It’s been said that people who think they’re leading
with no one following are only taking a walk. Here are seven
attributes to help you evaluate if you’re leading
How many of us are taking walks in children’s ministry? After
some self-evaluation, I had to deal with my own leadership
inadequacies. I’ve determined that effective leaders have seven
- Listen — Practice L.B.W.A.
— Leadership By Walking Around. Always listen to what’s going on
around you — not just verbally but nonverbally. James 1:19 says, “My dear brothers and
sisters, always be willing to listen and slow to speak. Do not
become angry easily.”
- Endure — I’m talking about the long haul.
Many children’s ministers resign their positions because they let
the pressure get to them, or they don’t want to
confront a difficult issue. Remember that a problem doesn’t get
solved until it gets faced.
- Advance — Leaders are always learning.
Advance by reading books, listening to tapes, and reading
magazines. If you’re coasting in your personal growth, you’re going downhill because
you can’t coast uphill. Effective leaders are also advancing those
around them. Empower, mentor, and coach others to reach their full
potential. Read 1 Peter 5:2-6 about the role of a leader. The
sheep don’t exist for the shepherd, but rather the shepherd exists
for the sheep. Invest yourself in others.
- Direct — Leaders need to know where they’re
going. If not, then how can anyone follow?
Remember to initiate an opportunity for growth for people,
designate responsibility, motivate them to do their best, elevate
their performance, celebrate victories with them, and evaluate
their effectiveness. Leaders do what’s right, not what’s
- Empower — In John 21:15-17, Jesus has an empowering
encounter with Peter. From this passage, here are practical
observations for our leadership: Empowering people involves personal
involvement, personal preparation, personal risk, and personal
faithfulness. You have to get personal with the people you
- Relate — Romans 12:15 says to “rejoice with those who
rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.” When relating to others,
sometimes you have to feel their pain. It goes beyond sympathy to
- Serve — What Jesus sees as a leader is
different from what we think of as a leader. Jesus said, “The first
will be last,” “Consider others more important than yourself,” and
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Leaders are always full of praise
and always growing. They’re consumed by their dreams and exist to
make others better than themselves. Above all, a leader is a
Craig Jutila is the founder of Empowering Kids