Leadership is important, whether it’s up front or behind the scenes. In fact good leadership that is gifted, trained, and organized is essential to godly ministry.
Out of valid concern to staff needed positions, we often rush to fill an empty slot with anyone willing to serve instead of finding the person who fits. Rather than waiting and praying as we search, in desperation we may throw out a general call for volunteers that ends up weakening the ministry long-term. When we plead for help, those with the gift of mercy respond, and I am so grateful for those with soft hearts, but we need leaders whose gifts fit their roles.
In contrast, Paul describes those who should become teachers to Pastor Timothy: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:2, NIV).
Someone long ago provided an acronym for such people FAT: faithful, able, teachable.
Over and over the scriptures reveal what to look for in a leader:
- CHRIST-CENTERED: Those who serve out of love for Christ, not a desire to be in charge or get attention.
- CHARACTER: Not perfect, but proven to be humble, mature in faith, and faithful to Christ and their responsibilities
- CALLING: Leaders are gifted by the Spirit for the job, not by genetics, training, worldly success or experience. Because God calls his people to the work that he has equipped them to do, look for a leader who is gifted and drawn by the Spirit to the job. She will have the heart for it, not because she feels qualified but because God has placed the desire within her.
- CARE: Leaders care about people as well as projects and show that love for those who work under or with them.
Timothy was to train his teachers by passing on what he knew, and the entire ministry will benefit by doing the same.
BOW has lots of free resources available to help: blog posts that cover skills for leaders; videos that train small group leaders and teachers; videos to help you do a great job planning and leading a meeting, being strategic, and other general leadership skills. Browse our resources and have your leaders watch appropriate videos and then meet with the whole group to discuss them. If you can’t find help for your particular needs, contact us.
God has created each believer with gifts to use for his kingdom work, but disorganization breeds conflict among leaders and within the larger group.
Volunteers need job descriptions before they agree to take responsibilities. Don’t mislead potential helpers, but let them know everything expected of them and to whom they report.
Hold leaders responsible by regular contact to ask how it’s going, share evaluation results, and ask for feedback. Every member of the decision-making group is accountable to the whole.
Gifted, trained, and organized leadership provides the framework for a ministry that is able to carry out a God-given vision. We’re here to help you staff your ministry well.