What does it take to become an
effective Christian leader?
What are those essential skills and traits for improving your effectiveness in your church or organization? You’ve probably heard it before: develop confidence, live with integrity, bla-bla- bla. Those qualities are important of course, but what does it actually mean? What do you do? There are no easy three-step solutions. However, there are a simple changes that you can take in your daily life that will dramatically improve your power as a leader.
Take an interest in your people. In his bestselling book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie stated it clearly: “become genuinely interested in other people.” For Christians, this should be obvious (Philippians 2:3). Leadership is all about your people. As a leader, you are tasked with being a person who lovingly leads others. If you cultivate your love and interest in other people, you will improve as a leader. Leaders are communicators, and communication is a major area in which you can demonstrate interest in your people. Never speak condescendingly, interrupt others, or lose interest when people are speaking to you. Kindness and tenderness go a long way.
let each esteem others better than themselves
Plan for the future. Planning for the future is not an exercise in futility. It is an essential practice for any visionary. Planning can be a complex task. The process of planning involves more than simply declaring a goal and working doggedly toward that end. Effective planning also considers variables, plan B’s, contingencies, future possibilities, and new opportunities. Planning requires breaking down goals into manageable, action-oriented tasks. Planning is not a once-in-a-year event, but a daily requirement for true leaders. Leaders must be willing to let go of the clichéd “achieve your goals,” and instead “learn your goals” by making them a fundamental part of the way you think and act. Learn to process goals into action, and thereby to truly achieve them.
Improve your communication. Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said, “Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.” We as Christians know this to be true, especially since we are given the privilege of proclaiming God’s Word. Isn’t that what a leader is by God’s grace supposed to do — to persuade, to convert, to compel? The key to such power is effective communication. Going from a mediocre communicator to a great communicator is not easy. Improving your communication is not a simple set of tips and tricks. Think of it as a whole-person change, affecting everything, beginning with your heart.
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