This blog entry is by guest blogger Steve Ogne, church planter coach and consultant with CRM. Steve and I worked together for a decade and collaborated on several projects together, including The Church Planter’s Toolkit. Steve’s most recent publication is TransforMissional Coaching: Empowering Leaders in a Changing Ministry World.

qualitiesOne of our great challenges in the church today is we have minimized leadership. We’ve asked very few people to lead, and when we do ask them we put them on a board or committee– which doesn’t really require leadership. We’ve all seen the pastor hand the chairman the agenda on the way into the board room.

What’s the solution? We need to raise the bar and expect more. I firmly believe that the impact of expecting more will be getting more. I remember once asking a man in our church to start a new men’s ministry. My staff members suggested he was too busy we should let him remain as head usher. Within three months, an outside parachurch ministry organization recruited him and he led very successfully within that context. We lowered the bar and lost the leader.

Here are a few expectations we can have of our leaders:

  1. They can evangelize and make disciples.
  2. They can generate responsibility to create vision for their ministry rather than being dependent on the pastor or staff to generate the vision.
  3. They are able to recruit people to their ministry, not expect the church to do the recruiting for them. We often see this in small group ministry when group leaders expect church advertising to fill their groups.
  4. They are expected to generate the funding for their ministry. For example, if a group goes on mission together, some money may be required to feed people, remove graffiti, etc. The expectation of generating funding is particularly helpful as we train new leaders who may someday go into church planting.
  5. They can provide pastoral care for those they are leading.
  6. They can do basic crisis management and conflict management.

Note that if you look at this list, it’s quite different than the typical list of leadership qualifications that is generated. These are very tangible, practical leadership skills.