Developing Leaders – Part 2

Part 2. Assembling a team

Harnessing a differing mix of gifts and personality types, with varying levels of Christian maturity, and nurturing a willingness to grow and change are all basic ingredients in team building. Bring all of these factors together in an atmosphere of love, mutual trust and affirmation and we have made a start in establishing the foundation of a team that might build something substantial. However, a number of questions arise for the person who wants to build a team:

  • What are the characteristics required for good leadership?
  • How do you know who to choose?
  • How do you continue to develop new talent?

Let’s look briefly at each of these.

Leadership Qualities

In a world high on the X-Factor and low on moral substance, we would do well to consider the following:

  • Fundamental integrity trumps ability, charisma and good communications skills every time
  • A leader is someone who follows the example of Christ, who “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mt 20:28). A servant attitude is fundamental. But it is an attitude that is not first an activity, but rather a condition of the heart which affects thinking, planning and action.

Choosing well

When choosing new leaders, always listen to the witness of the Holy Spirit. If you are confident in a person’s gifts and abilities, but lack the overall peace of God regarding adding them to your team, then wait. I have found my inner spiritual “knower” to be untiringly correct on this matter. Taking longer to choose will save pain later. Ensure that you have peace regarding both a person’s gifts and their character.

Developing new leaders

If you are satisfied with a person’s gifts and character, then ask yourself a further question: Who is already showing initiative and aptitude in other areas of church life? Train those people!

The effective leader plans to do himself out of a job at some point in the future. Rather than protecting his own interests, he is always looking to develop and release others to go further and do more. Succession thinking is part of a great leader’s mind set. But in order for an on-going cycle of succession to be established, there must be a pool of new talent to draw from. Always be on the lookout for those who demonstrate character, ability and potential.

In part 3 we will look at Jesus’ approach to team building.