Acronyms Every Leader Needs to Know and Use by Richard Jolliff

I use a lot of acronyms in my leadership. They help me remember things. Today, I’d like to share a couple acronyms that I hope will help you maintain effective processes in your leadership and move you from simply modeling behavior to multiplying leaders in your church.

In our ministry, we have a certain standard called the 5 M’s of Leadership. This was taken from John Maxwell. The 5 M’s are: model, mentor, monitor, motivator and multiplier. In this blog, I’d like to break down each of these M’s in a way you can remember and see the validity of incorporating in your leadership walk. And I’d like to talk about the key process of empowerment that makes these 5 M’s possible.

Model. The model says, “I’m doing the work. You’re seeing what I’m doing.”

Mentor. The mentor says, “I’m doing the work. You’re with me, watching me do it.”

Monitor. The monitor says, “I’m empowering you to do the work, and I am with you. I’m not leaving you alone.”

Motivator. The motivator says, “You’re doing the work, and I’m sitting back and encouraging you in what you’re doing.”

Multiplier. The multiplier says, “Not only are you doing the work, but you now are a mentor to someone and they’re with you, learning how to do that work.”

This process of the 5 M’s relies heavily on empowerment, but empowerment is a tricky thing because there’s a huge trust factor that’s involved with it. When, as a leader, we’re empowering someone, we’re giving them the opportunity to fail. Thank God for leaders who gave us the opportunity to fail! They didn’t call it and say, “You’re done. You screwed up! You’re out!”

The greatest challenge for leaders is often starting to delegate to the people they lead. There are four D’s that have helped me release the hold and delegate to others. First, I “define” what it is I want someone to do. Then I “delineate” what it is he’s going to do. Details. Then I “determine” what it should look like when it’s done. And then I “delegate.”

I’ll give you an example of this in process. I have several young ministers that I’m developing in our ministry.  Now, most have gone to Bible college. Then they’ve come back and said, “We really want to develop to the next level, but there are a lot of things we don’t know how to do. We have the theological part of it, but going to seminary or Bible college doesn’t mean you come out with the practicalities.” The local church has to teach that, in my opinion. So I give them an opportunity to preach. Immediately, they think they’ll just preach their favorite message, but I define what that is going to look like for them. I say, “You’re going to have 30 minutes to preach this Sunday.” Then I begin to delineate. “I need you to have these things as a part of your message. This is what I expect to hear in your message. I don’t want you just to quote scriptures. I want you to tell your story. I want you to tell people how to apply this message.” Then I tell them we are going to determine what it will look like when their preaching is done.

Determining is probably the least applied part of delegation because in determining, what we’re saying is, “When it’s done, this is the end result I want to see.” When we begin to determine the outcome, it’s funny. These guys often say, “Well, I never really thought of what I wanted it to look like at the end. I mean, an altar call for salvation, the baptism in the Holy Spirit or praying for healing.” I say, “But what do you want people to do? How are they supposed to respond to this?” Before I turn it over to them, they’ve got to be able to answer that question. Then they’ll get their 30 minutes.

I had one guy – he went 45 minutes instead of 30 minutes. I said, “Look, we said 30 minutes, so if you want another opportunity…” Here, we go to teachability. You’ll find out fast how teachable a person is.

Competence leads to confidence. It’s not that we’re saying people are incompetent, but when they have a competence, they understand fully what they’re doing, what’s required of them, and what they need to accomplish. Then they have an incredible confidence to step into the work.

We have a lady in our church who had a real desire to serve Jesus.  She came to Christ; she was fired up. When she came into her previous church, they said, “If you want to serve Jesus, we need help in the nursery.” She was like, “All right. I’ll help. I love Jesus. I want to serve.” They said, “Perfect! Show up next week, and we will get you all set up and put you in the nursery, and you can work with little children.”

She showed up, and they put her in the nursery with six babies. They didn’t tell her where the diaper bags were, where the diapers were, where the bottles were, or her how to contact parents. They put her in there with six crying babies and you know what happened? She said, “I will never ever do that again!” Sad to say, there’s a lot of stories in the church like that, where people were just put to work with no definition, delineation, or determination what it would look like. That’s why a lot of times nursery ministry at churches is just babysitting instead of real ministry. Nobody’s determined what it would look like if they were doing nursery ministry the right way. Churches often delegate too quickly without going through the process.

To develop leaders, you have to give them opportunities. You have to empower them. You have to break down the job you’re giving them in a way that involves process and is understandable. You have to invest in them. You have to spend time with them. You have to undersell the role of leader to them. The realities of what we deal with in leadership are extremely important to convey. I encourage those I mentor to read a book by Samuel Chand called “Leadership Pain.” They hate it! But that’s reality! I want them to know that leadership and ministry are difficult at times. I also encourage them to read Daniel Grothe’s book “The Power of Place,” because it brings relaxation to their hearts, that where they are right now is holy ground and they can enjoy where they are.

In my next blog, I want to share with you a final key in multiplying the leaders for your ministry, and that is creating an attitude of proactivity instead of reactivity. Can you agree with me that this is a needed component to training the next generation of leaders to lead the church (or any organization)? I hope you’ll stop back by and read the next blog. It will equip and encourage you.