Lesson VII Characteristics of a Successful Leader
Christian leaders are called by God and lead by the Holy Spirit. Successful leaders share six common characteristics:
1. They establish challenging but attainable goals. This means not only having goals in your head, but also communicating them in such a way that others will see then as their own.
The process of goal setting involves taking the larger goals that God has placed before you and breaking them into steps to fulfillment. Goals will involve: Whom God wants you to become, whom you will reach, what kind of body you will be, the daughter churches you will plant.
2. They recruit team members. The leader is not alone in his pursuit of church growth. He plays a key role in determining the outcome of the vision by recruiting team players with the potential to succeed.
Some leaders possess a passion and working style, which lends itself to the leadership of modalities or people, oriented structures. Other leaders have a passion and working style that lends itself to sodalities or task oriented structures.
Modality leaders generally lead local churches. Sodality leaders are so impatient to get the job done (winning the world for Christ, planting churches, feeding the hungry) they find themselves building ministries instead of ministering through church members. Peter Wagner in his book, Leading Your church to Growth, states,
Growing churches are generally led by sodalic pastors who have the gifts of leadership and faith. These task oriented men and women challenge their flocks to stretch beyond themselves, to minister and to give of themselves in multiplying churches. They are more ranchers than shepherd.
A shepherd administers care to each sheep in a limited flock. A rancher takes steps to ensure someone else provides personal care to every sheep
on the ranch.
3. Inspire the team to maximum performance. Effective leaders live their vision. They accomplish leadership by personal example. They allocate resources to reach the goal. Time and money are invested. The leader demonstrates that the vision has value. One of the key aspects of success is the ability to share the vision of God with those around them. Players like to win. If they believe the leader can make them winners they will follow.
4. Designs Strategy. A leader not only knows where he is going he has a plan on how to get there. Once priority concerns are chosen, it is essential for the church to have goals and action plans. The smart leader understands that the Holy Spirit directs strategy design. However, he/she does not set back and expect the vision to come to fruition. They work to accomplish the task.
5. Develop the skills of all team members. We are stronger together than we are separate. Turn loose and allow everyone to have ownership of the vision. It is not just the vision of the leader. It is the vision of the cooperate body. Team members need affirmation as well as correction.
6. Building Team Spirit
Building team spirit is essential to church growth. This is not an easy task. The cultivation process encompasses five steps.
First, value each member's unique contribution to the group. We are stronger together than we are separate. Help each member of the team discover and cultivate his or her strength.
Second, Make sure everyone realizes they are valuable and needed members of the team. Applaud individual accomplishment as team accomplishment. Recognize and affirm the individual's value but emphasize that the action contributes to the whole. Realize that the various parts are working in unison to grow the whole.
Third, build group cohesiveness. Help all the members see how they fit into the larger group. Let them see they need the other members of the group in order to be effective.
Fourth, a winning team spends time together as a group. They experience the difficult and rewarding times together. Schedule fun activities.
Fifth, plan regular celebrations. Celebrate the successful completion of a project or goal. Have closure and move to the next goal.