Imagine a car where you’re stepping on the gas but going nowhere. What’s missing? If the engine is running but the transmission is not engaged, you’re not going anywhere…

I had an epiphany the other day as a few emails hit my inbox. They were from members of our Worship Arts Team, which I lead at Rancho Community Church. One email had some ideas for stage design, another had examples of another church’s volunteer training, another was one of our worship leaders looking out a few weeks with suggestions, another one contained info on an online worship training webinar, another was one of our leaders sending her plans for assimilating new team members.

The epiphany I had was that as a leader, this kind of engagement is what I long for. I don’t want to give people a list of tasks to accomplish – I could save everyone some time and just do the tasks myself (in most cases). I want people on my team to be engaged. I want them to notice problems and find solutions. I want them to dream about how things could and should be. I want them to look for answers in places that we don’t normally find them. I want them try things, things that could possibly fail.

There’s a few different definitions of the word “engage”, the first:

to take part; participate

And the second:

to undergo or cause to undergo interlocking, as ofthe components of a driving mechanism,
such as a gear train

In order to engage as a team, we must willingly and enthusiastically participate. The result is that we interlock, as one, and move forward. It’s like putting the car in gear, all of the sudden the power of all the engine is transferred thru the transmission to the wheels and suddenly you begin to thrust forward, going places you never thought possible.

I think there’s a lesson here for leaders and teams.

Leaders, what are you doing to get your team to engage? Asking the right questions? Finding out what their passions and gifts are? Giving them opportunities to learn, teach, achieve, and even fail?

And for those being led. What are you doing to engage with your team? Are you just pulling off an event? Checking a box? Or are you passionate about your role? Do you desire to grow, to learn, to teach and train others? Do you dream? Do you give your input, ideas, and feedback?

I’m learning a lot as each week goes by. After realizing how important “engagement” is, I’m going to be working more on fostering that kind of environment on my teams.

2 thoughts on “Engage

  1. julianna

    like. You style of leadership has definitely benefitted the team; especially a team of creators and artists. We like to know we’re being heard even if our ideas aren’t always up to par. You’re good at that.

  2. Alex McLean Post author

    Thanks Julianna. Keep bringing it!

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