Are you a leader of leaders?

In Church Leadership, Ministry Coaching by Russ Olmon

Everything in your church succeeds or fails based on your ability to lead. There have been churches with everything going for them except good leadership that have failed miserably. There have been other churches with almost nothing going for them except good leadership that have weathered difficult times and gone on to thrive and prevail.

Nothing can make a church fail more quickly than poor leadership and nothing can make a church succeed more quickly than good leadership. You will never see a church grow beyond its ability to lead people. In other words, your leadership skills as a church leader determine the level of effectiveness that will be reached by your leaders and your church.

Most people go into church leadership because they believe God has asked them to be a leader in His church. For example, founding pastors often start out with all kinds of enthusiasm and put in long hours to launch their church. In this early stage they often function as the primary ‘worker’ in the church. They practice their leadership skills, develop ministries and teach. At this point the church is based on the leader’s own ability to perform as the primary worker.

As the church grows, they begin to realize they need to add leaders. They also find themselves spending more time on ministry systems and processes that are required to manage the church. They find they have less and less time to spend on being a worker. At this stage their growth is based on their ability to manage.

Some church leaders are able to transition into this new role of managing their churches fairly easily. However, managing implies that the operations of the church are still dependent on the manager. In other words, the point-leader is still a worker, but has become a manager/worker. They have added a few more hours to their week and a lot more headaches.

Very few pastors progress past this stage to the highest level of leadership, the “Leader of Leaders” level. This level is where your church obtains the full benefits of having an effective point-leader, and where you have the opportunity to reach your full potential. This is where you develop leaders who pursue your vision of the Church as passionately as you do, with or without your presence.

The Leader of Leaders level is where you create the systems that allow your church to take on a life of its own. Leadership, by its very definition, means that you have the ability to create something that outgrows and outlives you. Leadership is the force that draws all other dreams in its wake.

No church can make significant progress without leadership. In the final analysis, leadership is the most important ministry advantage your church can have in a complex world.

But don’t let that frighten you. Leadership skills are just that — skills. They can be learned like any other skills. Our Ministry Advantage coaches help you learn how to implement systems that will help you consistently motivate, inspire, and empower your leaders. Your leaders will share your vision and mission for your church and will want to actively participate in achieving it.

Charles Schwab illustrated the result of good leadership in the following story:

Three men were laying brick.
The first was asked, “What are you doing?”
He answered, “Laying some brick.”
The second man was asked, “What are you doing?”
He answered, “Working for five dollars a day.”
The third was asked, “What are you doing?”
He answered, “I am helping to build a great Cathedral.” 

Do your leaders just do their jobs? Does your staff just make a living, or do they come to work every day eager to do whatever they can to accomplish a vision that has become their own? Do all your leaders feel like they are an important part of helping to build something great?

If you need coaching for your personal leadership or your staff to take your church to the next level, I’d love to connect.