10 Leadership Ideas

Recently, I participated in a leadership workshop at Spring Meadows church in Spring Hill, Tennessee. Dale Jenkins asked me to present ten leadership ideas in ten minutes. Here’s the list.

  1. We have in our congregation the leaders we want, the leaders we deserve, the leaders we’ve taught and trained, the leaders we’ve prayed for. If we want better leaders, the best time to start is two generations ago. If we didn’t, the best time to start is now.
  2. Perhaps the best way to train leaders is not to train leaders. Develop disciples of Jesus. Select from those devoted disciples men who can and will lead. I find very little in the Bible about training leaders. I see much about making disciples by baptizing them and teaching them to obey ALL that Jesus commanded. I see much about the group of believers selecting outstanding men to lead when needed.
  3. Family (leadership, business, softball) rules are usually unconscious, unspoken, understood, and contradictory. It can improve our following of Jesus and leading others when we think about and discuss our rules (the habitual way we do things) and commit to reducing contradictions. It would improve our leadership and reduce our stress.
  4. The identified patient is rarely the cause of the problem but where the symptoms of the group surface. Rarely will firing the preacher or the death or resignation of an elder produce a great improvement. The ones we had were there because the group produced, chose, and sustained them. Unless the group changes, we’ll get another one like the last one. In fact, they are prepared and waiting in the wings to take their place. The same is true of preachers. If you’re changing congregations because a few people irritate you, they’re already at the next church where you’ll preach. You can learn to deal with them here, or move and deal with them there, or be miserable all your life.
  5. Leadership training needs to involve pain — uncomfortable situations we’ll face in leadership. We need to train so intensively that real situations will seem easy compared to our training. You don’t win Friday night football games by reclining in an easy chair playing video games Monday through Thursday.
  6. Great leadership teams (elders, deacons, preachers) are composed of growing individuals. If I want a better eldership, preacher, deacons, I need to have a plan to grow myself. When done and shared with humility, some of it will rub off on those close to me.
  7. If I want the congregation where I worship to have great vision and great goals, I need to have great vision and great goals for my life. It’s inconsistent to talk about mission and vision for the church if I’ve not thought, planned, and am continually preparing for where I think the Lord wants me to be ten or twenty years from today.
  8. One of the biggest mistakes of GOOD leaders is over-functioning. The reason people continue to talk to elders about deacons’ work is that they get something from the conversation. When there’s a revision to the Bible, I suggest an amendment to the qualifications of elders: “A shepherd must be one who doesn’t know where the thermostat is and if he found it, he doesn’t know how to work it.” People will quit talking to elders about the temperature in the auditorium when they get a consistent answer: “John Doe is the deacon who does an excellent job of caring for our building. He will assist you with your concerns.” In Acts 6:3, the apostles said of the seven, “We will turn this responsibility over to them.”
  9. Toxic conflict in a group is generated and maintained by gossip (Proverbs 26:20). That is solved by the leadership being committed to Biblical teaching (Matthew 18:15-17; Titus 2:10, 11). If leaders state and remind the congregation they believe and will practice what the Holy Spirit teaches, it will eliminate toxic conflict. If you announce your unified intent to practice Biblical conflict resolution, one of the wives in the group and one of your brothers-in-law will violate the principle within six weeks just to see if you are serious. If you’ll deal with it firmly in love, things get better after the initial sabotage.
  10. Much of our training and philosophy of leadership has been affected by our family of origin. By learning more about our family — why they did what they did, what influenced and challenged them — we can be free to change, modify, and accept some of “the way we always did it.” Humans, even the best, do some things well and some things not as well. Consider the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11.

Observation, comments, criticism…

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Jerrie Barber
Disciple of Jesus, husband, grandfather, preacher, barefoot runner, ventriloquist

4 Responses to “10 Leadership Ideas

  • Roger L Leonard
    5 years ago

    Great list! Number seven stands out the most Boldly for me. I really think it should be number ten and accentuated.

    • Riger,

      Thank you for your response and self-evaluation.

      May the Lord continue to bless you as you serve Him and others.

    • Brent Smith
      5 years ago

      Applying what you said about elders (#8) to myself made me think of how it applies to elders and deacons and preachers. Many of our church leaders have begun saying to ourselves and to one another frequently, “stay in your lane.”

  • Ashok Kumar Budala
    5 years ago

    That’s very Good Lesson my Brother