The intersection of Humility and Dynamic Leadership II

Posted: February 20, 2013 in Leadership, Serving others
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My dad pastored a couple of churches, including one that he planted, before leaving the ministry to start his own lumber business. I still haven’t plumbed the full extent of his impact on my life and ministry, since sometimes I don’t notice his influence until I am in the midst of a ministry conflict or crisis, and see myself doing what I saw him do. He served faithfully and humbly, ready to give anyone anything. For years, he had a personalized license plate on his car: “OTHERS”. That word summed up his view on ministry and leadership.

Of course, when we think about leading a team, church or organization, a key task of the leader is helping to develop a common vision, strategizing to reach the goals that that vision mandates, building unity around the common dream, and motivating his teammates, especially when adversity arises and their self-motivation begins to wane. Dynamic leadership can then be understood as “understanding the direction to be taken, and inspiring others to go in the same direction.”  Or, as Robert Clinton defines it: “Leadership is a dynamic process in which a man or woman with God-given capacity influences God’s people toward His purposes for that group” (The Making of a Leader, 14).

Some basic principles serve as a starting point, then, for a biblical leader:

  • People are made in the image of God and therefore have intrinsic worth (Ge. 1:27-28)
  • People are motivated to perform with excellence in recognition that everything is to be done to the glory of God (Col. 3:23)
  • People will not grow and develop unless they are trusted and given freedom both to succeed and fail
  • A leader is appointed by God and assumes authority from Him (Ro. 13:1)
  • Successful leaders view others as friends, not as subordinates, and interact with them in a spirit of openness and humility (John 15:15)

A biblical leader-servant exemplifies the following characteristics:

  • Maintains and builds unity (Eph. 4:3). Avoids needless arguments about ownership, credit or territory.
  • Is not threatened by others’ strengths and accomplishments. Recognizes the value of these strengths and uses them to help achieve the goals of the group.
  • Builds others up. Encourages and lifts up others in every possible way. Celebrates the victories of others, no matter how small.
  • Is pro-active to move issues ahead, while maintaining meekness and consideration of others.
  • Speaks well of others at all times.
  • Seeks to build a broad base of leaders to lead with her.
  • Recognizes and uses authority appropriately.
  • Does not draw his meaning, worth or reputation from the position he holds.
  • Does not make decisions based on his progress, advancement, comfort, increase of authority or position at the expense of those he serves.
  • Is committed to his followers’ progress, ministries and their increase.
  • Develops other servant leaders.

(Both the list of principles and the characteristics are from Omega Course: Practical Church Planter Training, Manual 4, 77-78)

The truly humble leader realizes that he isn’t better or even more accomplished than those he leads. And he doesn’t care. He lives to serve them, and is truly happiest when THEY succeed.

The Intersection of Humility and Dynamic Leadership I

The Intersection of Humility and Dynamic Leadership III

  1. Eric says:

    You are a blogging machine recently. Keep it up! I’m reading. Your dad gave me that license plate a couple of years ago. It’s on my bookshelf in my office. If you want it, it’s yours. Just say the word.

    • Thanks! Most of what I’m posting lately are things I’ve written already. Just throwing them out there for general consumption. Eventually, it will dry up 🙂 I think my dad had a couple of those plates. If he does, keep the one he gave you. If he doesn’t, then I might ask for it someday.

  2. […] 5 Major Challenges for Mission Agencies. 5. Growth of various church forms The intersection of Humility and Dynamic Leadership II […]

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