy Wright is a speaker/coach and the face of Business Boutique, a part of the Dave Ramsey brand. Though I listen to other leadership podcasts, her’s is the one that I relate to the most as it speaks to women in business. She acknowledges that as a woman in business, I don’t do all my best work behind a desk, but typically at the dining room table with the dog needing to be let out, the laundry on the other side of the table, a toddler’s mac-n-cheese on the chair to my left, a teenager’s forgotten gym bag at my feet, and the most up-to-date family calendar on my fridge. I lead a business…ministry with children in a local church…with a personal mission to know God and make Him known in every area of my life.
She shared last week on her podcast five qualities necessary for running a small business. She spoke truth. These same five qualities are exactly what I have experienced are necessary to lead effectively in ministry with children in the local church over the long haul.
1. Be resourceful – Use what you already have. It may appear that someone else has more money, more land, more space, more supplies, more volunteers, more kids, yet God has called YOU to this community to be His shining light. Christy says, “When you shine in your gifts, people see God.” Shine on!
2. Be scrappy – Be willing to do whatever it takes to get it done.
When you run out of something, you improvise because we don’t have to be perfect in budget, attendance, or resources to get the job done of expressing the love of God, pointing little people to Jesus, or equipping Mamas to be the spiritual champions for their littles. Our battle is real. Our adversary is formidable. Our prayers are powerful. His Word is armor. Be scrappy. Not because of who YOU are, but because of who HE is! I’m in the middle of the bible study of Geri Scazzero’s The Emotionally Healthy Woman. It’s helping me to be scrappy well.
3. Be persistent – Don’t give up.
I can’t count the number of ideas that were complete failures in my house (my local church), but because I shared it on my blog or at a workshop, someone else pulled it off with great success and that leader was kind enough to give testimony. Keep trying. 60% of sales transactions come after four interactions. We are all salespeople and we are all in business, so learn the best practices of marketing and communicating to build relationships. I’m reading Gail Z. Martin’s 30 Days To Social Media Success to keep my skills sharp. If anyone’s in the business of building relationships, it’s those who dedicate their lives to ministry with children and introducing them to a sold-out relationship with Jesus. So don’t give up.
4. Be creative – Surround yourself with creative people who want to be creative with you. I’ve learned that just because someone’s expertise is graphic arts, set decoration, or kids with special needs doesn’t mean they want to share their gift in the local church. I don’t get it, but it happens. Release them, forgive them, and move on. I’ll take faithfulness and enthusiasm any day over giftedness. Our monthly kidmin network lunch is filled with the most creative people on the planet and thankfully they take my calls.
5. Be willing to try – Risk is always involved in advancing the cause of Christ, so don’t stay in the dreaming phase. Talk about your dreams for your ministry a lot. All the time. Bring it up in every conversation. Wear it like a sandwich-board sign. I’m in the middle of reading Crucial Conversations: Tools For Talking When Stakes Are High. This may not be their lives, but it’s God’s call on yours. Everyone is consumed with something happening in their own lives, so you have to wave your flag, banner, sign all. the. time. Champions come not from the words written in a bulletin or an occasional announcement at the beginning of Sunday services. It’s only face-to-face when folk can see your energy, the tone in your voice, and you can make the ask.
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for God’s people will arise from another place, but you and your family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14