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What Do Leaders Lead?

Oct 28 2015

I’ve recently finished reading Pastor Brian’s book, Live Love LeadIt encouraged and challenged me in so many ways, and one of those was in the area of leadership. Out of this I’ve been thinking about leadership and what I personally lead, so I started creating a bit of a list of what I lead…

At the top of the list was my family.

I lead my family alongside Kelista (my wife of 16 years) and together we lead our four incredibly wonderful and wild children.

I’m also honoured to lead the artistic expression that comes out of Hillsong College as my daily work — I know, I’m pretty blessed! ☺

Then I began thinking about what my wife Kelista leads. She leads our family, and she also leads our Hills Campus Choir as a volunteer. After that though, I got a bit stuck.

Although Kelista leads the choir, her oversight is Emma Fellers (our Hills Campus Vocals Leader & Creative Administrator.) So really, Emma leads the choir!

Then Emma’s oversight is Gabe Kelly (our Hills Campus Creative Pastor.) So really, Gabe leads the choir!

Then Gabe’s oversight is Autumn Hardman (Hillsong Australia Worship Oversight) So really, Autumn leads the choir!

Then Autumn’s oversight is Cassandra Langton (our Global Creative Pastor), whose oversight is Pastor Brian (Hillsong Church Senior Pastor.)

So perhaps it’s Pastor Brian who leads the choir? (He does like to conduct from time to time!)

Then I remembered Pastor Brian has an oversight too — His name is God.

So I came to the conclusion that it’s actually God who leads the choir at Hillsong Church.

Then I asked myself, what does Kelista actually lead? The answer I came back to was, well, she leads the choir — as much as she wants to!

Now I know some may be thinking, “Doesn’t she lead it as much as she’s allowed to?” While this may be applicable in a certain way, I would say overall, Kelista leads our choir as much as she wants to:

As much as she is willing to invest in it.

As much as she is prepared to innovate it.

As much as she gives her person to it.

As much as she believes she can.

…and she does an incredible job!

So even though God is the leader of the choir at Hillsong Church, Kelista is the one who leads the choir!

Perhaps there are some areas in our team that are void of leadership. In those possible voids, I would say many of us see them, but think we can’t fill the voids because we’re not ‘the leader,’ when actually we are the leader.

SEE ALSO: Worship Team Tips for Everyone

These really important areas in our teams might never have an official leader but they need us to be leading them for our team to be continually healthy, strong, vibrant, loving, kind, disciplined, visionary, prophetic, and ultimately a Jesus kind of team.

Here are some areas that we, as leaders, need to lead:

1. The ATMOSPHERE of the team

You might not be able to articulate your official role on the team or what you are leading, but let me give you a job title today: you are an Atmosphere Leader! We can all influence that which surrounds our team by leading when it comes to setting the right atmosphere — this is how our team is held in the place God wants it to be.

SEE ALSO: Creating a Worshipful Environment

Great atmosphere is created with Giving and Receiving. May I encourage us to lead in Giving:

  • Giving listening ears in daily conversations.
  • Giving encouragement when someone else does something to the best of their ability.
  • Giving our singing voices and our lifted hands when the worship leader encourages us to do so.
  • Giving our songs, our words, our discipline, our practice, and our connection into greater parts of church life.
  • Giving our ideas for the betterment of the Church and people’s experience in it.

When we give our first and our best, we are living out Spirit and Truth worship unto God.

Romans 12:1 (MSG)

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.”

May we also lead in Receiving:

  • Receiving the Word authentically in our services, and allowing ourselves to respond by applying it in our lives.
  • Receiving correction with the spirit that it’s usually given — to build up, not to tear down.
  • Receiving the encouragement we are given.
  • Receiving and learning new skills.

Some of the greatest atmosphere leaders on our teams are people who are faithful, loyal, consistent, joyful, servant-hearted people.

SEE ALSO: The Platform: Leading from Wherever You Are

2. The CREATIVITY of the team

I know what it’s like to stifle my own creativity because I think I don’t have the influence or opportunities of others. Maybe you’re not rostered as often as someone else? I can relate to this as someone who goes through seasons of fuller or lesser platform involvement.

However, I am continually discovering that I can still lead in creativity (be it on or off a platform) if I can lead in my thinking! My thinking will determine my creative output — and I’m not necessarily talking about how artistic or ‘out there’ of an idea I might have.

I can think about whatever I want, whenever I want to!

What am I going to think about that will creatively express the heartbeat of God in and for our team, on and off the platform?

Who am I going to share that with?

How will I stir up the courage to share or show what I’ve been thinking?

I can choose to believe that regardless of the conversation, I am still accepted in our team — never rejected!

I want to encourage you… write, create, make videos, play, dream, think. Think a better and braver life, because it is possible in Jesus’ name!

3. The FRUIT of the team

Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

Ps. Brian’s new book Live Love Lead is simply amazing. For me, it conveys what it means to really be a Christian! In our teams, I think it would be so powerful if above the desire to lead anywhere else, our greatest desire would be to lead in being a Christian!

Being a Christian is not about living 100% perfectly in our actions. It’s about living and loving in the moment the best way we know how.

Relying on the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus through us, we can be leaders of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control!

In conclusion, I think it would be accurate to say that the people who have influenced us most positively are those who have loved and lived the best way they knew how. As a result, these people have become outstanding leaders in our lives whether they had a title/job description/role or not.

What do leaders lead?

They lead where they are, by being who they are, according to who God says they are!

Bless you guys.

Aran Puddle
Hillsong College Creative Director