Candidly speaking, there is no way a church can grow up in a healthy way without the issue of leadership cropping up. In spite of repeated disappointments, God has refused to change His plan – He still sticks with man. (Isaiah 6:8; Ezekiel 22:30). God’s eternal plan is incarnational – hiding inside and behind a man to do His work in the life of other men and women in the world. And that man must provide good leadership. The church is the most leadership intensive entity in the whole wide world, because it is largely served by volunteers. So, her leaders must provide the highest form of leadership quality and competence. (Psalm 78:72).
A.Foundation For Healthy Leaders – Isaiah 9:16; Isaiah 55:4
God chooses leaders. He calls leaders to lead His people as shepherds, father, mentor, guide and teacher. While a leader is the person, leadership is the method, style and functions.
▪ Leadership is not found in a position but in a person.
▪ Leaders are made, not naturally born into it.
▪ Leadership is the difference-maker in churches.
▪ You can be a godly minister without being a good leader.
▪ People don’t really leave churches, they leave their leaders.
▪ Churches cannot really rise beyond her leaders.
▪ You can have what attracts people (gifts) without the skill to retain them.
▪ Healthy leadership is ability to influence people positively.
▪ Healthy leaders lead as shepherd and as Rancher leaders.
It takes a lot to be a healthy leader. It entails Personal growth, Spiritual dynamism, Matured heart, Consistent walk, Integrity of life, Prayerfulness, Continuous open channel to God; Fruitful life and hands; Progressive ideas and Continuous vision.
Ministerial health; Spiritual health; Social health; Leadership health; Family health; Financial health and Mental health are all crucial to the well being of leaders.
B.Earning Respect As A Leader – John 21:1-3
If healthy leadership is influence, them influence is earned by respect. If you don’t have the respect of people, you are not a leader. There are six character qualities, all found in the Book of Proverbs, that establish the respect we need to lead.
- We earn respect through INTEGRITY – Prov. 10:9
- We earn respect through HUMILITY – Prov. 29:23
- We earn respect through DEPENDABILITY – Prov. 25:15
- We earn respect by living by the right PRIORITIES – Prov. 14:22
- We earn respect through GENEROSITY – Prov. 11:16
- We earn respect through SPIRITUALITY – Prov. 3:4-6
Healthy leadership is built on these issues. When you have the respect of people, they will follow you everywhere. And people will only respect you when you demonstrate Competence and Character. Competence and character will make your leadership to endure. Character is your habitual way of responding to situation. Character is who you are in secret. Charisma may help you to start, but it is character that will make you to last long. Charisma will not take you to heaven, only character will do.
C.Traits of Unhealthy Leadership In The Church
To say that there are sick, diseased and unhealthy leadership practices in the church is to state the obvious. Too many churches have been brought to their knees due to bad, uninspiring and poor leadership. Here are traits of unhealthy leadership that I have seen often across churches and denominations:
❖ Out of touch with God and people.
❖ Love for titles, position and hierarchies to dominate.
❖ Burnout, worn-out and spiritual coldness.
❖ Prayerlessness but full of academic methods.
❖ Yes men and bootlickers.
❖ Intolerance of suggestions and opposing ideas.
❖ Lack of mentorship or accountability.
❖ Self-indulgent living and style.
❖ Using people to fester our personal empire.
❖ Using God to make a living and to achieve outcomes.
❖ Afraid to offend and desire for peace over progress.
Unhealthy leaders come into ministry with the attitude of being served instead of serving others; they develop an entitlement mentality that surely leads them to pride, arrogance, and taking advantage of others and eventually to destruction.
D.Characteristics of Healthy Church Leaders
The difference between growing, healthy, dynamic churches and stagnant, struggling ones is leadership. These churches have people leading them, but not all have the skill, ability and capacity to lead well. To be a healthy church leader, you must demonstrate these characteristics:
- Ability to lead yourself first- It is when you lead yourself well that you canlead other leaders.
- Heart ablaze for God- Your heart condition will fuel your leadershipstyle.
- Personal development- You must invest in training, personal growth,proper mentoring and accountability.
- Love people, lead people- Sharpen the skill to relate and lead people.You must lead out of a heart of love.
- Godly example and model- You can only lead well when you are a goodexample of what you preach.
