8 Foundational Principles for Leading Well

Group of toy ducks with leadder. Leadder and teamwork concept

This article was written by state missionary Ken Allen.

Leading well is comprehensive in nature but not as complex as we might think. We must keep intentionality in mind. Here are some principles that I pray will assist you as you continue to lead where you serve. 

1. Develop a good rhythm for ministry.

A healthy rhythm includes time for God, family and ministry. Develop sabbatical time daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly to allow you to recharge. As you intentionally plan your days, ask yourself, “What are the most important things to accomplish?” then seek to accomplish those important tasks when you are at your best. 

2. Adapt leadership to fit where you are.

Is the church deacon-led, staff-led or committee-led? Over time you can adjust to a better leadership and decision-making process as needed. 

3. Understand community context.

Make sure the church is aware of their community. State Missionary Mickey Crawford can provide you with helpful demographic information. Contact him at mcrawford@alsbom.org. Rob and I will be happy to sit down with you and help interpret this information. 

4. Understand church culture.

Have the church staff or a couple of key leaders take you through the church calendar. Understand what is important to the church. Take what they enjoy doing and revitalize it around biblical mission – loving God, loving others, making disciples, fellowship, evangelism or ministry. Seek to understand how the church handles decision making and conflict. What has worked well in handling both? What has not worked well? Why?

5. Don’t change too much too soon.

Commit to only one major change per year. Look for easy wins first. Find out what could be accomplished quickly. Change should be centered around biblical mission.

6. Listen well.

Develop the discipline of listening well. Ask questions that provoke healthy discussion. Know and understand their ideas and concerns.

7. Major on building relationships.

Healthy relationships are critically important to a heathy life and ministry. Develop good life interaction with staff, other pastors, deacons, etc. Care for people. Value them. 

8. Don’t do anything alone.

Being Christian without Christ is like life without relationships – you can try it but it won’t work. Don’t make major changes without taking a group with you. 

Remember: Fundamental to leading well is humility. Seek to learn from others. Seek to follow godly biblical leaders like Jesus, Moses and Paul. True competency is found only in Christ. Persevere when facing ministry challenges. God is always at work, especially in the difficulties. Keep on, because making disciples — seeing people transform into Christlikeness — is worth it!