Leadership Worth Multiplying
Developing new leaders is important for every church. But what kind of leadership habits are worth multiplying in leaders?
Extending the Kingdom of God through church planting and missional living.
There are no two ways about it. To have a growing church community means that leaders will need to be reproduced. And whether a leader is teaching 5th graders in a Sunday School classroom, or leading worship with a team in front of hundreds (or thousands) of people, there are certain characteristics worth multiplying in each of them.
1. Great leaders know they are loved.
If a leader is not leading from a posture of knowing they are deeply loved by God, no matter their outward performance or success, they will seek to gain their identity from their leadership role.
The baptism of Jesus in Matt. 3:13-17, at the beginning of His ministry, is the perfect example of this necessary foundation for any leader.
And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love;
with him I am well pleased” (v. 17).
From this holy experience of inner affirmation, knowing the Father’s love for Him before He had even done one miracle, Jesus could lead and nurture other healthy leaders (the disciples) who led from the place of love.
If a leader does not get this right, we’ll spend the rest of our lives trying to take something from our leadership roles rather than truly giving from the heart.
Great leaders know they are loved.
2. Great leaders lead from a posture of servanthood.
Following on this first idea, we can only truly be servants to others if we don’t need them to be something to us or for us. To serve others, without expectation of reward or affirmation, is a learned virtue. Practice giving without expectation of return. Over time, we learn to love this practice of “silent service,” and understand that it is positively shaping us into a leader that has unspoken spiritual authority.
Serving means that we are “hosts” of what God is already doing in people’s lives. When a host of a dinner party sits people at the table, their job is to create an environment where those people can joyfully partake in the feast before them. The host “serves” those guests to that end.
Being a servant means that we host people at the Lord’s table, and we lead them to His gifts for them – rather than to our own.
Great leaders lead from a posture of servanthood.
3. Great leaders are always growing in self-awareness.
The outward journey of activity must never be allowed to dominate our inward journey of intimacy. We are, by design, a fruitful person when we understand our maturities and our immaturities, keeping our own eye on our areas of weakness.
Self-aware leaders cultivate personal times of worship and reading the Scriptures. Self-aware leaders understand how their families emotional patterns affect how they treat others when they are in stress. Self-aware leaders know when they are at their best and at their worst, and have accountabilities, rhythms, and resources in place for when they see a breakdown ahead.
These leaders are honest with God and themselves about their feelings, have regular check points for expressing those feelings and giving them to God (which is why Ignatius developed his Daily Examen for Jesuit leaders), and know how to put thankfulness in the driver’s seat of their daily interactions.
Great leaders are always growing in self-awareness.