Leadership Matters for Ministry: 5 Principles for Developing Leaders at Every Level

By : October 6, 2016

At any church or organization that experiences long-term growth and health, you’ll usually find at least one thing in common: Great leadership at every level. Leadership doesn’t just happen at the top- it reaches down through the ranks. Every member or minister contributes something valuable. What characterizes these leaders and how can you begin to develop them in your church? Here are 5 principles for starting to build great leaders in your ministries.

  1. Leaders are Servants

Jesus said, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” (Luke 16:10). Great leaders don’t run from the small stuff that seems “beneath” them. Members who want more responsibility but avoid the more mundane aspects of ministry are not likely to develop into servant leaders. Whether it’s taking out the trash or signing up for the shift no one wants, if you want to influence others to do the same, then current leaders need to be modeling servant leader behavior.

  1. Leaders are Learners

There’s a common saying- When you stop learning you stop leading. Currently as a staff we are reading and discussing Patrick Lencioni’s book The Ideal Team Player. We encourage our ministers to read books and blogs, and even visit other churches from time to time to observe and experience first-hand what works well (or not) and share fresh ideas with the team.

  1. Leaders are Sold on the Vision and Mission

Much of the church culture seeks to preserve old programs and broken systems that only meets the needs (or preferences) of the few. Leaders are more interested in serving a mission and vision than programs.

  1. Leaders Set Clear Goals

Growth doesn’t happen by accident. We can’t grow leaders without setting measurable goals for our ministry and mission. Whatever they are, be specific, share them with everyone involved, regularly discuss your progress.

  1. Leaders Replace Themselves

Great leaders are always thinking about the next generation. When leaders are in the same place for too long with the same team, the ministry bottlenecks and growth stops. Too often we have people around us with great potential to lead but we never give them room to grow and develop their gifts.

When I look to fill a position on staff or ministry leadership, I look for this one quality: Is this person more passionate about this role more than I am? Identify the people around you who are more passionate about the mission and vision than you are.

Filed Under: Leadership, Team Building

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