As the primary leader in a growing organization, I am always on the look out for good people to be a part of our team. My eyes are perpetually peeled. I’m looking as I stroll through the church lobby during our weekend services. I’m watching out of the corner of my eye while ministering at camps, retreats or conferences. I’m scanning to see who is serving, caring, giving, and developing their God-given talents for Kingdom purposes.
I love my job.
Occasionally I have the opportunity to invite certain folks to join our team. It doesn’t happen often and it isn’t for everyone. Of course, any follower of Jesus could have the capacity to be a leader, and may function as such to varying degrees, but not all can be called or commissioned to full-time, professional service in the local church. That simply wouldn’t be practical or possible.
When I look for leaders, I watch for three very important characteristics in that person. I call it iLEADERSHIP.
1. Leaders that Initiate.
First and foremost these individuals must be able to move forward with initiative and not wait for someone to hand it all to them. We know that the road to somewhere nasty is paved with good intentions. Good intentions are noble but not enough. One must take further steps to initiate action.
2. Leaders that Integrate.
I look for people that can partner and play well with others. Lone Rangers need not apply. Sure, those kinds of folks may be workhorses and high capacity initiators, but if they don’t have chemistry with a team then problems will ensue. Mark my words: in the short-term you may think you have secured the best leader, but in the long-run you will experience acute misery. So, place a high value on integration.
3. Leaders that Innovate.
Simply put: they have the capacity for change. One must be able to creatively take nothing and make it “something.” It’s an art (Max DePree calls it Leadership Jazz). Understandably, not everyone can pull this off. That’s OK, because the Body of Christ is big and all are welcome. But when it comes to leadership, I find it extremely important to have people that can embrace change and run point on innovative efforts.