What Every Leader Should Know About Inspiring Others

(Unsplash/Aziz Acharki)

Inspiring those you lead is a skill all leaders are responsible to practice.

It's a misnomer to think that only the senior leaders in the church carry the role of inspiring others.

When I was a young leader, I was captivated by the skill level of lead pastors in mega churches. I quickly assumed that the role of inspiration was a unique responsibility only they carried. It took me years to learn that was not true.

Not all leaders are as inspirational as others, but all leaders must inspire, or their leadership will be capped.

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The size of a few leader's gifts and skill level do not relieve the rest of us of our full leadership responsibilities, including inspiration.

Inspiration is not a stand-alone skill. It requires other supporting skills underneath such as the ability to connect with, appreciate and encourage people. Without these three skills, inspiring others will be difficult for you as a leader.

The primary purpose of inspiration is to move people in the direction of the vision and mission of the church, which ultimately is about their spiritual growth and resulting life change.

People who experience life change will reach others, and your church will grow.

The beauty of inspiration and explanation for why some leaders with great charisma inspire differently than others are that God made us all differently. He wired us to inspire people in different ways.

I discuss this in more depth in my book Amplified Leadership, but for now, let me give you a quick list of the primary ways leaders inspire.

  • Relationship: You are so good with people they are inspired because of how you love and care for them.
  • Strategy: People hate chaos. Any leader who can organize the church to move forward and make progress is inspirational.
  • Passion: Leaders who have "light up the room" personalities can leverage that in strategic ways for the mission of the church.
  • Competence: Think of this one like an Olympic athlete. They are so amazingly good at what they do; when you are around them you just want to get better at what you do! Competence inspires!
  • Coaching: These leaders have a special skill to bring out the best in others, it's very inspiring.

Which one are you?

Perhaps you can add another style of inspiration. (Leave a comment, let us all know!)

One Essential Principle:

Before you can inspire others, as the leader, you must be inspired yourself. As a leader, it's your job to show up inspired. No one else is responsible to pump you up!

Eighty percent of personal inspiration involves self-awareness, maturity and discipline.

It's like a young mom or dad with an infant. There is no one there in the middle of the night to hold a pep rally to make them get out of bed and tend to their crying infant. They just get up. They get up because they love their child and have their child's best interest at heart. They are motivated from within.

External Inspiration

Twenty percent of personal inspiration comes from external sources, such as someone who loves and believes in you and perhaps one of those amazing inspirational speakers.

God didn't design us to operate independently; He created us to operate as the body of Christ. We need each other, and we help each other. Your teammates help you stay fired up during the tough seasons.

I personally can't imagine being able to maintain my ability to inspire others without some of the champions who have believed in me over the years. I'm very grateful for their love, belief, and inspiration.

So, yes, it's an important part of the process to receive external motivation and encouragement, so your internal inspiration gets that extra stamina.

However, I'm very aware that it's ultimately my responsibility to be fired up about the mission of the church and helping people grow spiritually.

It's up to me to maintain a close walk with God so the Holy Spirit can inspire me to keep going in the right direction for the right purposes. In the same way, it's up to you.

It's up to you to seek God and the power of the Holy Spirit, aligned with your sense of purpose and calling to remain inspired.

3 Helpful Practices:

  1. Seek the Holy Spirit's presence and power to keep your inner fires alive and full of passion.
  2. Keep your ministry calling and purpose clear in your mind and heart.
  3. Develop your discipline for the needed perseverance to keep going with that inner enthusiasm that rubs off on others.

Dan Reiland is the executive pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as executive pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as vice president of leadership and church development at INJOY.

This article originally appeared at danreiland.com.

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