This is the time of year that church members receive the phone call asking them to serve on a committee or be part of a board or work on a particular church project. And because of that, I’ve been thinking and reading a lot about church structure and leadership. What are the so-called “best practices” for leading a church in its spiritual and ministerial growth? This almost always assumes membership growth. I believe that these questions work in tandem yet the outcomes are a bit different depending upon which one you focus on. My leadership style is based on nurturing and growing mutually supportive and trusting relationships that invites and welcomes people to share in the work as they feel called. Like anyone performing any task/work, some of my skills work well but others I need to develop.
Two really good articles on www.ministrymatters.com share wonderful insight into what skills bring about good leadership. I share pieces of these articles with you so as our next Admin. Council, with its committees, meets you may pray for us that we might be the best leaders we can be. Help us become bring the most faithful and fulfilling leadership we can to PUMCST.
This article was on www.ministrymatters.com
a ministry of the United Methodist Church. May 19, 2013
- Good leaders share leadership. They know when to follow and when to lead.
- Good leaders build their skills on following role models for the behaviors they want to learn. What they admire in another, they copy.
- Good leaders exhibit humility. They remain open to suggestion. When they need it, they ask for help and follow good advice.” In other words, good leaders are also good followers. They know when to follow in the footsteps of others and when to leave tracks of their own.”
Steve Goodier is a District Superintendent and Director of Communications for the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
This article was on www.ministrymatters.com
a ministry of the United Methodist Church, May 28, 2014.
I believe there are some helpful skills for those who want to lead a church to not only care for and disciple the people in the church now, but actually grow and be healthy at the same time — where there is momentum and unity and excitement around the vision of the Great Commission.
Here are seven helpful skills I’ve observed:
Networking – For definition purposes, this is “the cultivation of productive relationships.” It is the ability to bring the right people to the table to accomplish the mission and it is invaluable for any position of leadership… And, the possibilities here are endless.
Connecting – If the church is large or small, the best leaders bring people together. When a new person comes into the church, it’s important that they be able to connect quickly to others. First, the pastor needs to meet them, but that isn’t enough to really make people feel connected to a church. Good leaders connect them to people within the church, or help create systems of connection. They value connectivity — creating healthy, life-changing relationships in the church — and see that it is a natural, but intentional part of the church’s overall mission.
Visioneering – Good leaders are able to cast a picture beyond today worthy of taking a risk to seek. They may not always have all the ideas of what’s next — they should have some — but they can rally people behind the vision.
Pioneering – To lead a church by faith, a leader has to be willing to lead into an unknown, and take the first step in that direction. People won’t follow until they know the leader is willing to go first. Momentum and change almost always starts with new — doing things differently —creating new groups, new opportunities — trying things you’ve not tried before. Pioneering leaders watch to see where God may be stirring hearts and are willing to boldly lead into the unknown.
Delegating – No one person can or should attempt to do it all. It’s not healthy, nor is it biblical. This may, however, be the number one reason I see for pastoral burnout, frustration and lack of church growth. Good leaders learn to raise up armies of people who believe in the mission and are willing to take ownership and provide leadership to completing a specific aspect of attaining that vision.
Confronting – If you lead anything, you will face opposition. Period. Leadership involves change and change in church involves change in people. And, most people have some to change. After a pastor is certain of God’s leadership, has sought input from others, cast a vision, and organized people around a plan, there will be opposition. Perhaps even organized opposition. Good leaders learn to confront in love.
Following – Ultimately, it’s all about Christ. I can’t lead people closer to Him — certainly not be more like Him — unless I’m personally growing closer to Christ. But, following also involves allowing others to speak into my life. It means I have mentors, people who hold me accountable and healthy family relationships. Good leaders have systems in place that personally keep them on track. Self leadership — and following others who are healthy — keeps a leader in it for the duration.
That’s my (Ron Edmondson’s) list. Or, at least seven on my list. What would you add?
Ron Edmondson is Senior Pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, KY.
A nationally known Christian leader with an impressive history of church planting and church growth, Ron heard God’s call to ministry after twenty years in business. Ron received a Master’s degree in Counseling from Luther Rice Seminary, and a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Eastern University.