EFFECTIVE CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP [THIS IS THE LEADERSHIP THAT TOUCHES
THE HEART OF GOD.
By Pastor V.J. Sigudla of the Sharon Baptist Church
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As a Christian leader, you are held to high moral, ethical, [moral] and social standards. As a leader, you are held to high standards, but as a Christian leader, that bar [block] is raised even higher. Why? Because both the Christian and non-Christian social environment has tended to expect that Christians measure up to their self-proclaimed moral and ethical standards, as they rightly should. What can you do to be sure you ‘stand up to the test’ in the area of Christian leadership?
- What is Christian leadership?
THE EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP THAT TOUCHES THE HEART OF GOD
…6In those days a man will say to his brother, “Since you have a cloak, you be our leader! Take charge of this heap of ruins!” 7“No!” he will reply. “I can’t help. I don’t have any extra food or clothes. Don’t ask me to get involved!” Isaiah 3: 6-7
We have no one accurate definition of what leadership is, since we come from all different walks of life. Our culture and background dictate what leadership is amongst those cultures. What Europeans define as leadership, Africans has defined that as oppressive system.
What I thought was leadership yesterday; it is being challenged today by present definitions and practices.
- SOME DEFINITIONS OF CHRISTIAN SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP.
- I define spiritual leadership as knowing where God wants people to be and taking the initiative to use God’s methods to get them there in reliance on God’s power.
- Spiritual leadership is aimed not so much at directing people as it is at changing people.
- If we would be the kind of leaders we ought to be, we must make it our aim to develop persons rather than dictate plans.
You can get people to do what you want, but if they don’t change in their heart you have not led them spiritually. You have not taken them to where God wants them to be.
- Leadership is not a sentence that explain what it is all about, but leadership is in many facets [sides, approaches, dimensions, culture involved, leadership in many forms] e.g. Robert Mugabe said “if Adam and Eve were Chinese, they would have eaten the snake in the garden of Eden” the snake would have presented itself as a big meal for the couple.
May I further qualify what I mean by the leadership in many forms here-below?
- WHAT KIND OF MINISTERS ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO BE?
22And we are also sending with them another brother who has been thoroughly tested and has shown how earnest he is on many occasions. He is now even more enthusiastic because of his increased confidence in you. 23If anyone asks about Titus, say that he is my partner who works with me to help you. And these brothers are representatives of the churches. They are splendid examples of those who bring glory to Christ. 2 Corinthians 8:22-23
SERIOUS OBSERVATIONS WITH THIS TEXT.
- One is being send, he never sent himself. Verse 22.
- The one has been thoroughly tested. Verse 22(b) today we have so called servants of God who are not severely tested, hence all the problems that we are facing today.
- The anointing and the appointing are two different things. You are first anointed and you go through a testing, God only test the ones he has anointed. The testing is for character formation. After character formation or development, then comes the appointment into ministry. This is indeed the Biblical way of God’s servants. E.g. Joseph was tested severely after he was anointed with the gifts of dreams and interpretation. David was anointed and tested severely under the fallen king, King Saul. Joshua served under Moses and thereafter he took over and reached Canaan. Elishah learned from Elijah and God used him with double portion of power. Gehazi failed to learn from Elishah hence Elishah died with his anointing that raised a dead man who was thrown into the grave of Elishah. Etc. Samson did not have any mentor hence he failed dismally. Paul mentored Timothy, Jesus mentored the 12 Disciples and who is mentoring you? The results of lack of testing have caused South Africa to have what is happening here-below and the latest the Doom prophet.
- The investigation of the Church by the government was instigated by one of the body of Christ member.
- Newspapers more especially daily Sun and the Citizen speak all evil things that are done in our churches and not from the mainline churches.
- Prophecies that are not accurate are brought in from our own churches of the born again.
- Divorces that are so painful with marriages over- night comes from our own born again churches.
- Miracles that are not founded are coming from our own born again churches.
- There are more questions than answers from our own born again churches.
- Pastors fighting other pastors because of members are taking place amongst the born again churches.
- Competition of the highest order is prevalent in our own born again churches.
- The undermining of pastors by other pastors is the order of the day in our midst.
- The question is, which heaven are we heading to?
- Has shown how earnest he is in many occasions. Verse 22 (c)
- He is even now more enthusiastic…
- And these brothers are representatives of the churches..
Servants are representatives of the churches and not the owners of the Church of Christ.
- They are splendid examples of those who bring glory to Christ. Verse 23.
