Lenten Leaders: Having a Supportive Network

Week 6: The fifth week of Lent
By Dennis VanAuken
Leadership Consultant


"Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him."

When the angels came and ministered to him, Jesus demonstrates the need for a supportive network as a leader.

 I am sure you would agree that being a leader of a parish community, apostolate, or ministry can be overwhelming at times. The daily challenges and opportunities we face often wear on us and we need individuals who can focus and inspire us, when hard work and prayers are not enough.

These individuals or groups can fortify you in many ways-proactively listening, problem solving, spiritual direction, and prayer, just to name a few. One of the obstacles for many leaders is they do not ask for the help they need when they need it.

Be courageous and humble, as Jesus was, and ask for the support you need.

Leadership Tips:
  • Create a document that identifies specific leadership support you need. 
  • Identify specific individuals you believe can support you.
  • Have a conversation with each individual to discuss what you are looking for to confirm that there is a fit for both of you.
  • Establish a regular schedule to check in with your support members, even if you do not have a need for their support.
  • Utilize the following statements and questions to prepare for a support check in.
                                1. This need, issue or opportunity is: 
                                2. How do I... 
                                3. It is significant to me right now because... 
                                4. My ideal outcome is... 
                                5. Relevant background information: 
                                6. The specific help I want is...