Beginning Something New? (Part 1)
Leading Through Change (Starting or Resurrecting)
By Brad Aycock
My wife and I owned a marketing business in Missouri for thirteen years before following God’s call into vocational ministry. It was so difficult to leave the corporate world, the business we started and grew. Our prayer was “God, place us where we can make the most impact for your kingdom, whether in business or vocational ministry.” I still miss it and firmly believe that the real ministry and transformation happens through Jesus followers who are teaching school, running businesses, lawyers, doctors, coaches, and the like. Our company grew quickly, eventually having 6000 customers from across the country from a variety of industries and backgrounds. I learned so much from those thirteen years. These cherished experiences helped shape me and inform much of my ministry today, having implemented some of these strategies into the local church and now the larger church as the director of new church development for West Ohio. Here are a few of those life-lessons that have helped me lead.
- Growth Mindset. Pursue a growth mindset over a fixed mindset. Growth means we stretch ourselves. When we stretch ourselves, we are changed. This means we need to take risks; believing and doing things where we can’t micro-manage the outcomes. This is uncomfortable. But when we refuse to embrace the uncomfortable, we can become unfaithful. Comfort is a casualty of growth.
- Fail boldly and fail quickly. Life is full of disappointments and failures. These are only a waste if we don’t learn from them. It’s part of our development. If I’m dedicated to growth, then I must become better at managing my bad experiences and failures well.
- Trust. I could not have been a part of growing churches and organizations if the trust wasn’t there. This is about stewarding what you’ve been given. Nothing moves faster than the speed of trust. You cannot microwave the process of building authentic relationships. Proximity leads to intimacy. Intimacy leads to trust. Trust leads to influence. Go slow now so you can go fast later.
- Vision. Without vision, the people will perish. -Proverbs 29:18. No one will follow a leader who doesn’t have a compelling vision. And no one will naturally drift towards the mission. It takes a leader with vision (and passion for it). It’s in you. Hunt for it.
- Embrace Change. Changing people grow. Growing people change. And whether we realize it or not, change is in everyone’s job description. It’s also in our DNA as Jesus followers.
These are the first five of the nine leadership traits that I’ve learned about over my life of leading and following. I hope you find them helpful in your life and ministry. Be encouraged. You are doing important work.
Check out the rest of the traits in part 2 of Are You Beginning Something New?
Brad grew up in the Bootheel of Missouri. Upon completion of his Biology degree, he started an agriculture business with his brother. Brad later started a marketing business which he and his wife owned for thirteen years prior to selling it to enter seminary and vocational ministry. Brad has been a part of serving established churches and new churches since entering into ministry. In 2015, Brad, Ann, and their sons Ryan and Daniel left their lifelong home and comfort level to move to Ohio so Brad could serve as the Director of New Church Development where he continues to serve with joy (and hope).