Leaders are supposed to be exemplary in everything;
- Be it giving
- Prayer life
- Mission work
- Loving your enemies
- Perseverance and longsuffering
- Speaking the truth in love
- Forgiving those who sin against us.
- Leaders must bring glory to Christ. Not to people but to Christ.
- THE EFFECTIVE CHRISTIAN LEADER.
1) Probably the most important thing you can do as a Christian leader is to clean up your act—if there is anything in your life, moral or ethical, which would not stand up to scrutiny if the entire world found out—you must eliminate it immediately. Do not give anyone an occasion to think that you are a hypocrite.
2) Be sure that every decision you make is honest and ethical. You cannot effectively lead, as a Christian or not, when your decisions and actions are not above-board, fair, and honest.
3) As a Christian leader, commit to telling the truth no matter what. As a Christian leader, when you lie or tell half-truths, people tend to feel that your entire faith is a sham. In fact, if you are habitually lying and telling half-truths, your faith may indeed be a sham.
4) Learn everything you can about the tasks at hand, even if it means working in the trenches for awhile. No one likes to be led by someone who has never done what they are doing. This doesn’t mean you have to become an expert, just participate in the menial work long enough to understand the frustrating aspects of the work. Another benefit to this is, when you have actually done the work, you can more effectively brainstorm solutions to challenges when they arise.
5) Lead by example. Do you expect your employees or secretaries to arrive on time for work, and dressed well? Then you must do the same. Sometimes it is so easy to think that you have earned the right to come in whenever you feel like it, or to return from lunch whenever you wish. Sure, you may have earned the right, but you gain far more by setting the example for performance. Do you expect others to work overtime when a project is behind projections? Then you must be willing to do the same.
6) Although you may feel you have earned the right to delegate away all the work, continue to be involved in productive tasks. By doing some of the work, not only do you gain the respect of your employees, but also you keep in touch with the flow of things. As a leader, it is easy to become disengaged from the actual productive segment of your business, and resultantly make decisions that look good on paper and sound good around the boardroom table, but are actually worthless when the rubber hits the road.
7) Constantly reevaluate your own performance. Often, you may spend so much time correcting the actions of others and solving crises you didn’t create, that you develop a sense that others aren’t as capable as you. Consequently, you may not recognize when you are falling into bad habits that also need to be corrected. Be the first to recognize and correct your own short-fallings.
8) Avoid pride. Love of money not money, and most dangerously lust, love of women. Once in a position of leadership, especially if you are good at what you do, it is easy to begin to feel that you are invincible. Once that occurs, you become vulnerable to pride, and may make decisions you would frown on if your subordinates made the same decisions. Maintain full responsibility for your actions, and keep them above-board at all times.
9) Learn to manage your time. When you are in a position of leadership and find yourself delegating away most of the time-consuming tasks, it is easy to lose control of your time. Again, when your employees see you wasting your time, they will tend to do the same.
- THE SECRET OF EFFECTIVE CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP
Do you know what it takes to lead others in Christian service? I can recall an anecdote of an observer watching a large crowd of serious looking people hurry along a pathway. About twenty minutes later, someone anxiously asks the observer if she had noticed a large crowd of people go by. When the observer informed him that indeed a large crowd had passed by twenty minutes earlier, he sighed with relief. “Whew, I’d better hurry and catch up, I’m their leader!”
That anecdote reminds me of the anonymous saying that “He who thinks he leads and has no one following him is only taking a walk.” The individual leading this crowd bungled his responsibilities allowing the people to get ahead of him. Maybe the group would not follow instructions. Maybe distraction caused this inept [incompetent] leader to move too slowly. Whatever the case, the key secret for effective Christian leadership is dependency on GOD.
John Maxwell, a renowned leadership expert, quotes, “Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.”
The Christian leader excels far beyond the norm and is the person who makes things happen while motivating others to follow. Christian leaders influence others, are willing to take risks and confidently meet opposition head on. They do not shirk [avoid] responsibility nor run away from challenges.
In academia, [academic world, universities and colleges] the intellectual leader is the person others can depend on for the answers. In sports, the leading world-class athlete sets the standard for the team to meet or beat. In chaotic situations, panicking people look to the leaders to restore order and give directions. In Christianity, another secret is that effective leaders are uniquely endowed by the HOLY SPIRIT to exude [display] the devotion, [the task that goes with leadership] diligence and discipline to direct GOD’S people. This endowment [gift] generates an extraordinary anointing of wisdom and strength that goes beyond natural ability.
