Many feel they are not leaders in the Lord’s church because they do not hold a title, such as an Elder, Deacon, or minister. Many women in the church may not see themselves as leaders because of what the Bible teaches concerning who are the ones to have authority as teachers and spiritual overseers in the church in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. We must realize we are all leading somebody. Parents lead their children. Grandparents lead their grandchildren. Bible class teachers are leading their classes in God’s Word. If we are serving, teaching, guiding, helping others, we are leaders. The question is, are we being good and effective leaders?
Here are three essential qualities a leader must possess to be effective.
ESSENTIAL QUALITY #1 – A Good and Effective Leader has CHARACTER
How can any organization, group, or church for that matter, thrive without having character? They cannot. Leaders are men/women with vision, tenacity and skill. They are the ones who communicate with their people in a way that inspires. They find ways to solve problems. However, what do those qualities matter if they cannot be trusted? If one has an exciting vision, yet, they lie, make empty promises, have agendas to satisfy self, and don’t practice what they are “preaching,” they will fail, they will have no influence as a leader. When one has integrity, he/she will live and lead with a moral and ethical principle. They do not just comply to the “rules,” they understand how essential it is to carry these principles and inspire others to reach for them. They also realize that living and leading in life with integrity does not mean they will never fail to live up to these qualities at times. What matters is having the strength of character to learn from making mistakes and seeking to continually improve themselves. Paul wrote, “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope” Romans 5:3-4.
ESSENTIAL QUALITY #2 - A Good and Effective Leader has COMPASSION.
When I hear the word, compassion, I think of Jesus! He showed compassion to ALL He came into contact with. The meaning of compassion is to recognize the suffering of others, then take action to help. We are to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves ... defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9). Leaders are moved with compassion to help others. If we do not have the love for souls, then why are we here? Let us live and lead with compassion.
ESSENTIAL QUALITY #3 – A Good and Effective Leader has COMMITMENT
Committing to someone or something is much more than being interested in something. It is defined as “lay something down before, to deposit, to trust.” Jesus was so committed to saving souls, He laid down His life for His friends (John 15:13). The Bible often relates the word to giving. If we are to be committed as leaders (and Christians in general), we should be giving of ourselves fully to the cause we believe in. Are we so committed to our faith that we are willing to lay down our lives?
We are all leaders, so let’s be good and effective ones!