Let’s talk about loyalty for a minute.
Loyalty is the glue that holds your team together. If you want loyalty from your leaders, be loyal to them.
I remember the first time I complained about another staff member to my pastor. He looked at me and asked, “Have you talked to them?”
“Then why are you talking to me?”
I never did that again.
From that point on, if I had a conflict with someone, I did what Mathew 18:15 niv tells us to do: “If your brother or sister sins against you, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”
Have you been on the other side of that?
An angry parent complains about you to your supervisor, or another staff person tries to pull the “end run.” If you have not had this experience yet, you will. The enemy does not want your team to bond together. He is going to take shots at you and your leaders.
Do you have a plan?
What do you do when someone complains to you about one of your leaders?
It’s pretty simple really. Do what the Bible says: “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31 niv).
What do you want your team members to do when someone criticizes you? What kind of seeds do you want to sow? What kind of example do you want to set?
If you sow seeds of loyalty, your leaders will be loyal to you. If you are not loyal to your leaders, they will find someone else to follow.
Some of you may be thinking that your supervisor is not loyal to you. You may work at a church where the “end run” is part of the church culture. It seems like everybody does it.
- You cannot control what your boss does.
- You cannot control what anyone else does.
- You can only control what you do.
David practiced loyalty. He remained loyal to Saul even though Saul was not loyal to him.
Do you want to be a Saul, or do you want to be a David?
If you are loyal to your leaders, they will be loyal to you. It’s similar to the principle of forgiveness. God doesn’t tell me to forgive because He is taking the other guy’s side. He tells me to forgive because it is good for me.
When you are loyal to your leaders that are on your team, it is good for you, it’s good for them, and it’s good for the kids in your church.
Whenever you promote people to new leadership positions, there are going to be people who challenge their leadership. Some people will think, Why is that person in charge?
Many years ago at kids’ camp I had to miss a puppet rehearsal, so I put Kevin, who was fourteen, in charge of the rehearsal.
When I returned several hours later, Kevin was in tears. We had a total leadership meltdown, and service was going to start in one hour. I gathered Kevin and the rest of the team and corrected the whole team.
“If I put someone in charge, you need to listen to him like you listen to me.”
I put Kevin in charge again, and we rehearsed all the skits one more time. (If a new leader fails, the worst thing you can do is take the leadership away from him.) After that experience, Kevin became one of my strongest leaders.
Do not put people in positions of leadership if you are not willing to back them up. They will get shot at. Your job is to cover their backs. If you’ve got their backs, they will have your back.
Is it possible that one of your leaders will be disloyal to you even if you are loyal to them?
Yes, it does happen; however, it’s guaranteed that they will be disloyal to you if you are not loyal to them.
Not only has Mark served in the local church as pastor, associate pastor, and family ministry pastor but he is also a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team.