Effective leaders in the Bible all have the common attribute of intimacy with GOD established on absolute and unconditional love. Today the same must be true with the love relationship of the leader flowing vertically, from and to GOD. There must also be a horizontal flow of love from the Christian leader to the followers. The capacity to love and care for others is the secret quality that sets Christian leadership apart from the ordinary. “This I call interpersonal leadership, that is the leadership that cares and the leadership that is not controlled by set of rules but this is a compassionate leadership” The Bible gives this directive, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” (John 13:34, KJV)
|There are abundant treatises available to Christians who want to enhance their leadership skills. Many focus on a single aspect of leadership; others attempt to integrate a multitude of factors. Having read that literature fairly closely for thirty years, and having lived in the worlds of academia and industry for the same amount of time, it seems to me that time and again, three things emerge as real distinctives for the Christian who wants to be a God-honoring leader. From what I’ve seen, leadership success is the result of a leader’s commitment to a cause or goal, the personal character of the leader, and the extent to which the leader has real compassion for his or her followers. Here’s how you can cultivate each.
4.1. Commitment to a Cause
Many people fail as leaders because they are not committed to anything of value or significance. For whatever reason, they have little passion for the world around them or what takes place in that world. If that leadership has money involvement, then you are a leader of money, e.g. you say you love the organization, because you are in leadership of that organization for such and such a period of time, after that period of time of periodical leadership, you are no longer anywhere to be found. That is not commitment to the cause, but you are committed to your ego, love of positions, prestige, and a periodical leader for that matter.
But even a cursory [superficial, brief] review of history validates [confirms, proofs] that successful leaders have had a passion for certain outcomes or principles, and that they have been committed unwaveringly to pursuing that outcome or to furthering that principle. We have the U.S. Constitution, for instance, because its framers were committed to bringing forth a more perfect union. The United States achieved victories in World War One and World War Two because the nation, as a whole, was committed to defeating the tyranny [dictatorship, cruelty] that threatened USA and others (such was not the case with the war in Vietnam). They excelled as a nation in space exploration because President Kennedy was able to rally support for his vision to place a man on the moon. Martin Luther King, Jr., advanced civil rights and human dignity because he had a dream and he was committed to its achievement.
In business, too, company greatness is often the result of the vision and commitment of a chief executive. Consider, for instance, the commitment-success connection of people like Jack Welsh, former Chairman and CEO of General Electric, Bill Gates of Microsoft, and Michael Dell of Dell Computers. And if we look at religious history, we reach the same conclusion. To take but two examples, look at the passion and commitment shown by Jesus Christ for carrying out the mission of human redemption given to him by his Father. And consider Martin Luther, who felt so strongly about the state of the church in 1517 that he risked all to post his 95 Theses on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Samuel became the greatest prophet in Israel born out of serious struggle and tears from his mother and he anointed two kings Saul and David, thus courage was needed.
4.2. BE CAREFUL OF TWO TYPES OF LEADERSHIP IN THE BIBLE.
This is quiet touching and frightening to know that we have only two types of leaders that will spill [transform] into other categories of leadership.
The leadership of a flask. 1 Samuel 10:1 Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it over Saul’s head. He kissed Saul and said, “I am doing this because the LORD has appointed you to be the ruler over Israel, his special possession. This kind of leadership never lasted and it will not even last in the future. This is indeed a man-made leadership, flask, it is very fragile.[breakable, flimsy, weak, insubstantial]
The leadership of the Horn
I see the next two chapters of First Samuel as a definite pair. They are mirror images of each other.
“The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” (1 Samuel 16:1)
Samuel had anointed Saul with a “flask of oil,” (1 Samuel 10:1). A flask is a man-made thing that holds a God thing. In choosing to anoint Saul, God had consented to put His Spirit on a man, but the timing of the anointing was chosen by men. David was anointed from a hollowed-out horn. Only God can make a horn. David was both anointed and chosen by God. The word “chosen” here is interesting. The Hebrew word it is translated from could also be rendered “seen.” God had been watching every heart in the land and he had seen a heart that was not driven by what men thought. Instead it harkened to the thoughts of Yahweh. Jesse’s youngest son was a follower of the Invisible God, and was therefore qualified to be in front of visible men. He could provide them with true leadership. He would not have to poll their ranks to see which way the wind was currently blowing. This is a major difference in the “David heart” and the “Saul heart.”
