Great leadership is so important to a healthy, thriving ministry, right? But, with all the leadership books, leadership seminars, leadership courses and leadership events, sometimes it’s easy to overlook the simple stuff like finding great team players. After all, you can’t do this alone. So in addition to leadership skills, we should look for leadership qualities.
Even Jesus had a team of disciples he involved in the work, trained and released into fruitful ministry (not counting Judas, of course, but that’s a whole different blog series).
The apostle Paul is another great reminder of a leader who was tremendously aware of what it takes to “fight the good fight” and “finish the race” (2 Timothy 4:7), and that didn’t happen alone. Paul ran his race with others alongside him. In fact, he frequently had a team member alongside him—someone to help in the work; someone to give honest feedback and someone to lift him up emotionally and spiritually when he was discouraged.
So, if you want to become an effective leader, or if you’re in the process of raising up new leaders in your staff and volunteers, you need to have the confidence to spot potential team players.
Here are four ministry leadership qualities you want to possess and look for in others:
Great leaders ultimately place the success of their team ahead of their own desires for personal achievement. They prioritize the team’s well-being over any selfish desires for their own success.
Drive is a trait that typifies many leaders, but there’s something to be said about “blooming where you’re planted” and spending time in prayer with God, and with others. This allows staff and volunteers to buy into the mission and vision of the church, commit to the success of the church, and get behind the goals God sets for the church along the way.
We’ve all known “lone” wolves, and we’ve all probably been them at one point or another. But, if we’re honest, few of us want to follow someone who only wanted to do his or her own thing with little or no input from others. Solid teamwork always gets you where you need to go quicker, more efficiently and with less emotional drama. When one team member falls, there is another team member who can help him or her up.
Teamwork means being willing to face difficulty together and not run away. When we dig in and persevere, we help our coworkers and our church be all they can be.
At times, the ministry can be very lonely, especially when the demands are great, and they usually are. We can find ourselves going through the motions and falsely believing we are “called” to take up the charge on our own. But, God knows the weight that a burden like that creates. It is too heavy alone.
At the end of his life, Paul wrote to Timothy asking him to come. He needed his team member alongside him.
And you do too, but they won’t be there if you don’t start investing in them now.