The best opportunities for growth happen when things are difficult. If you want to grow physical muscle you have to work them out and push those muscles to the limit. The best way to grow your leadership skills is to deal with complexities that come with the role of leader.

There is a style of thinking and structure at 12Stone, which I believe has helped grow my leadership skills in major ways over recent years. There is a term and picture which best highlight this organizational reality. At 12Stone our staff leads with Mutual Voluntary Submission. This is a biblical concept that we find in Ephesians 5:21 where it says, “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” The passage is speaking about households and marriage, but the same concept is core to making teams and ministry work.

What does it mean to lead with Mutual Voluntary Submission?

It is Mutual – meaning that everyone involved agrees on a common objective we are pursuing. People on the team agree about what is most important.

It is Voluntary – each person must chose to be a part of the team. We chose to align with the organizational priorities and structure. No one is forced in; they chose to be on the team.

It is Submissive – No one seeks to have the upper hand or trump card.

That concept makes our church a very unique environment to work in, and it allows leadership skills to grow and flourish. There is a picture of how this plays out on our team – and the picture is a Triangle. Triangles are complex. In a romantic comedy it is the love triangle that creates the drama. In a team or church triangles force you to grow your leadership.

Right now my main area of responsibility is our Connections Team at our Central Campus. The beauty of triangles on our team is that no can be a silo. Triangles cause an overlap of leadership responsibility & accountability(click to tweet).  Triangles help grow a persons leadership in a few ways:

  • Triangles forces more interaction with teammates. There is power in people working together; the synergy of teamwork gets more results than the sum of each person’s individual contribution.
  • Triangles mean every decision is more vetted. Getting something done requires more people weighing in, which means new ideas have more eyes looking in and more people wanting to see the idea win.
  • Triangles deepen conviction. The more you have to work through an idea the better it will be. When you have to win multiple people over to something you are forced to believe in it more deeply.
  • Triangles offer multiple points of accountability. More people invested in an idea, person or ministry means more eyes looking in to encourage, challenge and ensure success.