If you desire to get others to follow you, then follow the example of history. Be absolutely committed to a goal or a cause. Followers must see your passion and draw from it enthusiasm and confidence in their ability to achieve what has heretofore seemed unachievable.
A second pillar of effective Christian leadership is character—who you are when everyone’s looking and when no one’s looking. Some object that we should separate a leader’s character from his or her actions. In the case of former President Bill Clinton, for instance, a number of people argued that his personal life (and character) had no relevance to his performance as President of the United States. But how is that possible? If one cannot be trusted to maintain the sanctity of the Oval [egg-shaped Office, or to tell the truth with regard to his personal affairs, how do we know that he can be trusted in affairs of State? Values, interests, and motives come from within, giving birth to action. So behaviour is clearly born of character.
In positions of leadership, integrity is foremost among the essential character traits. Leaders must be credible and their followers must be able to rely upon their word. Trustworthiness is crucial and it’s largely manifest in how well the leader “walks the talk.” Stephen Covey articulated this principle in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People when he wrote, “The real key to your influence with me is your example, your actual conduct. Your example flows naturally out of your character” (p. 238).
All too often, though, there is a gap between the talk and the walk in corporate offices. The corporate credo or statement of values is intended for others to follow, not for the corporate leaders. These credos serve as “mandates for the masses,” yet employees are quick to detect deviations from them in corporate behaviour. And when they do, the organization is hamstrung [restricted, thwarted, watered down] by the hypocrisy. Productivity, innovation and morale [confidence] all suffer as people comply with the dictates of leaders who lack credibility, but do not follow with enthusiasm or sacrifice.
The scripture is quite clear regarding character. When the walk fell short of the talk, Jesus labeled the offenders “hypocrites.” He railed [Criticized] against Jewish leaders who prayed publicly for display purposes, but had hearts of stone. He denounced them as whitewashed sepulchers [graves]—tombs that were immaculate [spotless, beautiful] on the outside but full of rot on the inside (Matthew 23). And it’s the inside that matters to Jesus. He taught that “out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matthew 15:19). The internal drives the external. Character drives action.
That truth works in the affirmative as well as the negative. “The credibility of leadership is what determines whether people will want to give a little more of their time, talent, energy, experience, intelligence, creativity, and support,” say Kouzes and Posner, perhaps the foremost experts on leadership of our day. Leaders of great character do great things!
4.4. Compassion for Your Followers
Effective leaders create followers through their compassion—a genuine, heart-felt concern for the needs, feelings, and aspirations [desires] of those they lead. They are able to build effective teams—a community, if you will—because they care about those whom they are serving as much as they care about the goals they are seeking to achieve. Covey agrees: “No amount of technical administrative skill in laboring for the masses can make up for lack of nobility [dignity] of personal character in developing relationships. It is at a very essential, one-on-one level, that we live the primary laws of love and life” (p. 202). Indeed, goal attainment, in the long term, is best effected if the leader cares about people in such a way that they are encouraged in heart and united in love.
As many of us know from painful first-hand experience, though, often, people in organizations are instead made to do things out of fear. But fear leads to compliance, not commitment. People working in fear are not committed to the leader’s goal or cause except in an instrumental sense: serving the leader avoids personal pain or economic loss. So followers often default to a “do the minimum” mind-set, discharging their duties and trying to stay off the radar screen.
4.5. Compassionate, relational leadership is far more effective.
As Peter Scholtes notes in The Leader’s Handbook, “Where relationships are formed and sustained, leadership occurs.” Jesus demonstrated this time and again in his work with his disciples. It was all about relationship—encouraging, sharing, loving, teaching, and when necessary, rebuking. But even the latter was acceptable because the disciples knew that Jesus cared greatly about them. His rebuke was for their growth and development.
In business, managers often seek administrative ways to maximize the performance of their people. What I mean is that they pursue the ideal form of performance appraisal, the ideal incentive package, the ideal organizational structure, etc., expecting that these systems will mechanically yield the desired results. That’s short-sighted. The true key to success lies not as much with programs and practices as with the quality of the relationship the leader develops with his or her followers. Almost any performance appraisal system will work if employees trust their leader and believe that the he or she truly cares about them. The same is true in the areas of compensation, promotion, and discipline. In their bestselling book, Credibility, Kouzes and Posner put it this way: “If we are reliable and others know that they can count on us, then our words and actions will have greater power to influence them. If we appreciate people and show that we take their interests to heart, they can trust us to lead. On all fronts, developing the trust of their diverse constituents is critical to leaders” (p. 112).
