Effective Church Leaders

Ten Traits of a Truth Teller by Angela J. Kaufman

A bird flying toward the sunrise of effective church leaders.

Leadership qualifications

There are many buzz words among church leaders when it comes to identifying other leaders. Let’s consider the three qualifications listed in Deuteronomy 1:13 (NLT), Choose some…who have wisdom, understanding, and a good reputation, and I will appoint them as your leaders.”

In other Bible translations these words are used: knowledge, discernment, experience and respect.

Some people have used such words as, Competent, Committed and Community, or Fit, Faithful and Functional.  It would be important to make a list under each category, no matter what language you use. For instance, under the category of ‘Fit’, I can envision mental health checks, as well as character references for honesty, work ethic, cooperation and collaboration skills. I would encourage making a well thought out list for each topic.  Be sure to take an extended time to consider and pray for the discernment needed to develop this policy and your interviewing process. 

Leadership is action not position.

You’ve probably heard other buzz words used to discern effective church leaders.  All three concepts are needed, but it doesn’t always guarantee things will work out. It is so much easier eliminating people at the entry point of your ministry, then to have to remove them once entwined among your body of believers. So, how can we safeguard against major problems?

One of the best ways I know to prevent problems is to have a trial period.  In some fields of work you would call it probation until you’ve proven your ability.  As we have noted already, we realize the importance of taking the time to get to know someone.  Six months generally will show you if there are red flags to consider.  If action is needed, it should not be a surprise to the person because it was part of the agreement to begin when they started. For those of you who have found yourself in this position, you know prevention goes a long way to eliminating pain and suffering.

On the flip side of this, if you are the leader, I would take a serious look at how you lead.  What is your vision?

Many people also look to I Timothy 3:1-13 for guidance about leaders. If you are serious about compiling a thorough criteria for an interviewing policy, you may want to add some of the following within the categories of your choosing. (i.e. fit, faithful, functional) A leader must exhibit cool and calm in conflict, be accessible to people, highly thought of among peers, and self-disciplined in their physical, financial and relational life. This list will at the very least help you start the discerning process.

The following list of fruits is also measurable. “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law” (Galatians 5:22, 23 NLT). Whether in our personal lives or as a leader, we want to fill up on these fruits as we seek to eliminate evil or lies.

Effective church leaders need the capacity to translate vision into reality.


 I wish you hope and healing on your journey with God.

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Copyright 2018: Angela J. Kaufman, Sioux Falls, SD 57106

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