The Leadership Factor

We’ve all heard the quote, “Everything rises or falls on leadership.”

We know that it is the Spirit of the Lord in us that provides the energy and guidance to lead, but the fact is… God is still using people to accomplish His purposes. He uses godly leaders.

Churches that are healthy are constantly producing new leaders. Those that are flat are not producing leaders. It’s that simple. New leaders bring fresh energy and ideas to a ministry. They see with different eyes.

How many leaders do you have serving the Lord? What is the size of your leader base.  Add up all your leaders and see how many you have.  This is an important number because it shows who is doing ministry.  Your church will not grow beyond the base line of your leaders.

One church I served needed lots of new leaders, so we decided to pray and see if we could double our leader base in one year. We called it “Double Vision.”

With the Lord’s blessings we did! We had new Sunday School teachers, new greeters, new teams, and guess what happened to our attendance and membership? It soared.

What would happen in your church if this Sunday you had 7 brand new leaders ready to roll up their sleeves and serve? These leaders could do anything needed…teach a new Sunday School class, serve as a deacon, share the Gospel with the lost, work in the preschool department, start a discipleship group, greet, wash the pastors car, etc. Would it make a difference in the life of your church? YES!

Most churches are a few leaders short and training a few new leaders would be the catalyst to move their churches forward.

What do you look for in a leader? One of the most prolific writers on the church is Leith Anderson. Twenty years ago, he gave a prophetic look at the kind of leaders needed for the 21st century church. I think he was right on target.

Leaders must be attuned to their culture. They must be willing to live incarnationally.

Leaders must be flexible. In changing times we need leaders who are able to adapt.

Leaders must be relational. The people in the church and community have to be attracted to a leader enough to identify, listen, and respond.

Leaders must be good communicators. In confusing times, leaders must be able to communicate a vision and move the people.

Leaders must be entrepreneurs. They must see opportunities instead of obstacles and must then be willing to make something good out of them.

Leaders must be risk takers. They must be willing to fail in order to succeed.

Leaders must be godly. No fakes. No mere professionals. They must be people who have integrity.

So who are you mentoring/training that will be your next new leader?

Keep the Son in Your Eyes,

Mike James

[Leith Anderson, A Church for the 21st Century. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1992, pp. 63-64]

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