Desired Attributes in a Strategic Leadership Team




            In a revitalization process there are certain leadership attributes that help plug the holes in the ship so she doesn’t sink while sitting in the dock. Nehemiah was a walking example of all these attributes. And while I am sure God can raise up another Nehemiah, I believe He tends to use a team of people who possess the attributes necessary. Jesus used a team of twelve to show us how it’s done! Ask the Lord to provide the best gifted people to be a part of the team and here’s what to look for:




1.     The catalyst. Someone must be the initiator of the process and the plan.




2.     The outsider. Someone new; someone without a long history in the church body; someone distantly removed from any politics or division. Joel Allen Barker asks, “What kind of person is a paradigm shifter?” He states simply, “an outsider”[1] is. An outsider has a clearer perspective on the situation and he/she is not overwhelmed with the grief of the problem. 




3.     The problem-solver. A person who can organize the people to follow the Lord’s leadership. The problem solver sees the probabilities for obstacles and/or barriers and plans a way around them.




4.     The visionary. A visionary sees what others cannot yet see. Even the outsider, mentioned earlier, must be sympathetic to the need for growth and health and envision their part in developing a solution.




5.     The motivator. A team member who can speak with confidence, and rally the troops with his/her words, is likely to find that the team is being followed by an eager crowd.




6.     The persuader. A selfless persuader can influence a church, to press outward toward the world in need, rather than being inwardly–focused. The selfless persuader is a prize to any group or congregation.




7.     The risk-taker. Every great leader will face a certain level of risk to accomplish what they knew was absolutely essential to the cause. Jesus is the ultimate example of this attribute.




8.     An empathizer. A restoration leader who cares deeply for the people, enough to join them in their pain and their struggle back to productivity, and ultimately to restoration and revival is a leader who will endear themself to the people they serve.




9.     A persevering leader. Perseverance is steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. It is the character trait that compels one to struggle through failures, difficulties or opposition to achieve one’s desired outcome or goals. [2] Leaders of change, innovation, creativity, and vision may be misunderstood by some, but a team leader – who perseveres, refuses to throw in the towel, or run to a greener field – can help a church bounce back from the brink of death.




10.  A planner. Each time a barrier presents itself, the planner prayerfully prepares a plan to keep the work on track and reiterates the goal to be attained.




11.  A recruiter. One who can recruit workers with a vision and a plan to accomplish the goals. Restoration is a team effort. There must be a leader who can recruit the congregation to buy into the renewal plan for the process to be effective and maintainable. Without the team environment, renewal would be similar to a coach without any players on the court or field; the game will never be effective.




12.  The organizer. This team member makes sure all the resources are present, gives specific assignments so the group is confident concerning their task, and observes and evaluates the effectiveness of the assignments. Organization will not eliminate difficulties, but it can provide multiple options to each barrier.




13.  The delegator. He/she does not accomplish the task in his/her own power. Michael McCutcheon speaking wisely in favor of the need for delegation, quotes J. Oswald Sanders by saying, “To insist on doing things oneself because it will be done better is not only a shortsighted policy but may be evidence of an unwarranted conceit.”[3]




14.  A person of prayer. Being a person of prayer demonstrates interdependence on the subject of one’s faith.




            Jesus’ leadership reaction to His followers was: “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary [harassed] and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd [leader, guide]” (Matthew 9:36).  




            Biblical leadership is absolutely essential to revitalization, restoration and church health.   




[1] Malphurs, Pouring New Wine into Old Wineskins, 71.


[2] The New Oxford American Dictionary, s.v. “Perseverance.”

[3] Michael McCutcheon, Rebuilding God’s People: Strategies for Revitalizing Declining Churches (Camp Hill, Christian Publications, 1993), 36.


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