August 16, 2013 by eric echols
I know it’s only pre-season football, but the fact that it’s on TV makes me excited for the upcoming season. Tonight I watched Matt Ryan and Joe Flaco successfully lead their teams for touchdowns in back to back drives. Football is the ultimate team sport and can teach us invaluable lessons about life and leadership.
Here are 6 characteristics that every leader must have if they want to lead their team to “move the ball down the field”.
1. They know the end goal
Quarterbacks aren’t on the field simply to complete passes, their goal is to put points on the board every time they step on the field.
Leaders must know what they want. Churches need to know what a win looks like. They need to have a clear vision and a plan on how to achieve it. Knowing what you want is the first step to achieving it.
2. They rally others around the plan
Quarterbacks have to take charge of the huddle. They are the ones calling the plays. A football team will not be successful if everyone on the team is running whatever play they want to after the ball is snapped. It’s the QB’s job to make sure everyone is on the same page before they break the huddle.
Churches are notorious for having various ministries running different plays. As a result, the ministries operate within their own little silo. The problem is that silos, by their nature, don’t help move the ball down the field. They are designed to protect what was once in the field. It’s the role of the leaders to align everyone around the same strategy for accomplishing the vision.
3. They take more risks
Quarterbacks often take risks by throwing into double coverage or by trying to thread the needle with a pass. Why? Because the reward of moving the ball down the field is worth the risk.
Often times the most dangerous thing you can do as a leader is play it safe. Playing it safe doesn’t advance the Kingdom. As church leaders, we need to take risks to accomplish our vision. This may require leading through change that will upset some people, but the reward is definitely worth the risk.
4. They make more mistakes
Quarterbacks make mistakes. They throw incomplete passes and the occasional interception, but that doesn’t keep them from stepping back on the field for the next set of downs.
As a leader, know that you are going to make mistakes. Don’t let a blunder or two derail you from accomplishing what you set out to do. Admit your mistake, regroup, and keep moving forward.
5. They are not afraid to change the play
The quarterbacks goal is to put their team in the best possible position to accomplish its mission and sometimes this requires them to call an audible at the line of scrimmage.
You are going to face challenges and obstacles that require a change of plans. The worse thing a leader can do is to be so in love with their original idea that they are not wiling to change it for a better one.
6. They know it’s not all about them
Quarterbacks may be the highest paid players on the field, but there’s no way they can advance the ball by themselves. They know that without great teammates around them they don’t stand a chance. It takes linemen blocking, receivers catching, and running backs breaking tackles to move the ball down the field.
Our churches are no different. It takes pastors, staff, and volunteers all working together to accomplish all that God has for us.