New ministry leaders have often taken classes, read books, and attended conferences devoted to leading an organization, including how to manage a staff. Leadership often assumes that the leader has authority over those he or she leads. But, is this always the case? Oftentimes in ministry, leaders must lead when they’re not in charge and have very little authority.
Clay Scroggins (Th.M & DMin – DTS) is the lead pastor at Andy Stanley’s North Point Community Church (NPCC) in Alpharetta, GA. He has written the book, How to Lead when You’re Not in Charge.
He begins in the first part by helping us understand the challenge. His thesis is that leading without authority requires a clear understanding of our identity. We must realize that God is in control, and fear causes us to miss opportunities.
The second section focuses on four key behaviors of someone who can lead when they’re not in charge: (1) Lead yourself – your greatest responsibility is to lead yourself. We must model what he calls followship, being a person people want to follow requires us to be an example of what a follower of Christ looks like.; (2) Positivity – staying positive in spite of the circumstances causes others to want to follow us; (3) Think critically – problem solvers are also leaders worth following; and (4) Reject passivity – if we want others to follow us, we shouldn’t sit around and wait for good things to happen.
Finally, Clay explains the importance of challenging authority because taking risks often leads to growth.
If you are in ministry or even in a secular organization and find yourself leading when you’re not in charge, this book is for you.