A blog post caught my eye earlier this week where Rob Petrini suggested the two things a Christian leader needed to remember were process and perception. I’d not come across this before but it got me thinking; and so here are my 5 key elements of church leadership (leaving the question of the relation of ministry to leadership for another day).
Process: It’s not what you do but the way that you do it. Integrity requires you do things properly and don’t cut corners. In Baptist life this often means allowing ideas to be birthed in church meetings where the church can discern together not trying to avoid them.
Perception: It is not just doing the right thing but what people understand that you are doing. I’ve often been surprised by how people accuse me of doing something I have no intention of. Whilst I don’t run the thought police it is important to try and communicate; and it is what people hear that matters not what you say.
Principle: People trust you if they know that you are someone with principles who is doing their best. This applies to your ethics but also to your theology. It is easier to promote change when you can show why it is good Biblically, theologically and historically.
Persuasion: Directing the affairs of the church, bearing the word of God both require you to set out a vision for what God is calling his people to become. Sometimes this means sticking your neck out, usually it means repeating and explaining a few core messages. Being able to explain what the future should look like is vital.
Plural: Leadership in church life is always plural; it is grounded in the Spirit working in the whole church and it is not a role for prima donnas. As a minister you may have a particular role in the life of the church by your relationship with the congregation and with God but leadership isn’t about you it is about working with others in service of Christ.