When you think of healthy leaders, I wonder who comes to mind?
When you think of healthy Christian leaders who comes to mind?
Perhaps you had some crossover with your two groups. Perhaps not.
Often we end up paying more attention to unhealthy leaders rather than the healthy ones. We know what not to emulate but do we know what to emulate?
So what makes a healthy leader?
Perhaps for you, the word faithful comes to mind? Perhaps humble? Or prayerful?
Anything to do with a leader’s character is primary to their health (and effectiveness), as it is for all followers of Jesus.
But is there more than that for leaders? Sounds like a bit of an odd question. What could possibly be more important than character?
Short answer – nothing.
So if character is foundational, what needs to be built on this?
I was chatting with one of our Youth Pastors the others day about how he has deliberately invested in the leaders God has surrounded him with. It’s beautiful.
While I don’t get to see his ministry as often as I would like, what I do see is a biasing of his time and resources towards empowering others. I see a leader of leaders. I assume part of this for him is about the culture he has grown up in – having been invested in by those who were and are in positions of leadership above him – but it’s easy for this to slip by the waysides.
From what I have seen, this Youth Pastor is committed to his own personal growth as a leader, and God has used that not only for personal benefit for in influencing others toward the same conviction.
I think one of the marks of a healthy Christian leader is how he or she invests in the leaders around them – giving away power and opportunity – to allow others to step into all that God has for them.
A healthy Christian leader knows what’s happening in the lives of others and responds with empathy, grace, care, challenge and encouragement.
Knowing what’s happening in the lives of others, a healthy Christian leader proactively seeks opportunities that stretches and matures others – growing their capacity to excel.
Or as Long writes “We need leaders who have a real passion for ministry and a willingness to try new strategies. We also need leaders who can understand the fear and brokenness so many others feel.” (Long, The Leadership Jump, 175)
As an Association, we see five keys to healthy Christian leadership: heart, soul, mind, strength and empowering others.
These are each outlined on the Leadership Support and Development page on our website here: https://nswactbaptists.org.au/ministry-support-development/leadership-support-development/
The one I want to draw your attention to is what it means to empower others.
- An empowering in community through authentic relationships
- An empowering by compassion & advocacy
- An empowering in prayer
- An empowering through loving discipline and shepherding
- An empowering through the building of healthy, unified teams
- An empowering by multiplying themselves into other leaders.
I wonder how many of these you have experienced? I wonder how people would say the experienced this from you?
I wonder the places and situations that have been significant for you in this?
One of the ways we are seeking to see the leadership in our movement of churches strengthened and multiplied is through our annual Youth Pastors Conference.
If you are seeking authentic relationships, compassion and advocacy, prayer, loving discipline and shepherding, the building of healthy, unified teams, and multiplication into other leaders, don’t miss our time away together next February. For all details and to register, head over to www.youthpastorsconference.org.au