We often refer to someone as a “leader” only to discover that this is a title and not a true action of the person in reference. Leadership is more than a title or holding a position. George Barna defines a true leader as one who has a calling, character and competencies. He refers to this as a “complete package of components that enables a leader to help people reach their goals and potential.” (The Power of Team Leadership, George Barna) He further defines this statement by saying, “A leader succeeds only if his or her followers succeed.” So, how do churches develop team leaders?
Placing someone into a position does not make them a leader. Putting a person into a place of service because it “looks like they fit” can be one of the worst decisions any church or organization can make. Just because someone can make a lot of money does not mean that they are the best person to lead the stewardship ministry of a church. Just because someone is capable of giving a great speech does not mean that they are the right person to teach an adult Bible study.
A true leader has a sense of calling to see the people they are leading to succeed. It is not about a program or the organization. Those who are truly “called” do not focus on themselves. Their calling is a desire to see others do well.
When Jesus recruited his first disciples, Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John, he was attempting to develop their character. All four men were fishermen. When Jesus invited them to follow him he embraced their character when he said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)
The character of a true leader is not fake or misleading. It is all about using what the Lord created them to do. When we use our unique personalities under the leadership of the Holy Spirit we become a tool in the hands of God.
Do you believe that God created this world, this universe and even human beings? Do you believe that God has the ability to put the right people in the right place at the right time? If you answered yes to both of these questions then why do we stress so much about the work of the Kingdom of God. Here is another great quote from George Barna,
“God…never sets us up for failure; He always provides His people with whatever resources they need—and when they need them—to accomplish His will. The fact that churches do not have a plentiful course of high-powered, intelligent, aggressive, supercompetent, highly regarded, productive leaders is not because God has forgotten what we need to faithfully and effectively serve Him. God never intended for any church to have an abundance of such people, because He never intended for us to desert one of the most significant leadership models that He provided for us—that is, the model of team leadership.” (page 21)
Think about your call, your character and your competencies and let God use you as a true leader this year. The Apostle Paul put it this way, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 3:14)