Though there are many common traits that all people in leadership positions are required to have, there are some traits specific to leading a church. No matter the size of your church or the community that you serve, effective leadership should come from the heart and soul of a church leader. Every pastor, minister, coordinator, director and other leader wants to improve their skills and knowledge when it comes to leadership.
In addition to the biblical qualifications of a church leader, effective ministry traits allow leaders to foster a Christ-centered community. Here are some of the most common and essential qualities in effective church leaders.
Teaching and Learning Simultaneously
Because the church community looks to its leaders for guidance in their lives, these individuals must possess the ability to pass on the Word of God in a clear and effective way that really reaches the audience. Communication skills that help people relate to the teachings of Christ are essential for a church leader. These skills need to be altered and tailored according to the specific makeup of the congregation. The teaching style needed to engage a youth group would be very different from that used to communicate to an older audience.
Though communication and teaching are at the heart of what a church leader practices, effective church leaders are also continuously learning and being humbled by what they do not know. The ability to learn different skills and knowledge needed to meet changes, roadblocks and other issues inherent in leading a church is important. Keeping up with a network of other church leaders and discussing their failures and successes can be a very helpful way to become a continuous learner.
Leading by Example
Sometimes it is easy to forget that church leaders are as capable of sinning as their congregation members. Because church leaders are held to higher standards, this can put a lot of personal pressure on these individuals to avoid mistakes and failures at all costs. Unfortunately, this can lead to even bigger failures and mistakes. How church leaders manage their own lives affects the way the church sees them. Ethics play a large part in effective leadership. Maintaining a moral code that others can adopt and live by is an important aspect of church leadership.
Advanced Communication Skills
There are many ways to communicate with a community. Communication does not just start and end in the pulpit during services. Church leaders are expected to have open lines of communication that involve both listening and discussion. So much emphasis is placed on speaking and oral communication skills that it’s easy to gloss over the idea of listening. Active listening is just as important for a church leader’s communication skills as delivering a passionate sermon on Sunday.
Writing skills are also essential to effective church leadership. Whether it is the church newsletter or a simple email, church leaders need to be able to communicate not only orally but also in writing.
Being a Visionary
Church leaders should have ideas for growth and success when it comes to their church community. Being able to communicate this vision and achieve these goals in a way that engages the people around you is not always easy. But leading for the present is never enough. Having the foresight to invest in the future of your church and get others to follow you can be one of the most important skills of a church leader.