Leadership can’t be taught in a classroom, it can’t be learned by reading books, it can’t be developed by sitting around drinking coffee (or whatever your favorite beverage of choice is) and pontificating about leadership ideas, and it certainly can’t be acquired by arm chair quarterbacking other leaders.
The Bible teaches us that leadership is actually a spiritual gift
. A spiritual gift that isn’t given to everyone. But even among church leaders there is a difference between good ones and great ones.
Over the past 20+ years of full-time ministry and 5+ years of consulting with churches and coaching church leaders around the country there are a few characteristics that I’ve observed that separate good church leaders from great church leaders.
*Note: I’m working with the basic assumption that these church leaders demonstrate character and are personally following Jesus.
Great church leaders have the courage to do the right thing even when it’s unpopular or difficult. They’re willing to make difficult decisions or experience difficult outcomes for the sake of the mission.
Great church leaders understand sequencing and the art of timing. They’re playing chess not checkers. They understand when the timing is right to implement change and who to involve in that change.
Great church leaders don’t give up. They are determined to stick with things even when they don’t go well. They get back up when they fail (yes even great church leaders fail sometimes). They’re in it for the long haul and often times simply outlast their critics.
Great church leaders have the unique ability to persuade others to join them in the vision God has given them. They inspire people to take action and get personally involved.
Great church leaders surround themselves with other great leaders. They don’t lead alone. They don’t lead alone because they’re chasing something that is bigger than one person can do alone. Not only does it take a team, but it takes a great team. Great church leaders attract great team members because they aren’t intimidated by other great leaders.
This article originally appeared here.