the shape of leadership

Ten Habits of Effective Ministry Leaders

A 10-week study for leadership teams

Habits can make or break us as ministry leaders. The right habits will foster deeper personal and ministry health, and the wrong habits will undermine our long-term growth and impact. But which habits are most important?

In this edition of Make It Count, we’ll explore 10 habits of effective ministry leaders. This is not an exhaustive list, and these habits are not the only necessary behaviors to becoming a better ministry leader and building a healthier church. But each habit will help you deliver exponential impact. What are these habits?

1. Cultivating Spiritual Intimacy. Effective leadership begins with a habit of intimacy with God. Neglecting this habit is a recipe for diminished impact and eventual burnout.

2. Prioritizing Personal Growth. When ministry leaders stop growing, everything they lead bumps up against a lid. Like Jesus, leaders must prioritize a growth habit that embraces the right mindset, practices and commitment to intentional growth.

3. Modeling Servant Leadership. Good leaders know ministry isn’t all about them. Therefore, ministry leaders make it a habit to model servant leadership by leading from a heart surrendered to the Lord and serving for the good and growth of others.

4. Stewarding Time Wisely. Every ministry leader is pulled 100 different directions. However, the best leaders build a habit of stewarding time wisely by identifying their highest priorities, setting clear boundaries, and delegating to others.

The compounding
effect of each habit
will produce a harvest of changed lives and fruitful ministry.

5. Maintaining Clear Direction. Many leaders set direction, but few know how to maintain it. Effective ministry leaders not only choose a direction, but they also discipline themselves to align people and plans to that ministry direction.

6. Building Strong Teams. Ministry leaders are only as good as their teams. Therefore, they make it a habit to recruit, raise, release and reward team members for effective ministry.

7. Practicing Good Communication. Building a habit of communication isn’t easy, but ministry leaders use motivation, meetings, methods and marketing to ensure good communication happens within the team and throughout the church.

8. Increasing Ministry Capacity. Every church will hit capacity ceilings, but good leaders know how to increase the capacity of their people, resources, and strategies so the church can climb to new levels of impact.

9. Creating Healthy Culture. Ministry leaders create culture by maximizing values, relationships and accountability among their team members. This habit fosters long-term health throughout the team and the church.

10. Multiplying Ministry Leaders. The most effective leaders are multipliers. They don’t just lead projects; they also develop people who multiply value to others. Ministry leaders put the habit of multiplication at the top of their priorities.

As you read, discuss, and apply these 10 lessons with your team, commit to build each habit together. The compounding effect of each habit will produce a harvest of changed lives and fruitful ministry.

These downloadable lessons are available in both English and Spanish.

This article appears in the Winter 2022 edition of Influence magazine.

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