March 5, 2014

By Phil Maynard

Leadership doesn’t happen in a vacuum. There are several factors that will help determine whether the leaders you select will be successful. This means that there are several things churches and pastors can do to create an environment that empowers leaders.

Let me make some suggestions:

Responsibility: leaders need to be clear on what their responsibilities actually are and how they align with and lead to the fulfillment of the mission (clear outcomes). Position descriptions go a long way toward making this clear but too often they are focused on tasks rather than outcomes (there’s a big difference!)

Resources: Nothing is more frustrating to a leader than to not have the resources necessary to accomplish their role. This includes people, supplies, financial resources etc.

Relationships: Who will be partnering with the leader to support them as they lead their team? How will they connect with other leaders for support and training?

Risks: Is it OK to fail? The reality is that some of the things we try are not going to work out the way we thought. How does your church learn from the things that didn’t work?

Review: There is a myth that volunteer/servant leaders do not want or expect reviews of their performance. Nothing could be further from the truth. People like to know how their doing and appreciate feedback.

Reason: Lovett Weems and Lance Ford address this well in the “So That” chapter in their book Bearing Fruit:


Leaders need to know how what they are doing moves the congregation toward fulfilling its mission and vision.

How do you create an environment for empowering leaders?