10 Leadership Principles for Ministry

I’ve shared thousands of words on a host of subjects on this blog, freely peppered with my life’s experiences. My primary theme, of course, has been ministerial leadership. To help make your journey along God’s plan as efficient as possible, here’s my 10-point summary of leadership principles:

1. You must desire to lead. If you’re promoted to leadership, it should be because you want to lead. The desire to be a leader is nothing to be ashamed of, but the key is that your desire to lead should be married to your desire to be used by God. When you manifest that combination, you’re not driven by ego but by altruism.

2. Leadership requires vision. Leaders see what other people may not see.

3. Leadership requires communication. If you are going to be a leader, you have to be able to communicate, and you have to know what to communicate.

4. Leadership takes risks. You can’t plant yourself safely behind a desk. You need to wrestle in the arena of your organization’s activity.

5. Since leadership flows from a concern for those being led, relationships are vital.

6. Leadership is a balance between initiation and response.

7. Leadership rebounds from failure and loss. Anyone who has been in leadership has taken some pretty severe hits. But you must get back up off the floor and keep pushing ahead.

8. Leadership upholds and operates on the strength of godly principles.

9. Leadership differentiates between negotiable and non-negotiable courses of action.

10. Leadership serves from love, not from power. God-ordained leadership upends the world’s triangular model of personal advancement. People of the world try to work their way to the top of the triangle, to the place of power over the subservient masses. Godly leaders serve their way to the bottom. You try to get underneath everyone else to live out Christ’s pronouncement, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35).

As leaders, we are involved in the sovereign work of God. We choose to serve, and He uses us according to His plan.

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