In today's global environment, it's more important than ever before that leaders know what their job really is. A question I frequently hear ministers asking is, "What's my job? Where should I be focusing my time and effort?"
I was encouraged to discover that there is actually a short list of the “Best Practices of the Best Leaders.” What's most encouraging is the fact that these best practices are not rocket science. Anyone can focus on and grow in these five areas. However, don't let the simplicity fool you. These best practices are the best practices of the best leaders. The more you can narrow your focus to these five things the greater your potential for impact.
Leaders must lead themselves before they can lead others. You have to be a disciple in order to make disciples and you will always produce what you are. The best leaders pay close attention to their own lives. The best leaders "nurture (care for, feed, pay attention to) their own vitality (strength, health). The best leaders understand that we can't give what we don't have. They understand that leadership is a discipline and this is reflected in their physical, relational, financial, emotional and spiritual vitality. They have what others are calling "it", but at the same time they understand the high price that comes with getting "it". Are you nurturing your vitality?
Being Ruthless About The Vision
There is a ruthlessness that's required to be a great leader when it comes to vision. The best leaders are not ruthless people, but they are ruthless about the vision. They understand that vision comes from God, therefore they are relentless about protecting the vision that God has given them. They refuse to allow anyone---or any group---hijack the vision and are relentless about guarding their own heart when it comes to vision. With this comes a passion for communicating the vision that includes both art and science. They are gifted at communicating vision, but they work just as hard at it. Being mean about the vision also means a relentless commitment to make hard calls in an effort to please God and God alone. Are you being ruthless about the vision?
Financing The Vision
Perhaps no practice separates great leaders from good leaders like financing the mission. Every great vision requires an incredible amount of resourcing to implement. Churches that are seeing the greatest impact understand the importance of balancing faith and wisdom in this area. Financing the mission is not something that simply happens, but something the best leaders take personal responsibility for and spend lots of time working on. The best leaders give inordinate amounts of time developing a culture of generosity within their church or organization and raising up men and women committed to financing the mission. In today's global environment, it's more important than ever before we take responsibility to build fully resourced organizations. Are you taking the responsibility for financing the mission?
Leaders who experience significant breakthroughs are always thinking team. It is one of their primary responsibilities. They have the ability to identify and raise up teams out of their organization. However, it doesn't end there. They also have the ability to attract high level team players and coach them to play at their greatest capacity. The best leaders spend lots of time with their team. The best leaders understand that entrepreneurship is not leadership. Entrepreneurship plus teamwork is. Are you thinking team?
A leader sets the culture and spiritual temperature of their church. They understand that they set the pace for helping people discover the centrality and simplicity of Jesus and his ways. They have a white-hot passion for Jesus and not only do they spend time keeping this passion for themselves, they create a culture, strategy, systems, and process for leading others to this white-hot passion for Jesus. The best leaders help lead people to understand that discipleship is not primarily about church programs, Bible studies, and busyness at the church. Rather, discipleship is based on the simplicity of loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving others more than we love ourselves! Are you helping the people within your organization redefine discipleship?
How many of these best practices are you practicing?