4.6. Our Skill is Necessary but Not Sufficient
Indeed, leadership requires a lot more than these “three C’s” I’ve proposed. It requires situational knowledge, skills, and abilities, among other things. But while these latter attributes are necessary, they are by no means sufficient. Too many leaders—Christians among them—don’t seem to get that. All of us in leadership positions, and most especially those of us who seek to honor God in our work, would be well-advised to take inventory of our commitment to a cause, the content of our character, and the compassion in our hearts. These attributes, when coupled with our skills, will earn us loyal followers, enduring results, and God’s “well done!”
5. A philosophy of leadership
1. Leadership is not a one-man show; potential partners will leave me alone.
“You must live with people to know their problems, and live with God in order to solve their problems.” (P.T. Forsyth. 2001:38)
An important question for leaders: “Am I building people, or building my dream and using people to do it?” John C. Maxwell. (1993: 115-123)
The word leadership has a great significant for anyone in leading position.
However the leader must be able to distinguish between management and leadership.
2. Nothing happens until someone provides leadership for it.
Remember Mahatma Ghandi. If he never became a functional leader where would India be, by today? Martin Luther King Jr, The civil rights activists, where would the Afro-American be today if this functional leader never emerged? There are functional leaders and positional leaders. Functional leaders do not wait until they are elected into positions, but positional leaders are elected and most of them are not functional. The functional leader fulfils the leadership function. (Jonathan Wilson. May 2004 leadership letter issue No 1.)
3. Leadership is a never-ending process.
Your work is never done. Leadership isn’t a part time job—it’s a full-time commitment. Leadership is not something you do; a leadership is something you are.
4. Leadership development is a lifetime journey.
(John C. Maxwell. 2001:122) not a brief trip, a trip ends when you have reach your destination, but a journey in life is never ending, thus this is leadership, always learning. Learn from lessons of life, learn from art, learn from nature, learn from our mistakes and learn from others.
Your leadership power is to serve people and not to advance our own purposes.
We abuse our power if we use it for self –gain; this is called the abuse of power. (Matt 20: 26 …) whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant.
5. Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality
Leadership is not merely having the vision because anyone can dream, but the transference of that dream into reality it is all about appealing leadership. See this happening in South Africa will fulfil my dream too.
6. Leadership is making your vision functional. The transference of a vision into reality that is all what leadership is all about. (John C. Maxwell “Warren G. Bennis.”2001: 14)
Leadership is not management, people don’t want to be managed, stereotyped, tagged or filed. This is what you do in your office, but people are dynamic and if you fail to acknowledge the power
7. Whistler’s Law:
“You never know who’s right, but you always know who’s in charge.” When a decision is supposed to be made, all eyes will look at the leader. Every organization reflects its leader.
A successful leader do not only plan but he /she produces, thus success is what we have produced, not what we’ve planned.
8. Leadership is productivity, Not only planning.
People support what they help create; people become part and parcel of their own decisions.
Running too fast alone is very dangerous, as that will make you to reach the goal there on your own, therefore slow down and take the people with you.
Today a reader- tomorrow a leader. (John C. Maxwell” W. Fusselman. 2001:118”) reading helps my leading, if only pastors can be introduced into a systematic good reading and studying, then no doubt, we will have good leaders.
9. What is then the test of real leadership: just turn around and see if anyone is following you.
(Published with co-author Sharon Johnson in Church Administration, 10/1985)
Christian organizations differ in many ways. Their size, structures, and services are shaped by internal and external forces—finances, location, personalities. But all effective Christian organizations share at least one thing in common—effectively balanced leadership.
How can balanced Christian leadership be characterized? Defining leadership, much less 1. 1. 1.Christian leadership is an elusive [mysterious] huge task.
Consider scriptural descriptions of Christ as leader. He is portrayed as lion and eagle but also as lamb and dove—vivid contrasts to be sure. An examination of Christ’s perfect leadership qualities reveals a well-defined pattern of contrasting or balancing character traits: divine/human; compassionate/stern, [firm]; traditional/revolutionary’ assertive/docile [passive]. Because He was truly all things to all people, Jesus was a perfectly balanced leader.
The Overlooked Leadership Ingredient
Balance is an essential, though commonly overlooked, ingredient of Christian leadership. Without complementary character and behavioural traits, how else could today’s pastoral or lay leader simultaneously fulfill administrative and spiritual opportunities; be meek, yet assertive; [self-confidence, self –assured, firm] minister to individuals via a corporate body? The effective Christian leader integrates contrasting traits and skills into a spiritual whole.
