Good leaders intentionally developmore leaders.
If you are a church planter, pastor, or elder, you have a responsibility to raise up and develop godly leaders around you. You can’t just expect that God will bring you “ready to go” leaders. You have to be intentional about raising them up!
Beginning with a clear picture of the type of leaders that you are developing will help you focus intentionally on specific areas of their growth and development.
Here are sixteen categories to consider in determining if someone is qualified to serve in a leadership role in a local church. They are also sixteen areas to pay attention to as you work to intentionally develop spiritual leaders around you.
16 Categories for Spiritual Leadership Development
1. Christ Follower – Radical Obedience to Jesus
To be a spiritual leader you must first be a fully devoted follower of Jesus. There has be evidence in the way you think, speak and act that you’ve placed your faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross and that you are committed to a lifetime of obedience to Him. If you haven’t come to the point where you are willing to do whatever He says to you, you are not ready to be a spiritual leader. This is the starting point: absolute surrender to the leadership and lordship of Jesus!
2. Character – Demonstrates Godly Fruit
Jesus said in Matthew 7:20 that His followers will be recognized by their fruit. To be a spiritual leader you must evidence godliness in your character. It’s important to be cultivating fruit and continually maturing as you follow Jesus. This will be clearly seen as the Holy Spirit’s work in your life produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. You cannot produce this fruit on your own for apart from Christ you can do nothing.
3. Calling – Called to Lead God’s People
I learned many years ago that “The need doesn’t constitute the call.” There are needs all around you. But which of these needs has God uniquely called you to meet? Churches need leaders. But everyone is not called to lead in the church. There must be evidence in the life of a leader of God’s calling to lead. How do you sense God’s calling in your life?
4. Core – Practices Spiritual Disciplines
The spiritual disciplines are critical to the ongoing spiritual growth and maturing of all believers. Spiritual leaders must develop daily habits to ensure their own growth. Time alone with God, SOAP journaling, prayer and fasting, silence and solitude, simplicity, worship, service – God uses these disciplines to deepen a leader’s spiritual dependence.
I’ll unpack four more tomorrow. Here’s the rest of the list:
5. Conviction – Embraces & Defends Sound Doctrine
6. Community – Lives Authentically in Close Relationships
7. Commission – Makes Disciples who Make Disciples who Make Disciples
8. Clarity – Clearly Articulates Mission, Vision & Values
9. Contact – Invests in Friendships with Unbelievers
10. Contribution – Gives Generously to God’s Work
11. Connection – Actively Participates in Local Church Life
12. Compatibility – Shaped for Leadership
13. Commitment – Tested Through Difficulties
14. Competence – Evidences Leadership Skills
15. Capacity – Able to Lead by Serving and Caring for People
16. Chemistry – Relates Well with Other Leaders
This past Saturday, I invited five college students who are interested in pursuing vocational ministry to come over for pancakes. I shared from my journey into church planting, and asked them each to share how God was leading them. Then I shared most of the items listed above and challenged them to think about how they needed to grow in each of these areas. Over the coming months, it’s my goal to help them take intentional steps forward in their development as spiritual leaders!
How are you growing in each of these first 4 Categories?
If you are a leader, how will you intentionally develop other leaders to grow in each of these 4 Categories?