Via Thom Rainer. I couldn’t agree more. Sports Ministers: Strive to be this kind of a leader!
1. They spend time in prayer and the Word. Indeed most of these leaders take at least an hour a day alone to pray and study God’s Word. Some take two to three hours. These leaders are incredibly busy, but they have deemed time with God and His word as one of their highest priorities. They are truly Acts 6:4 leaders who devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word.
2. They have longer tenure in the church. Most of the healthy church leaders I observe have been in their present church for at least five years. They have weathered conflict and change. They have earned the love and respect of the people of the church. They have become trusted and loved in the communities they serve.
3. They demonstrate obvious love for the people in their congregations. It’s cliché to say that no one is perfect. There are no perfect pastors. There are no perfect staff members. And there are no perfect people in the church. Ministry is messy and sinners are sinful. Receiving criticism and second-guessing is the fate of every leader in a church. But leaders of healthy churches love the people anyway. These leaders understand that the Savior loves them though they don’t deserve that love. They love unconditionally because they are loved unconditionally.
4. They have a consistent missional leadership push. Evangelism is a priority for these leaders. They serve and care for the community. They lead the church in an outward focus. They have an obvious passion for the nations. They focus on sending people and other resources where there is need.
5. They lead toward incremental change. These leaders are change agents. But they don’t lead autocratically or at such a pace that the congregations cannot or will not follow. They “eat the elephant” one bit at time. And they seek God’s wisdom and the counsel of wise men and women on how big that elephant bite should be.