To fulfill their God-given responsibilities, Christian leaders must be both active and passive. Leadership involves giving as well as taking, serving as well as directing, waiting as well as taking, serving as well as directing, waiting as well as acting. Passive and active traits must be blended to forge a servant/king leader. The true Christian leader thus reflects Jesus Christ Himself.
6.1. Active and Passive Leadership Traits
Christian leadership can be meaningfully portrayed on a continuum of character and behavioral traits ranging from active to passive:
1. THE ACTIVE LEADER
– Makes things happen
– Performs tasks personally
– Makes decisions unilaterally and individually
– Ministers through formal programs
– Orchestrates change
– Ministers through words and actions
– Preaches via oratory Manages
2. THE PASSIVE LEADER
– Delegates tasks to others
– Engages in participative, shared decision making
– Ministers through informal interaction
– Allows change to happen naturally
– Ministers through personal presence and empathy
– Preaches via the Holy Spirit
In reality there is no totally active or totally passive leader, only varying blends of both traits. Leadership effectiveness is enhanced by the interplay of active and passive traits—the leader who can be many things to many people.
The church leader must certainly be capable of “makings things happen” through planning, budgeting, and program implementation. He must also possess the patience to wait for things to happen as the result of prayer or congregational mood.
Likewise, the effective leader balances individual decision making with group deliberation, personal tasks performance with delegation, and formality with informality. The well-balanced Christian leader listens as well as talks, learns as well as teaches, and emotes as well as thinks. Balance and wholeness are the keys.
6.2. THE PROBLEMS OF UNBALANCED LEADERSHIP
Problems inevitably erupt when a leader becomes too active or too passive. Lack of balance leads to lack of effectiveness. It is unavoidable.
Overly active leaders (and their churches) are likely to experience the following interpersonal and organizational problems:
– Premature decision making and action
– Overwork and over-commitment
– Precipitation of confrontations and conflicts
– Poor interpersonal communication and congregational feedback
– Lack of rapport [relationship]building with individual church members
– Difficulty in getting Church workers to implement decisions and programs
– Resistance to change
6.3. THE OVERLY PASSIVE LEADER, ON THE OTHER HAND, IS PRONE [related] TO A DIFFERENT SET OF PROBLEMS:
– Indecisive, inconsistent decision making
– Ineffectiveness in inspiring and motivating church leaders
– Wasting time in frequent committee meetings and informal group deliberations
– Sloppy coordination and integration of church activities and programs
– Congregational stagnation and preoccupation with the status quo
– Heavy dependence on lay workers for work progress
– Tendency for congregational problems to escalate out of control
6.4. Balanced Leadership-Beyond the Individual
A careful examination of the demands of balanced Christian leadership can prove frustrating. While agreeing on the need for such leadership, it is easy for one individual to feel overwhelmed at the prospect of being all things to all people.
Indeed, the Christian leader who tries to be all things in all situations will probably achieve little. The answer to leadership effectiveness in a Christian organization is to expand the leadership base beyond one person. The search for balanced leadership really involves creating a leadership team or body within which active and passive orientations complement each other.
Such an interaction among a group of people who lead an organization was what Paul had in mind as he spoke of the church body: “So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Rom. 12:5, NASB) and “For the body is not one member, but many” (1 Cor. 12:14, NASB).
Perhaps the most important, but least recognized, responsibility of an effective leader is that of developing the leadership potential of many church members. By recognizing his own areas or strengths and weakness, the leader seeks to broaden and deepen the leadership base of his organization by gathering around him people with contrasting and complementary traits. Such differing traits provide a check-and-balance for meeting the complex demands of today’s Christian organizations.
7. A LEADER LEADS GOD’S PEOPLE INTO THE BATTLE.
(Numbers 27: 17) briefly leadership is a battle, taking God’s people through it.
– Fierce battle of uncertainty.
– Fierce battle of self-identity
– Fierce battle of poverty
– Fierce battle of self-discovery
– Fierce battle of trusting God in all situations.
– Fierce battle of complete dependence upon God no matter what the circumstances may be.
– Fierce battle of absorbance of all the reproach and ridicule of this world.
– A fierce battle of standing firm as a leader and lead by example.
– A fierce battle whereby you bring hope to a hopeless nation.
7.1. Powerful Ways to Be an Effective Communicator
In my early career, my job was to help GE senior executives give speeches, talk to employees, and talk to shareowners. The variety of techniques I worked with was substantial, from international teleconferences to private breakfasts.
