As leaders, our main role is to empower and enable others to do the work of the ministry. As Paul writes in Ephesians 4:11-13: So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
What is people enablement? It’s the capacity to coach, guide and empower individuals and teams to understand and take responsibility for their own actions, development, and future.
God has empowered us in this way. When he created Adam and Eve, he gave them jobs: name the animals, tend the garden, stand as guardian over creation. They were not pawns, but free agents encouraged to take ownership, create, and contribute. Everyone since Adam and Eve has something to create and contribute, and the best leaders call that out of them.
Even now, as the church, we are part of the Body of Christ. Every person has work to do, a contribution to make. Our job as leaders is to empower them to do what God has called them to do, and to replicate our own leadership across subsequent generations: And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others (2 Tim 2:2).
We lead well when we enable others to make their best contributions to the kingdom. The ministry of the Apostle Paul was primarily a people enablement ministry, especially toward the end of his life. He developed and empowered Timothy, Priscilla and Aquila. He taught and enabled many others through his ministry years in Ephesus.
Two different profiles might be helpful in assessing your current skill level in people enablement. There is the Team Building Effectiveness Profile. After exploring your own strengths and growth areas, you may also be interested in looking at the Team Building Skill Builder Booklet and the Team Building Coaching Guide with Storyboard.
During this series of blog entries, we’re walking through the 8 characteristics highlighted in the Leadership Effectiveness Profile. These characteristics were found through observation and research in response to the question, “What makes an effective leader?”