If you study math, you become a mathematician. If you study history, you become a historian. If you study swimming, you drown! Leadership, like swimming, cannot be learned by merely reading about it. Henry Ford said he was looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done. This is key when we talk about recruiting leaders.
Leaders: Born or Made?
Are leaders born or are they made? Vince Lombardi said, “Contrary to the opinion of many people, leaders are NOT born, they are made. They’re made by effort and hard work.” He certainly practiced this in life. However, I think the answer is someplace in the middle of these two ideas. Both a shy introvert and a bold extrovert can become a leader.
Willing to Grow
A common characteristic about developing a leader is that they have to be willing to grow. Prov. 18:15 says, “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” This is a vital issue. I look for people who study, ask questions, are willing to serve and take responsibility. Leaders learn and they grow.
An Inside Job
Leadership is an inside job. After a battle, David and his men came back to a destroyed camp. His men began to turn against him. Someone once said, “Leadership can be defined as the ability to hide panic from others.” Yet David strengthened himself in the Lord (1 Sam. 36). He found peace and inner confidence before leading others. We impart who we are more than through what we say.
Growing a church is as simple as growing the leadership. A leader must lead himself before leading others. Effective leadership flows from the inner life of the leader. Today we often look for external traits to identify leaders. We look for people’s external traits; who can speak, who inspire and motivate and who are strategic. The more fundamental issue is what is at the core of a leader. Spiritual leadership comes from the life of a leader.
Creating a leadership culture
To raise new leaders, there must be a culture in your church where leaders can emerge. Many leaders focus on the weekend crowd. This is a big mistake when there’s a neglect of developing leaders. This is vital and goes beyond having a few leadership courses. There must be a culture developed. In my next post, I will address the issue of how you actually create this leadership culture.