But what made the most difference in the future careers of my clients (the fast track executives at GE) was clearly not the flawless execution of my projects. It was the personal qualities and learned communications disciplines that shone through or failed to materialize in their communications.
To put it another way—effective communication is not just about techniques, it’s about the communicator. I’ve gone to school on those early years. I offer here a few principles whose seeds were planted in those years, but grew up to be my “main things” in my current role as a CEO of a growing ministry.
The truth in Kingdom work is that effective communicators get things done and become leaders. In the list of what turns good managers into leaders, communication skills like these five powerful principles are at the top of the list, along with vision and passion.
7.2. Let them see your heart!
It’s your ultimate weapon when things get really tough and the answer isn’t apparent. Talk from your core belief about a situation. Let what you really believe about people and your ministry come out. Let them see your hopes and disappointments. This is counterintuitive—our natural instincts scream at us to take a step backward and become more formal in sticky situations.
But people respond to your leadership as people, not employees. It is especially important in a crisis to get real, not formal. It’s the same principle as the rest of our walk of faith. What we want to be ours in a time of crisis, we have to practice all the time in routine circumstances.
Does talking from the heart always mean you get very passionate and over-the-top? Not at all. Passionate talk can be a contrived performance. Letting those you manage see your heart is totally different—it requires opening the door to how you process decisions. It’s not a calculated response delivered with enthusiasm. It’s real. It’s you.
In our ministry, for example, a fledgling partnership to children in a new neighborhood looked like it might come apart in a welter of allegations of non-performance made by our staff, contrasted with assurances that results were just different from expectations from our new partners. Communications grew steadily more formal and formulaic. My first task: earn credibility by speaking my heart to both sides about why we did this deal in the first place, seeking to earn my way beneath the surface of the facts. It turned out I did have to make a personnel change there because my “heart talk” revealed no similar motivations on the part of one of our leaders and no interest in change on the part of that individual. A sincere “opening up” from me helped bring out the truth.
7.3. Use the power of stories.
Be known as a creator of meaning—not an assembler of facts. Meaning is mostly transmitted in story. Joe Wheeler likes to say, that facts are like “Teflon” stones to most hearers, but stories are like “Velcro”. They stick.
One of my most important jobs as a leader is to take facts and weave them together into a conclusion that takes us toward our mission. When I brief anyone—from board members to our newest associate—I am conscious of putting a narrative together about the situation before heading into the exhortation [encouraging] part.
7.4. Be a simplifier.
All the good communicators are. If you find yourself giving a complex briefing, even if it’s on a complex subject, maybe you weren’t ready to give the briefing. All the best things in ministry are simple—like one-sentence mission statements. Give yourself and your ministry the gift of focus and watch how people appreciate it.
The “gift” of “making simple things complex” is one that must be seen in any organization.
7.5. Add visual power to your words and ideas.
The best communicators remember that things reinforced through two “gates,” the ear gate and the eye gate, are far more powerful. We all know that, but do we always consider it when the message just has to get through
7.6. Don’t just repeat your words, multiply them.
Ask not how many times a day you can say the same thing—ask who else would benefit from this message and how you can get it to them? Are you the kind of communicator who mentally inventories every one of your publics when you work hard on a message to see if anyone else should get it?
Are you the kind of leader who has a little program running in the software of your mind when you are writing an e-mail—a program that asks, “Does everyone on this project feel they are totally clued in? Could anyone else in the organization benefit from knowing about this?” To have an organizational culture where everyone is on a level playing field in knowledge, you have to set the example. You have to spread information, especially leadership thoughts, far and wide in the organization.
– Steps to Strong Christian Leadership
|We need more Christian leadership! These days it seems like Christians simply aren’t willing to stand up and lead. Even Christian leaders seem to be afraid to exercise true Christian leadership, often kowtowing to the whims and feelings of those around them.
8.1. Know your beliefs and purpose.
True Christian leadership involves standing up for beliefs and leading others in the direction of truth. To do that effectively, the Christian leader must first of all know what his beliefs are and what direction he is leading Christians. The Bible tells us to “study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Tim. 2:15, KJV) Before we can lead others effectively, we must have firm knowledge of the truth of the Bible.
8.2. Lead with love and fairness.
Christian leadership also involves leading with love and justice. Paul admonished us: “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:1-3, KJV) When we exercise Christian leadership, we must operate in an attitude and spirit of love and patient guidance. Christian leadership should not be a dominating, aggressive, attacking sort of leadership; rather it should be full of grace and encouragement.
