All too often, a young senior pastor or church staff member proudly wears their graduation gown and cap, shakes the hand of the seminary president, leaves graduation confident that they’re ready to lead. But in less than a year they realize that something in their training was lacking. What was it that they didn’t get in seminary? The leadership principles and practices that make accomplishing their dreams possible.
There are six primary leadership necessities every church leader must remember.
- Integrity builds trust – Without the trust of those on your team you will never gain the leadership equity necessary to ask much of those you’re leading. Without consistently being a godly, good natured, caring and kind leader you will never build the trust of the team you lead. And a team that doesn’t trust their leader will seldom perform well for that leader.
- Preparation instills confidence – Prior to any meeting, phone call, or leadership responsibility, it’s imperative that the leader prepare. Walking into a strategic conversation with nothing prepared tells everyone on your team that you’re depending on them to fill the leadership vacuum you just created. Always prepare SOMETHING to hand out or draw on the white board before the experience begins.
- Encouragement creates anticipation – The act of verbally encouraging those you lead is a sure fire way to create an environment of anticipation. When people are in meetings and the leader is encouraging individuals or entire teams for a job well done or a task completed, people anticipate being with the leader, working for the leader, and meeting the expectations of the leader.
- Accountability stimulates activity – Grace filled accountability is the key to getting people to accomplish the work they’ve agreed to do. Without accountability the team will, 1) wonder if the work being asked of them is important enough to give their precious time to, 2) wonder if the leader truly cares about the ministry they lead, 3) begin to drift into the dangerous land of apathy.
- Celebration produces inspiration – When the team completes a major initiative or achieves a predetermined goal, great leaders do something to celebrate the accomplishment. Dinner out on the church’s bill, a day out on a houseboat, etc… are ways of saying thanks while at the same time inspiring the team to continue to dream the dream that the leader has in his mind’s eye, the vision yet to be completed. The vision that the team has bought into and is willing to give their time to will not become a reality if the team you’re leading isn’t inspired to continue the journey with you.