Strong church leaders are not only academically and theologically prepared to lead their communities, but they are also concerned with leading out of the love for God and a selfless concern for the well-being of others. Ideally, church leaders will build on their ministerial and church development experience and education to become even better church leaders for their congregations and communities. The following are five steps to becoming a stronger church leader.
Church leaders should be committed to God, but what about their commitment to His people? A church leader should understand that leading by example for the individuals in the congregation is as important as staying true to God. Leadership is a skill that can be honed and developed with the proper care and commitment.
Though you may encounter speed bumps along the way, it’s important to have a long-term vision when leading a church. Planning large-scale events can help your church to reach out to the community and grow your congregation. Community outreach should be a main tool in the church’s ever-growing toolbox. Consider what your leadership is leading your community toward. What issues in the community are being met by church programming? It’s easy to focus on the present and the problems at hand. A good leader is able to steer around curves but also keep moving forward for the long haul. Plan for growth, but don’t be too wrapped up in size.
Being able to work well with others is an important skill. In a church setting, interacting with others should be a joyful and uplifting experience. Everyone in the church leadership and congregation should be working toward one of the common goals of a Christ-centered community. This means focusing not only on the business aspects of the church’s organization but also on the needs of the people within the church and how that fits into Christian teachings and the Christian lifestyle.
Leaders in the church are also servants. This means that the actions they take and the momentum they cause should always have the future and heart of the church in mind. A great leader is able to step back and let others take over a ministry or lead programming. Encourage people to share their own gifts and talents for the good of the church. Management skills like supervising other staff members and being available and open to communication are essential for a successful church leader.
Some of the best leaders recognize their own limitations and are quick to admit when they are unsure of something. Being a great church leader means more than just knowing your way through the Bible and keeping people’s interest on Sunday. It also means evolving to fit with the needs of your community and continually learning and experimenting with communication, philosophy and practical applications of leadership in the church. Keeping up with relevant trends and thoughts in this field can prove to be helpful when looking to make changes.