8.3. Delegate effectively.
For effective Christian leadership, effective delegation is necessary. You need to place the right task with the correct individual. Learn what the current skill sets and skill levels are of those you are leading. Effective Christian leadership involves asking questions, watching closely, and evaluating wisely before giving tasks to those being led. If you give people tasks to which they are not well fitted, you set them up for failure and you will tend to receive mediocre results. By knowing before delegating tasks what the skills are of those you supervise or lead, you can more effectively match tasks with skills.
8.4. Get involved.
Be willing to help with the task at hand. Once again, having a humble, patient and understanding demeanor works wonders when delegating work. Although the workers may all be on the same “team” (they are all working because they want to and want to further the cause), they may not want to be led by someone who either has never performed the task at hand or is unwilling to do some of the work.
That is what team stand for.
In summary, Christian leadership not only involves some of the same skills non Christian leadership employs, but also brings into play a non-tangible element, that of the expected attitude of the Christian. In the non Christian leadership roles, we may feel we can tell people what to do and simply expect it to be done, but in a Christian leadership role, there are lot of questions instead of doing what we supposed to be doing.
9.1. A leader is a motivator of others. [People in different given sphere]
¨ Show the people where they are going.
¨ Show the people the results already achieved.
¨ Trust those that you have delegated by delegating responsibility wisely, according to their abilities.
¨ Respect and take people serious.
¨ Make activities enjoyable.
¨ Train leaders thoroughly for their work.
¨ Appreciate those people under your supervision whenever necessary.
¨ When the people you lead are disappointed, raise their morale.
¨ Encourage those that you are leading continuously.
¨ Make them feel very important and special.
¨ Give awards in public where necessary.
¨ Treat people equally without any favouritism.
¨ Access each and every member of the team equally for the task given.
¨ Have constructive criticism for all of the team members.
¨ Be a good example at all times to all the team members and people at large.
¨ Show pastoral concern and love (agape i.e. love without expecting anything back in particular) for all.
9.2. Leadership Traits
Big Picture Thinker
1. Believe the Best in People
Effective leaders always give others the benefit of the doubt (“a favorable judgment given in the absence of full evidence”) and believe the best in people. A true leader first gathers all of the facts before drawing a final conclusion. They postpone reaction to negative information until they are able to gather all of the facts and have a good understanding of the event or situation
2. Teacher and Mentor
3. Master Delegator
The best lessons are learned by making mistakes, and allowing others to gain knowledge from their own mistakes, is an invaluable lesson. Leaders develop others by delegating responsibilities, allowing them to make mistakes and helping them learn from their blunders. All of us have a starting point in our professional development, and allowing others to learn through their own experiences, helps them to gain self-confidence and grow professionally.
4. Empower Others
Leaders empower others and recognize that making front-line decisions, and taking risks, are part of the development and learning process. People need to be comfortable taking risks, making decisions, and learning from their mistakes.
7. Team Player
8. Celebrates Successes
10. Sharing the gospel in five minutes
SHARING THE GOSPEL IN FIVE MINUTES.
Sharon Baptist Church Soul winning campaign.
By Pastor John Sigudla
The big cry: what must I do to be saved? Acts 16:30-31 the answer lays with us as Christians.
First greet the person nicely and request his permission to share the love of God. And introduce yourself, you name and watch at your language.
Do not condemn the person and whatever is doing at that moment.
Do not force the person to listen to you if he/she doesn’t want to listen.
After the sharing, pray with the person and thank him
1. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
2. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
3. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17
4. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ
5. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6
6. Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
What must I do to be saved? Acts 16:30-31.
Dumela mo go Morena Jeso, Mme o tla pholosiwa, wena le bantlo ya gago.
The Bible is a big book with lots of information. There is information about God, the origin of the universe, mankind, sin, salvation, Israel, the church, the future, etc. It’s my opinion that a good teacher knows the Bible well enough that he/she can delve into its depths and provide solid biblical answers to life’s biggest questions. However, I also believe a good teacher should be able to condense a lot of information and—without compromising accuracy—give a short answer in plain language (Charles Ryrie has impressed me with his ability to do this very thing). Over the years I’ve worked to take the essentials of the Gospel message and present it quickly and concisely. In one sense, the Gospel can be as simple as 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, John 3:16, or Acts 16:31. However, these verses, as wonderful as they are, do not answer some of the issues that stand behind them.
 Effective refers to dynamic life changing leadership.