I’m continuing to blog through Jim Wideman’s, “Children’s Ministry Leadership.” In chapter 2, Jim throws a barrage of key leadership traits at the reader. They are concise and their truth is deafening. Here they are.
Authentic leaders must…
1. Being willing to change. This is true today of church leaders, and it was true one hundred years ago. Show me a pastor who hasn’t changed anything in their leadership approach or how their church carries out the Great Commission…..and I’ll show you a church that rarely bares any fruit.
2. Have integrity. I love this line Jim writes on integrity. He says, “It’s not about your being right; it’s about God being right and you leading the way to him.” So, it’s O.K. to not have all the answers. Humility is absolutely vital to having solid integrity.
3. Be faithful in small things. This can often be a stumbling block for many leaders in the church. Many times I think we can gravitate toward the BIG events or responsibilities, but God equally calls us to the smaller things. Look at Luke 16:10. This is Jesus process for promotion (so to speak).
4. Be a person of vision, and communicate it. This is basic, but SO important. If you don’t have a clear vision for the direction of your ministry or church it won’t go anywhere. Additionally, however, in you’re the only one who knows and understands the vision…you’d probably be better off not having one. Everyone needs to know your vision, and it needs to be clearly communicated often. People forget, and there’s always new people who haven’t ever heard it.
5. Be willing to follow others. Every leader requires a higher authority to learn from and follow. Modeling HOW to follow well is one of the best examples of leading.
6. Be unpopular at times. Ministry leadership is not a popularity contest. This is hard, because most of us really do like being ‘liked.’ But if being liked by our church becomes more important (or more easily done) than having God smile on our ability to obey His Spirit’s guiding….we’re in BIG trouble. Do the ‘right’ thing, not the most liked thing.
7. Be someone people see as a leader. Two words on this: OWN IT. Be who God has call you to be. Sure, remain humble in your position…but take hold of what God has placed in your hands. If you don’t really know what kind of a leader you are, chances are those around you will experience difficulty figuring it out too!
Which of these areas is the larger challenge for you in leadership? We all have areas to grow. Leave a comment.