- Pursuit of purpose- A healthy leader sees clearly God’s vision for
the church and pursue it purposefully.
- Supernatural power- Spirit filled and empowered.
- Fruitful not barren- A healthy leader is not barren, but fruitful in
all areas of ministry. People prosper under his leadership.
- Problem-solving mentality- Tackle, handle and solve problems admirably and
- Abundance mindset- A giver and an investor in people and
- Empowering and enabling- Equips others and enable them to rise to their
- Financial Integrity- Clean, clear and concise concerning money
- Continuous growth in God- Changing for the better, pursuing hard afterGod fresh encounter with the word and new strategies
- Godly home and family- More than anything else, the home of a leaderwill determine his leadership health in ministry.
The spiritual and leadership health of church leaders will always have bandwagon effects on their churches. Fortunately or unfortunately, churches cannot be anything better than her leaders!
1.Lord, make me a leader after your own heart.
2.Divine wisdom for healthy leadership, come upon my life.
3.Every trait of unhealthy leadership, depart from my life in Jesus’ name.
BOOKS BY BOLA AKIN-JOHN
- Fruitful and Fulfilling Ministry Today
- Grow the Pastor Grow the Church
- Sexual Purity in Leadership
- Money, Ministers and Ministry Today
- 22 Dynamic Laws of Church Growth
- 25 Pillars of Church Health
- Personal Growth Today
- The Loyal Associate
- Guest Ministers Today
- 120 Strategic Ways to Increase Church Attendance
- Quality and Quantity Growth in Churches
- Strategic Church Planting Today
- Spiritual Warfare for Dynamic Church Growth
- Supernatural Power, Miracles, Signs and Wonders Today
- Church Change
- The Place of Anointing and Administration in Church Growth
- Pulpit Power for Church Growth
- Daily Nourishment for Leaders
- Healthy Leaders Healthy Churches
- Anointing Alone is Not Enough
- 101 Ministry Lessons
- Healthy Home
- Small Middle-Size and Mega Churches
- How to follow well
- Strategic Living
- True success in ministry
- Rise and Fall of Churches / Ministries
- Closing the Back Door
- 25 Indispensable Qualities of a Competent and Credible Minister
- Church Growth Principles of Jesus
- Your Church Your Community
- Your Growth is Your Future
- Frank Talk to Men
- The Cell Church
- Our Churches and His Church
- How to Support & Strengthen your Pastor
- 101 ways to progressively kill a church
- The Real Man in Every Church
- Matured Pastor’s Wife & Female Minister
- Pray and Grow
- Short Course on Family Growth
- Short Course on Church Growth
- Short Course on Wholesome Sexuality
- Short Course on Financial Growth
- Short Course on Personal Growth
- Fundamental Teaching & Doctrines of the Bible
- With Jesus in the School of Money
- Holy Spirit the True Vicar of Life and Ministry
- Five Fold Ministry
- Prophet & Prophetic Ministry Today
- Leading your Church to Lasting Growth
- Your Image is Your Growth
- Conflict and Crisis in Ministry
- Thy Kingdom Come
- DiscipleShift Today
- Healthy Local Church
- Congregational and Cell Church Today
- Heart of a Christian
- Overseer and Senior Pastor Hand book 1
- Abusive Pastor Abusive Churches
- Church Turn-Around Strategies
- Pastor and People’s Price For Church Growth
- Fatherhood and Sonship
- Healthy Woman Minister
- Women In Church Growth Resource
- Kingdom Stewardship
- Overcome At The Gate
- Healthy Pastor, Dangerous Pastor
- Sexually Wholesome Church
- Healthy Pastors, Dangerous Pastor
- Impact-Driven Church
- Clergy Coupes
- Apostolic Ministry
- Evangelist Ministry
- Pastoral Ministry
- Prophetic Ministry
- Teaching Ministry
- Your Church Can Grow in a Healthy Way
- Real Men Resource
- Strong Christian, Strong Christian
- Planting Disciples-Making Church
- Front and back Door of Your Church
- Discipleship Process Recourse
- True Biblical Church Growth is still Possible
- Daily Nourishment 2
- Reaching and Disciplining Children and Youth in today’s Church
- Eschatology and Kingdom Teaching Resource
- I Can’t Breathe