I love leadership, so when I came across a list from Bill Hybels, concerning leaders in the local church I was fascinated. He lists 10 manifestations of leadership. His list really caused me to examine each of the 10 closely. Here are the 10: visionary, directional, strategic, managerial, motivational, pastoral, team-building, reforming, entrepreneurial, and networking leadership. My plan is to consider each of them and see how they help with the responsibility of leading.
1 Visionary. To be a leader one must have a vision. Most get stuck at what is called the vision thing! What is vision? How do I receive a vision? How do I disseminate it, and how do I get everyone on board? Proverbs 29:18 states: “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (KJV), A newer translation states it this way: “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint;” (NIV) As Christians we believe the vision ultimately begins with God, what is His vision for the situation? A second part would be, ‘what is His vision for me as His called leader?’ Each of the preceding questions could be a long chapter or a short book on their own! Vision is essential, In my opinion the toughest work is not the receiving or applying it to the local situation. Rather the difficult part is sustaining the vision. On several occasions I have heard that vision leaks. When anyone says that vision leaks, they are reminding us that the memory of the folks is usually quite short! It will take much more than a board and leadership retreat, whiteboards and markers and the prayerful elimination of several choices and the arrival at a vision statement. After this, the real work begins, one must communicate the vision. There is usually a large rollout involving a banquet, a Sunday morning service and several meetings with various leaders that is given to share the vision. It’s not uncommon for us to mail something to our constituents informing them of the God-given vision. This leads to the ending of the service where we sing “get on board little children” this is the train and it is leaving the station! We have a plan, we have a goal, let’s go! In less than 10 days (minutes) the people have forgotten what we talked about. And if we do not find a way to communicate the vision frequently, the person with the loudest voice or the deepest pockets can easily hijack the vision. There will soon become dueling visions. And if we don’t continually talk about it, sharing it one-on-one and in groups and from the platform it becomes nothing more than a faint echo that dies out quickly. Yet, we think all the planning, the meetings and the rollout was all that was needed to get the vision to stick. When in reality the reason the vision does not stick is not because of sabotage as much as the vision became neglected and orphaned. One of the first ways that the vision begins to leak is the fact that we don’t do much with it other than making a slogan or creating a goal sheet or printing it in the bulletin. One of the main places where the vision is lost is in budgetary decisions. It is easy to state that our vision is to reach the lost and then we go right ahead and and budget zero dollars and wonder why our vision isn’t getting through? Vision is more than a slogan or statement it has to be the actual way we operate! When deciding to implement a new program we need to run it through the vision to see if it fits the vision o fwhat we believe God wants us to do? If we do not run things through this filter then everything becomes a priority. Whoever has the latest hot-shot idea for a new program will win the day and not the vision. That is of course unless we decide to take everything through the vision statement: children, youth, adults, outreach, discipleship and worship services. Do all of these things fit and propel our vision into the present and future? There are a lot of programs in most churches that someone needs to pull the plug on but we are too afraid to do so, because we will not, we become paralyzed! Allow the vision to help make that decision to make sure that every program accomplishes or helps us to accomplish the implementation of and the fulfillment of our vision? If does not, pull the plug and pull it quickly. That is what leadership is, it is painful and hard work. I don’t like to have people angry with me but when it comes to facing the Lord at the end of time I would rather have a few church members upset with me than to have the Lord of the church upset with me! Therefore the first thing you need leader is a God-given vision.