I love good leaders in churches. I may read a lot of books on leadership, but I learn as much from leaders I respect as I do from books.
I watch leaders. I listen to them. I try to emulate what they do well. In that light, here are some questions I've often heard the best leaders I know ask. They may each frame the questions differently, but their intent is the same.
1. Have we prayed about it? Good church leaders are hesitant to act without seeking God first. They're gifted leaders, but they're always dependent on Him.
2. What's the long-term vision? They know the importance of having direction, even when it demands eyes of faith. They're proactive, not reactive.
3. What's God-sized about the plan? If they tackle only things they know they can accomplish on their own, they know they're limiting the work.
4. How will we determine if it works? Evaluation matters to these leaders. In fact, they think evaluation even while they plan.
5. If it didn't work, why not? When things don't work exactly as planned, they don't get frustrated and give up; instead, they learn and keep improving.
6. Will it help us reach non-believers and make disciples? If the work and plans don't contribute to the implementation of the Great Commission, these strong leaders aren't much interested in proceeding.
7. If I'm no longer here, will the ministry go on successfully? This is a primary leadership question. If our work declines or dies after we've stepped away, we haven't led well in the first place.
8. How can I lead more effectively? These leaders evaluate not only the corporate work of the church, but also their own effectiveness. They do not want to get stagnant in their own efforts.
9. How many church members have we commissioned into local church and mission field ministries? To their credit, they delight in sending their best to extend the work of God's kingdom. They may be strong leaders, but they're not interested in growing their own kingdom.
10. Have I put in place enough safeguards to avoid falling? Here, their humility and their wisdom are evident. They're humble enough to know they could fall, and they're wise enough to know they must intentionally fight against that possibility.
As you think of strong leaders, what questions do they typically ask? Which of these questions above do you need to ask yourself?
For the original article, visit chucklawless.com.
Chuck Lawless is dean of doctoral studies and vice president of Spiritual Formation and Ministry Centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions. In addition, he is team leader for Theological Education Strategists for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
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