Pastor Kim Martinez
Pastor Kim Martinez (Kim Martinez)

Pastor Joe answered the call for authentic leadership. He changed his illustrations to demonstrate that he, too, could be impatient. In staff meetings, he offered honest prayer requests, sharing his concerns for next week’s sermon.

Then he did a 360 evaluation. Members of his board, team and family gave the feedback. What was the one resounding piece of information that Pastor Joe heard back? He needed to be a more authentic leader.

What does it mean to be an authentic leader? How do you change from a top-down management style to one that will allow authentic leadership without losing credibility?

Here are some things that will help in your search for authenticity:

1. Your weaknesses will help. Authentic leaders know themselves. No matter how spiritual you are, you are human. You have weaknesses and strengths. If you focus on your weaknesses as something that need to be fixed, you will attempt to cover them up, hide them. However, if you see your weaknesses as an opportunity to engage others in community, you will find yourself living in authenticity. We aren’t designed to walk alone. Our weaknesses are opportunities to invite others into our lives. Their strengths will match our weaknesses perfectly.

2. Questions are better than answers. God is speaking. When you lay before God not to find the answers so you can tell people what they are but to hear God’s heart, you will find the questions He wants to bring to your congregation. Those questions will move their hearts to attune with His.

3. The Spirit is at work. God is more interested than you can possibly ever be in seeing your congregation make an impact in your community. How could you figure out what the Spirit is saying to the hearts of your congregation? How could you harness His call in their hearts to help them work together to impact your community?

Sometimes it feels like people want more from us than we can give. Perhaps the way to authentic leadership isn’t about exposure but about need—our need for community and the community’s need to make a real difference.

Pastor Joe decided to change his approach. He gave himself six weeks to try a different approach and see how it worked. For starters, he came to staff meeting with the topic God placed on his heart and asked his staff, “Why would God want to say this to our people? How can we help them apply His Word while they sit in their cubicles and work the line? How can we deliver God’s Word in a way that will make a difference?”

Kim Martinez is an ordained Assemblies of God pastor with a master’s degree in theology from Fuller Seminary. She is a ministry and life development coach and can be found online at She writes a weekly column for

Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.

Order Life in the Spirit to actively grow your ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit. Your congregation will stay saturated in God's Word, learn to hear His voice, understand their purpose and calling and move into an active role in your ministry.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
  • Jentezen Franklin encourages church leaders to encourage their flocks to vote their values.

    Why We Must Count the Cost—and Vote

    There is a propaganda war that is raging in this country, and it is full of manipulation, lies, ...

  • Have you ever had a cringe moment during your church announcements?

    The 7 Deadly Sins of Church Announcements

    Sometimes they just miss the mark, albeit unintentionally.

  • Peace is indeed attainable in this selfish world. Just look for it in the right place.

    Finding Peace in a Fallen and Selfish World

    You can have peace in this world. Just stop looking in the wrong places.

  • Praying for leaders

    Failing to Do This Can Spell Disaster for the Church

    And it has the potential to destroy many lives.

  • Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Watch how God can take one spark and turn it into a wildfire that impacts your ministry, your community and even future generations.

  • Why did you choose the church you attend?

    7 Key Reasons People Choose a Church

    The real issue is not the intrigue of this research; it is what you and your church will do about ...

  • Church members argue

    12 Reasons Church Staff Conflict May Arise

    This is not unique, but among these there are some that seem more pervasive than others.

  • Prestonwood Church in Dallas

    What Leaders Can Learn From Prestonwood's Jack Graham

    Leaders don't have to know everything, but they need to give their staff what Graham gives his.

  • Some of these reasons for leaving the church are simply not plausible.

    7 Reasons People Leave Their Church During Crisis Times

    Some of the excuses are pretty extreme and, quite frankly, lazy.

Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders