Good leaders not only know and play to their strengths; they are painfully aware of their weaknesses as well. The difference between a good leader and a great leader, however, is what they do about those weaknesses. Good leaders know their weaknesses and too often expend untold resources and energy in converting those weaknesses into strengths… or at least bringing them up to par. But do you know what you get when you have a leader (or a church) that has focused on their weaknesses and succeeded in bringing them up to par?

An average leader… or an average church.

Average is good enough, I suppose, but average is very much right there at the top of the bell curve. My theology suggests that God hasn’t called the church to be average, as in just good enough. And a church that isn’t called to be average cannot afford the luxury of calling an average leader. Since a leader can only lead people up to their leadership level, the church will never rise to be great.

Great leaders are painfully aware of their weaknesses, but they know that they have a finite amount of energy to spend on personal development and so they choose to spend it on becoming the best at what they’re best at. But they don’t stop there. A church-growth charismatic pastor without a mercy bone in their body knows that it’s not okay to short shrift pastoral care… even though they aren’t naturals in that area. And so great leaders staff for their weaknesses. They hire people who can, and will, take up the slack wherever they’re short.

I can already hear some readers’ thoughts: “I can’t afford to hire a part-time secretary. How am I going to hire someone to do _______?”

You’re not. Or at least you won’t hire a staff member with a salary. But great leaders find the people in their congregation – or beyond their congregation when necessary – who have the passion and gifts to fill that hole. Sure, they may need to spend time coaching and encouraging and perhaps even modeling what needs to be done, but in short order great leaders have filled their leadership void and can do what they’re really great at.

Question: Have you staffed to supplement your weaknesses? Do you know someone who has? Tell us how it’s benefited your ministry in the Comments section below.