Leadership Traits at Leadership Levels of Your Church

Leadership Traits at Leadership Levels of Your Church

Over the last couple of months I’ve been writing about leadership development. My encouragement in April included two steps: Develop your definition of a leader, then identify  the 5-7 essential leadership skills or traits that are necessary at all levels of leadership in your church. Step 3, detailed in my May article, entails defining the different levels of leadership in your church. 

Here’s what to do next:

Step 4: Flesh out the specific leadership traits you have outlined in Step 2, describing what they look like in action at each level. These action descriptions will become  specific job descriptions, which will be so helpful to your developing leaders, as they can easily visualize themselves growing into their roles. 

Here are some general examples: If one of your leadership traits is the ability to articulate vision (a leadership trait necessary in every Leadership Level above), the person who is leading a team, such as a greeting team, a nursery team, or a prayer team needs to know the vision, be able to communicate the vision to the team, and to discern and make corrections to its implementation, as necessary. That same trait at the highest level, the senior pastor, requires more development because he needs to be able to articulate vision in such a way that he can define the vision for the church, but also how each area of ministry contributes to accomplishing that vision. 

Another example of a leadership trait might be something like recruiting and team building. The greeting team leader needs to be able to recruit new people to the team and also help that team work together to accomplish its purpose. Fleshing out the Leadership Trait of recruiting might read like: Comfortable with sharing responsibility (isn’t territorial), enjoys talking with new people (is friendly), comfortable with inviting others to participate in advancing the ministry. Higher level leaders need to be even more adept at recruiting and team building because they are no longer a team leader, but a leader of teams. One example is the children’s ministry director who works with the individual leaders of the different age groups and who must unite them all to accomplish the overall vision for the children’s ministry. Another example of a leader of teams is the worship leader who works with the sound team, band team, creative arts team, etc. uniting them to work together in the worship ministry. (These are just possible examples, your actual mileage may vary.)

In Step 4, as you define how each trait is expressed at each level of the church, you will have created a document that dovetails into role descriptions, which will make it immensely easier to recruit to any role in your church. 

~ Eric Oleson