Posts Tagged ‘J. Oswald Sanders’

Good leadership (in most cases) starts with a quality person. I think agreement can be found from ministry to ministry or oganization to organization; you want quality people in leadership positions. The “list” of qualities would have many similarities and differences for each ministry and/or organization. Entire books have been written on what qualities a person in leadership should possess. The articles, workshops and sermons on the subject are numerous. So how does one come up with a “list” of qualities?

Starting Point: The Variables.

To find the appropriate answer one needs to start with two big variables of the ministry or organization: Structure and Context.

Structure: How is the leadership team organized (team approach, committees, hierarchy)? What type of positions (small group leaders, officers, team leaders) need to be filled? Some positions will have a need for different qualities than others.

Context: What is the setting the ministry and its leaders operate under? Large campus/church or small campus/church; Small, one college town/Large city, multiple college town; 4 year state school/private college/2 year community college. What is the focus of the ministry? Is the focus on athletes, Greeks, Freshman, or the general campus population? Answers will determine the qualities needed for leadership.

Next – The Givens or non-negotiables. What must every leader posses in order to serve in leadership regardless of structure and context?

A commitment to Jesus Christ – leaders of a ministry tasked to reach a campus with the gospel need to have embraced the gospel and its implications for life with their own hearts in order to lead others to do the same.

Evidence of a growing and maturing relationship with Jesus – belief in the gospel must be bolstered by evidence indicating one’s maturing in their understanding of God’s expectations for life and responding in obedience to those expectations on a consistent bases.

A solid sense of humility (A Philippians 2 mindset) – leaders need to live life with a good estimation of themselves. Understanding who one is and who one is not will facilitate leadership from humility instead of pride.

A teachable spirit – leaders must remain learners. A leaders effectiveness is connected to his/her ability to learn from others, mistakes, change and the Holy Spirit.

In considering qualities, another question emerges.. How much stock do we put in one’s potential? Should potential outweigh character weakness or flaws?

Leadership development means exactly that – develop leaders. Potential must play a role. No candidate for leadership will perfectly fit a list of qualities. There must be a willingness to help students capitalize on strengths and passions and to grow in areas of weakness. A Philippians 2 mindset can be taught and experienced in the context of serving in a leadership position.

These things are not earth-shattering or tremendously insightful, but offer a good base to think through leadership qualities for leaders. What are your thoughts? Do you have some other variables? Would you list other non-negotiables? Let me hear from you. Let’s get the discussion going.

RESOURCES:
(There are many out there – you can add others that have helped you in the comments. Here are a few I have found very helpful.)

“Next Generation Leader: Five Essentials for those Who Will Shape the Future” – Andy Stanley

“Dynamic Spiritual Leadership: Leading Like Paul” – J. Oswald Sanders

Growing Leaders

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