Leading a business is demanding, but guiding a church demands a higher and more complex form of leadership than business does. The redeeming and rebuilding of human lives is exceedingly more difficult than building widgets or delivering predictable services. Here are four leadership essentials:
- Leaders cast a God-honoring vision. Spiritually gifted leaders live in such a way that God invariably ignites within their hearts a compelling idea, a heartfelt yearning for advancing some part of God’s kingdom. They start thinking about it, dreaming about it, and praying about it. When God ignites a vision in your heart, you can’t not talk about it. There is so much power released when leaders start casting a godly vision. It draws people out of the woodwork. It gets bored spectators out onto the playing field.
- Leaders gather and align people. Spiritually gifted leaders have that God-given capacity to attract, challenge, and persuade people. Then they assist them in finding their niche in the achievement of the vision. Spiritually gifted leaders are almost shameless in the boldness with which they approach people. They can’t understand why everyone isn’t already on board with them. People catch their enthusiasm. Leaders cast a vision until they find those who are aligned with that vision. Leaders then develop those individuals, and together they achieve their dream. That kind of synergy and unity and teamwork is powerful.
- Leaders motivate their co-workers. Motivation makes work fun. It can make thankless tasks exciting. It can make beaten-down people feel renewed and rejuvenated. People with the spiritual gift of leadership have a God-given ability to know what to say and how to inspire different people. Leaders have a nose for how to constructively bring about change.
- Leaders create a culture of leadership. This sounds counterintuitive. One would think that strong, gifted leaders would make sure that no emerging leader would mature to the point where his or her own leadership might be threatened. Actually, the exact opposite is true: The greatest thrill a mature, gifted leader can experience is the gradual achievement of the God-given vision through the combined efforts of younger leaders who some day will carry the kingdom baton. That’s at the heart of leading an organization. A leader creates a culture where more and more people can rise up to lead.