Church Leadership Skills Q&A
Creating transformational leaders is one of the top three priorities of the Texas Annual Conference. What exactly is a transformational leader and how can you stretch in that direction?
Here are some quick questions to ask yourself as a current or prospective leader:
Church leaders have a lot to do in the all-important task of helping to skillfully move people in the right direction with the right objectives and the right means to get there. Everyone benefits when leaders take time to assess the obstacles in their skill set that keep them from leading effectively. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you endeavor to be effective in ministry as a “transformational lay or clergy leader” -- one of the top three areas of focus for the Texas Annual Conference over the next four years.
1. Do you have a sense of the importance of investing in other people's lives?
Effective church leaders are motivated by a servant’s heart. They want to help accomplish a vision while sharing the love of Christ with all those involved along the way. Rather than pushing through on the energy of self-determination, effective church leaders are empowered by the Holy Spirit as they seek to align with God’s character and ways, to achieve the tasks at hand. They feel a true sense of reward in helping produce eternal results using godly processes.
2. What would you list as the top two skills needed in an effective church leader? Most would agree that the top two skills are: Communication and Listening.
Communication: first with God in prayer, demonstrating trust and reliance on Him and then with people as you demonstrate a desire for unity and participation.
Listening: first to God as you seek wisdom and understanding and then to people as you lead them to greater awareness and accountability.
Other important skills include:
- Assessing, reporting and evaluating
- Goal setting and vision casting
- Strategic planning
- Team building
Which of these do you feel are your strongest? Weakest? What might you do in ministry work to leverage your strengths for kingdom purposes?
3. Does your leadership style skew toward a heavy-handed or a hands-off approach?
Sometimes, leaders think that pushing and pulling will produce action. However, helping people “be” what they need to be will often follow with “do” what they need to do. Leaders and followers respond to God’s promise that His yoke is easy and burden light. God wants leadership and volunteer work to be enjoyable and rewarding. The hands-off approach is at the other extreme. Effective church leadership requires involvement, but perhaps with a “hands-toward-God” approach similar to a shepherd. When leaders provide direction along with nourishment and protection, the sheep willingly follow.
4. How passionate are you about the spiritual condition of those you lead?
As you tap into God’s heart for the church, you can help others reach their potential in Christ. That is an exciting and rewarding life calling, whether you are mobilizing volunteers to prepare for hurricane victims or organizing a new Bible study.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col. 3:17)