Leadership determines the success of anything. The caliber of intellectual and spiritual preparation is critical to consider when developing a leadership team. I am presently working on the sixth plant I have taken on myself. And I am preparing thoughts for leaders as we develop our core for the launch next year.
I wanted to review for myself what qualifications I would look at before we recognized even the first rudimentary levels of leaders. It’s a good starting point to first ask what do leaders do. Leaders:
- Are spokespersons for the vision
- Are anchors for tough times
- includers and brinngers.
- Intercessors…no leader can lead without being a person of prayer.
- Apt to teach – communicate at least the basics of the church.
- Givers. Leaders should be a large part of the core giving to the church.
- Model growth as people…model the call to be a learner.
- Opportunity makers.
These are the essential tasks and nature of leaders in church plants. They should have the following traits:
- Battle tested.
- Able to maintain family and financial health at home.
- People who see what no one else can see.
- Forever learners.
- Forward thinking.
- Not addicted to having a platform.
Anyone considered for leadership should be tested on these grounds. Cutting corners on the leadership of a church will undermine its potential for growth. And conversely there is nothing more wonderful than a sound leadership team.
Here are some realities I would insist upon for a position of continuous leadership in a church plant:
- Willing to jump in and do set up and details of ministry for at least two years.
- Given to intercessory prayer for the success of the church without having to be directed to do it. Someone who gathers his or her own prayer group together for the church.
- Someone who aims to make things easier on the leader.
- Someone who will spend their own money in investing in their own leadership. Attending conferences, building libraries, and setting time aside for prayer and development.
- Someone who gives beyond the expectations of the group.
- Willing to make certain needed roles in the church are filled.
Too often leadership in church plants or churches never escapes the horrible model of a board. I find nothing in the way we approach the church plants more corrupting than the board model. I have found very few people are boards are actually leaders in the outline I have given. Being a leader in a church plant is not a static role, it is active and sacrificial.
About one half of a church plants’ initial team will not be part of the church after the first to third year. I am persuaded the reason is we don’t set the hurdles high enough to begin with nor do we make it clear what a leader really does in a church plant or church period for that matter.
I plan on doing retreats three teams the first year of our preview year and covering this material. I want to give people who tank they want to lead a chance to opt out. And I want to lay out the ground rules for success I the plant. I will have more to say on this in the future.
Oh yes if anyone would like to be trained in a leadership role in Orlando, Florida drop me a line and we will see what works out.