Leadership development is an essential ingredient in effective businesses, organizations, and ministries. When a company falters, often it can be marked up to an issue within the leadership. Churches are no different. While pastors often point the finger at the congregation, there is at least a 50-50 chance the issue is in the leadership.
Leadership is the action of leading a group of people or organization. It exists at all levels. Parents serve as the leaders of their family. Teachers lead their classrooms. A governor leads a state. In the local church, the pastor is the leader.
Aubrey Malphurs is nationally recognized as an expert on leadership issues. His organization, the Malphurs Group, trains and consults with various organizations in the area of leadership. In his book Being a Leader, Malphurs defines a Christian leader this way: “A Christian leader is a servant with the credibility and capabilities to influence people in a particular context to pursue their God-given direction.” Within Malphurs’ definition are 8 essential components for effective leadership. Two stand out.
Credibility is Key
A key to leadership development is credibility. In their classic, The Leadership Challenge, James Kouzes and Barry Posner develop two “laws of leadership.” The first is simply: “If you don’t believe in the messenger, you won’t believe the message.” How true!
When it comes down to it, people are longing for a credible leader. Just look at the state of our government as a prime example. If you believe in your leader, you believe in what they stand for. The question becomes: How can I improve my credibility?
The answer to that question is much easier than you think. Kouzes and Posner’s research suggests that people first listen to the words, then they watch the actions. So make sure you do what you say you’re going to do. That’s true in your family, in your business, and in your church. Your credibility is essential!
Lead By Serving
The other key to leadership development is to lead by serving. If you’re serious about developing your leadership, then become a servant. If you want the people in your organization or family to take out the trash, then you take out the trash. Be willing to do what you ask others to do. Dad, don’t ask your kids to put their clothes away if you don’t. Coach, don’t ask your parents to be on time if you’re not going to be on time. Pastor, don’t ask your people to obey the Ten Commandments if you don’t.
If you walk around the campus of Carolina College of Biblical Studies, you’ll see that our president is a servant. At any point in the day, you might see him carrying a bag of garbage to the dumpster. Sure, he could ask anyone one of the faculty, students, or simply wait on the cleaning crew to do it. But that’s not him. He is a servant. The result? Now you see students who notice the trashcan overflowing…they grab it up and take it to the dumpster! Why? They’ve learned to become a servant by watching their leader serve.
Servant leadership is a calling to be like Jesus. Jesus told his disciples,”Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be servant of all” (Mark 10:43). Jesus lived out this truth as he alluded to his death on the cross: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). If you want to develop your leadership potential, start with learning to serve others with credibility that speaks louder than words.
We Can Help with Leadership Development
CCBS can help you develop your leadership potential. We offer two degrees in Leadership & Ministry. Our Biblical Studies degree also has courses on leadership, such as Intro to Pastoral Ministries, Church Leadership & Administration, and Intro to Ministry Leadership. For more information, contact our Admissions Team today. Or, if you have general questions…download our eBook “9 Answers to Your Questions About a Biblical Education.”