Do you need more leaders? Are you experiencing a leadership drought and lack of willing individuals to step up to begin leading? Yes, it's Christmas, but the new year is coming in just a few short weeks. It will be peak season in January for most ministries. The question is "Are you prepared?!" Do you have enough volunteers and leaders in your ministry area to accomplish what you believe the Lord is calling you to do this next year? Here are 5 indicators to look for in a potential new leader. Let's find some new leaders!
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Indicator #1 - Faithful in Attendance
The first indication that someone may be a potential leader for a ministry area is that they have a consistent background of faithful attendance. Now, that could be to weekend worship services, group, or a volunteer role they serve in. The mark to look for in this potential new leader is the consistency and faithfulness they have to show up.
Are they faithful to show up?
Indicator #2 - Available for Investment
A potential leader needs to be available for investment to prepare them for the calling of leading in whatever ministry area God may be calling them to. Rarely, will you find a pre-packaged leader in the local church fully prepared in need of no training. That's like finding big foot feeding a unicorn. It just doesn't happen and if it does, no one would believe you anyways to make a reproducible process for finding future potential leaders. Availability in one's calendar is essential. What does their calendar look like? Is it overwhelmingly saturated with good or bad things? Sometimes potential leaders are already committed to another ministry area that keeps them so busy they don't have time to be invested in for proper preparation for becoming a leader. The temptation will be to lower the bar of training expectations and send them in unprepared just to have them on your team. Don't microwave the process. Please, do not send a potential leader into the ministry arena you didn't develop them to thrive in. Be patient. Find when they have availability and get them through a proper training process to potentially begin leading.
Indicator #3 - They take Initiative
People who take initiative are the right type to look for. When someone sitting around sees something that ought not to be a certain way, and steps up to make it how it should be, that's the type of potential leader to look for. Someone who takes the first step to reconcile or rectify a broken matter or an issue that needs guidance. That is the evidence of a leader within a person. Pay attention. See who steps up first. Additionally, initiative isn't just action-oriented. There can be initiative taken internally. Look and listen for people's heart. Is there a matter that breaks their heart? Do they express empathy over a situation? Listen for these types of heart-level initiatives as they reveal a different kind of drive in a person.
Indicator #4 - A Teachable Spirit
Often, I will ask my son, "How many mouths do you have?" Confused, he looks back and says, "One." Then, I ask my follow up question, "How many ears do you have?" He replies, "Two." Me, "Son, God gave you two ears and one mouth so you can listen twice as much as you speak. Be teachable." My exhortation to my son is just as true for potential new leaders. A potential new leader must have a teachable spirit. I'd rather have teachability over competency any day because the teachable person will surpass the competent one who has ceased growing and learning. No matter how good of a training you offer, a potential leader lacking a spirit of teachability will find every opportunity not to learn anything you've taught them. You can cover acres of farmland with seeds and not see a single one take root. The seed (training) might be the best in the world, but your efforts will be in vain without fertile soil (a teachable spirit) to receive the seed. Look for teachable people.
Indicator #5 - Heart for God
Finally, the fifth thing to look for in potential new leaders is a heart for God. You can have a competent person with character, but not have the conviction to lead. Ultimately, a skilled and gifted individual who does not have a heart for God has no place leading God's people. The first and most important prerequisite to a potential new leader is that they have a saving relationship with God that compels their love for Him and others. Belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ (death, burial, and resurrection) and gratefulness for Christ's sacrifice are absolute necessities for a potential new leader. Search for a person's worship. Is it visible in everyday life? Do you hear it in conversation? Have you felt it in other interactions with the person? Look beneath the surface. Find where their heart is before you shoulder tap someone to possibly become a leader.
Senior Consultant and Author at Build Groups in Dallas, TX. Adam has served in Executive, Discipleship, Groups, Young Adult, and Youth ministries. 5-time best-selling author of Christian leadership and discipleship resources. See more about Adam's consulting services on the following topics:
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