That process resulted in our selecting a lot and floor plan in a brand new development in South Franklin. So, we have been on the front end of a new subdivision under construction. As a matter of fact, our house was the first one finished on our street.
For the last two years, we have lived smack dab in the middle of a giant construction zone. Now, all the houses around us are finished, and we can finally drive down our street.
As inconvenient as it felt at times, seeing the construction of our neighborhood has been fascinating to watch. Witnessing the various sub-contractors come and go and watching the work progress day by day has been a study in how building projects work.
Each person on every team has a specific role… they move as a team. No one of them could do it alone, so it requires precision and teamwork. The different stages of work follow one another in an orderly and logical sequence. Everyone pays the price for a single person’s mistake.
It’s a lot like a ministry in a church.
Watching all this got me thinking about my role as a leader in the work that we do. In many ways, leading a team of people in the building of a ministry is like leading a construction crew. Everyone has an assignment. There are many moving parts that interconnect. Things have to happen in a process that enables the whole to work.
As I started thinking about which role in a house building crew would be the best analogy for what leaders do when they lead a team, I finally saw the perfect one.
I started out wanting to think I was the architect, but he is rarely there and involved, so that doesn’t work. Maybe, I could be the guy who owns the construction company, but that doesn’t work either… I learned long ago I don’t own any of this.
So, I could be the electrician or the plumber – and in some sense that would work. But, that doesn’t seem right either.
Then I saw the guy who moves the bricks from the pile to the guys that are building the wall. And, then I knew.
I’m the wheelbarrow guy.
I get the bricks into the hands of the team. And that’s about as perfect a description of leadership that I know.
Jesus said it this way, “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” (Matthew 20:28a)
It’s the first lesson of leadership – and maybe the hardest one to learn.
I’m the wheelbarrow guy.
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.