Home > Leadership > 12 Things To Look for in a Leader

12 Things To Look for in a Leader

A year ago I attended a leadership conference for pastors from the Newfrontiers worldwide family of churches.  While at this conference P. J. Smyth the Lead Pastor of Godfirst Church in Johannesburg, South Africa (one of Newfrontier’s largest and most dynamic churches) made the bold statement that “the single most evangelistic thing a leader can do is train more leaders.”

In other words, the most effective leaders spend less time ministering directly to those far from God and more time ministering through leaders to those far from God. By ministering to upcoming leaders, current leaders can multiply their effectiveness to reach more people because 10 leaders can minister to 10x more people than one leader can by himself.

At Living Hope Church we are in a season where we need more leaders.  We’ve got lots of non-Christians and new-Christians, but not many leaders.  It’s important, however, that we not only raise up any leader, but the right kind of leader.  Here are the top 12 things we look for in a leader at Living Hope.

Image via forbes.com

Image via forbes.com

1. Conviction. At Living Hope we want people who know what they believe and why they believe it.  We’re looking for people who believe the truth about Jesus as it’s found in Scripture, not as they’d like for it to be.  We’re also looking for people who strongly believe in the Newfrontier’s vision and values. (2 Timothy 1:12; Romans 1:16; 1 Timothy 3:9; Titus 1:9)

2. Character. It’s critical that leaders not only have a strong faith, but that their faith determines how they live their lives.  Christ-likeness is an absolute necessity in a leader. (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Timothy 4:16; 2 Timothy 2)

3. Humility. A leader must know his place before God and his church. We want leaders who are willing to serve, admit when they’re wrong and depend on Jesus. We also want leaders who will be under authority before they try to be in authority. (Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 9:35; 1 Peter 5)

4. Authenticity. Leaders need to be the real deal. We want them to be content with who God created them to be instead of trying to be who God created someone else to be. (1 Corinthians 15:10)

5. Teachability.  A person who is unwilling to learn is unfit to lead.  We look for people who are hungry to know the Lord and to learn from those around them. (Luke 6:40)

6. Responsibility. People count on leaders to do what they say and to say what they do.  It’s important for our leaders to take responsibility for themselves and for others. A leader takes care of his responsibilities promptly without needing to be reminded, pestered or followed up with. When you ask them to get something done you know with confidence it’s going to get taken care of. (1 Peter 5:1:-5)

7. Initiative. It’s one thing to talk about getting stuff done, it’s another thing to actually get stuff done.  There’s a lot of work to do.  We’re after the people who will see needs and take action to meet needs without having to be told to do so. (Matthew 28:19)

8. Empathy. The best leaders care more for people than they do for productivity.  We want leaders who are in it for the benefit of the people they lead. (Galatians 6:1-5)

9. Teamwork. There’s an African Proverb that says “if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.”  We believe that God wants us to go far as a church, so we’re looking for leaders to go with us as a team working together. (Galatians 6:1-5)

10. Generosity. God is a generous giver.  He provided for the forgiveness of our sins at the high cost of his Son’s life.  We want leaders who likewise will be generous with their time, talents and treasure.  Leaders who will lay down their lives for the gospel. (2 Corinthians 8:8-9)

11. Consistency. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and Great by Choice has said that “the sign of mediocrity is chronic inconsistency.”  At the same time, God is an ever faithful God who consistently loves and cares for his people.  Likewise, we want leaders who are consistent in their walk with Jesus, consistent in their commitment to the church and consistent in their disciple-making efforts. (1 John 2:6; 1 Timothy 4:7-8)

12. Skill. This trait is last on the list for a reason, but it’s still important.  A leader can get by on character for a long time, but the higher level of responsibility the more skill is required.  Our church needs leaders who are skilled in specific ways to take on specific responsibilities in order to reach more people more consistently. (Titus 1:9; Psalm 78:72)

What are a few characteristics you look for in leaders? You can leave a comment here.

Categories: Leadership Tags: , ,
  1. March 20, 2014 at 9:13 AM

    A leader should be a visioneer

  2. gerardsixdays
    April 16, 2014 at 6:56 AM

    Good article. We always believe a man of God should be in the Word. Logically with your church it is accepted as normal. Greetings, excellent article.

    • April 16, 2014 at 7:02 AM

      Absolutely, there are some things that are considered permission to play qualities, basic expectations of the Christian life that are implied in this article because leadership is for those who are already walking with Jesus in faith and obedience. Thanks for the comment!

  3. April 16, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    Thanks for liking one of my recent posts. You may want to check this out about leadership and management: http://www.harvestime.org/EnglishCourses/BiblicalManagementPrinciples.pdf
    Good luck as you raise up more leaders!!!!

  4. April 18, 2014 at 7:15 AM

    Praying for your success in all things that give God glory!

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