Any form of leadership is always based upon people positioning themselves to answer that call, and then walking it out as the responsibilities require. Those who are currently leaders in our church also need to be walking in the truth of what follows. If they can’t do so then they need evaluate why and make the needed changes, or honor God by stepping down from a calling they are not fulfilling. So then, let me put my thoughts down in writing so you can see the specifics of what is looked for in anyone who aspires to be a leader.
To being with, those who are called to be any kind of leadership have a universal standard to meet that I will identify as being biblical. This foundation is in the bedrock of all who are recognized before God and embraced by men. The patterns that are established is what we look for in those who say they want to answer that call. Once that is clearly manifested in someone’s life, the leadership in them is easily recognized. Until then, the potential to be a leader continues to remain just that, an untapped potential.
Everyone can evaluate themselves to see if they are consistently walking in these principles. In this way each will have an honest answer for those who may want to know “why am I not in leadership?” Use the list below as a guide to assist you in your desire to answer the call. The cry to lead that is surfacing in your heart may be valid, but the ability to do what it requires may not. Only you know the truth and once that is faced nothing can hold you back!
The Leadership Lifestyle
#1. Leaders are consistently early or at the very least arrive on time. This is how they demonstrate to everyone they can be depended upon. It also declares that they really do want to assist where needed. In this way leaders can help with unexpected problems and serve others. It allows the flow of that day to go smoothly so the needs of the people can be joyfully met.
#2. Leaders are faithful to carry out responsibilities in their own department. They build a solid team that can smoothly carry that department when they are not there. If a department is not run smoothly and it is not growing stronger, that means there is no leadership being demonstrated. Real leadership never gives reasons why things are not right. Real leadership provides innovative solutions that make sure things are right. Genuine leadership in a little thing opens the door for trusted leadership in a bigger thing.
#3. Leaders are faithful in giving, both financially and personally in all seasons of life. Giving is the absolute foundation of our Christianity. It’s our first baby step in serving others and in trusting God. Good financial stewardship and good time management demonstrates to God that you will not rob Him of either. They also demonstrate to the church that you will faithfully support its vision and provide for its leaders.
#4. Leaders are involved with and directly engaged in the prayer life of the church. Jesus said that the church He was building, the one the gates of hell could not prevail against, was a House of prayer. It is not and never will be a house of busy works, rushed activities and last minute crises management. Spiritual leaders understand this and are involved in prayer times when they happen. They see prayer as a priority in life and join in because it is the life blood of all they do. Leaders set this good example for the congregation to follow.
#5. Leaders are consistently available to serve the congregation and help lift the load without being asked. Leadership by it’s very nature means people are available to serve and they do it because they love the church and the people who go there. If life continually takes someone away from their place of service then it means one of two things; #1. they are way too busy and God needs to reorder their life or #2. leadership is not a priority because they only want the recognition and not the responsibility it demands. No one can lead were they are not consistently available to serve.
#6. Leaders are directly involved in the life of the church. Leaders love being involved in small groups and gatherings outside of Sunday morning. They tend to invite others home for lunch or call others to just connect and see how they are doing. They love being involved in the lives of the people or the ministries that change people’s lives. They just show up when things need to get done and they do it with joy. This tells everyone they are invested in the vision of the house.
#7. Leaders honor those already in leadership. When we honor and serve all those God has placed in leadership over us it not only defines our heart but it pleases God. Scripture says “give honor to whom honor is due”. It does not say “give honor to those you think honor is deserved”. As humans, leaders mess up but when we serve them, listen to them, catch their heart and honor them anyway it produces unity. Those called to be leaders always release honor because they know dishonor causes division.
#8. Leaders build a life of intimacy with God. They desire to have that time with Him and don’t allow the demands of life to get in the way of it. They know such intimacy keeps them tender and keeps them sensitive to His heart. True leadership is more about heart-to-heart connection than it is blindly serving because there are needs to be met. Genuine leaders will find God’s heart before they become His hands and feet.
#9. Leadership is a calling that manifests in a specific life style. It lives and breathes in the heart of someone and they adjust their life to fulfill it. They often sacrifice personal time, finances and desires to accomplish what is in their heart for that place. True leaders don’t see leadership as a position. It is something they give their lives over to so they can serve the vision of another. It’s not doing certain things a certain way to reach a certain goal. It’s a surrendered life that serves others so together they can accomplish the vision that has been created and is being birthed in that place.
Is there a question in your mind as to why you may, or may not be a leader? Take a moment to look in the mirror of your life and do an honest, hard evaluation. Then, take a little more time and consider the above…and you will have your answer. If you are committed to the call, you will make the changes needed to answer it. If you are not, you will continue doing as you have and miss the life you were intended to live. As always, what we end up with is up to us. My sincere hope it that you will choose well!