A leader is anyone who has followers. As any kind of church minister or volunteer minister you are a leader. The question is, are you a leader worth following? Do people actually want to follow you and go where you are going, under your leadership and direction?
Here are three questions to ask yourself:
#1 Do I have a vision worth following?
As a leader do I have a vision for where we can go, and is it a big enough vision that excites people? Do I have a sense of direction and confidence, based on hard work and prayer, that I’m actually headed in the right direction, toward the desired destination? Am I developing the skills I need to communicate this vision in a clear, consistent, and compelling way?
#2 Am I cultivating the right character traits to lead?
No leader is ever going to have a perfectly formed character, but we can all be learning and growing. Am I developing the character traits I need to lead effectively, including patience, perseverance, and prudence; generosity, good humor, honesty, integrity, transparency, and the list could go on and on. Along with this list, or perhaps overarching this list is accountability. Do I stand accountable to others, have I given someone, or better yet several someones, “permission” to speak truth into my life, to reproach, correct, challenge, and coach as needed to keep me learning and growing?
#3 Am I a servant leader?
Am I willing to take the stress and tension of being first, to shield my followers from unnecessary hurt and harm. Am I always willing to take the blame when things go wrong, and give away the credit for success every chance I get? Am I humble in my approach to leadership and easy and approachable for my followers? Can I allow others to talk, make decisions, chair meetings, even lead along with me sometimes? Am I generous enough that I willing to make an ongoing investment in my followers and team members, even when it means putting my own agenda on hold?
Honestly I cannot answer all these questions the way I would like to, but when I got started as a pastor I wasn’t even clear these were questions I needed to ask myself. At this point at least I can say I’m asking the questions and trying to be honest with my self and my team about the answers.