A few years ago, while thinking about possible topics for a D.Min. dissertation at Asbury Theological Seminary, I thought a lot about “spiritual leadership.” But then in one particular class, I started thinking about other qualifiers for leadership.
Recently, in preparation for my interview with the consultation team as part of the Matthew 28 Initiative, I thought about what kind of leadership I feel called to. So, I jotted three different types of leadership on a post-it note.
I’m sure it’s not an exact science, and there’s sure to be some overlap or something missing, but these are three types of leadership that are important to me as a leader.
While there are similarities between leading a church and leading other types of organizations, there are dynamics that are unique to leading a church. There is a spiritual realm that’s critical to leading a church — cultivating a personal relationship with God, cultivating an atmosphere where people know and serve God. In other words, my relationship with God, as a leader, matters!
For a class on visionary leadership at Asbury, I defined visionary leadership as (1) getting the vision, (2) casting the vision, and (3) navigating the vision. Vision matters to me. I believe it’s extremely critical for the church. I try to communicate vision in as many ways as possible and as often as possible. I believe what others (such as Bill Hybels and/or Andy Stanley) have said, “Vision leaks.” The vision must be constantly communicated and reinforced!
Spirituality and vision are constants for me as a leader. Change and transformation are also constants. Organizations left to themselves tend to seek comfort and the status quo. God, however, is always doing a new thing, which requires that we be nimble and ready to follow God’s leading at all times. Transformational leadership is especially needed in established churches that are plateaued or declining. The bottom line is, pastors are in the business of transformation!
Well, these are three ways I describe my leadership. How would you describe your leadership?