Effective Church Leaders are more than skilled volunteers. First and foremost, they should be expected to exhibit conspicuous spiritual practices. The “go to your prayer closet” and “don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” has been used as an excuse for shallow discipleship for too long (and both of those Matthean passages have been taken out of context to justify a lack of spiritual accountability).

Acts 6:3 offers the first and most important criteria for selecting an effective church leader:

“Choose seven from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them.”

In context, the church needed leadership for the Food Bank Ministry and turned to the church staff to provide that. Instead of taking it on, the apostles laid out the critical criteria for the selection of effective leaders.

  1. Effective church leaders must be full of the Spirit. In other words, their words and actions reflect the presence of God in everything they do.
  2. Effective church leaders must be full of wisdom. In other words, their decisions and choices reflect a godly discernment based on good information.
  3. Effective church leaders must have a faith-full reputation. They live a wise and spiritual life that’s so publicly conspicuous that their lives and practices are “well known” by the wider congregation. In other words, when the congregation goes to find a faith-centered leader, they don’t use church attendance as the primary virtue. Instead, the selection is based on the ways the prospective leaders conspicuously and consistently show their spiritual foundation and their depth of wisdom.
If you’re looking for effective leaders … and you should be … look first to those who already have a reputation for their faith-full-ness. You can teach someone to be treasurer or membership chair. But you can’t teach integrity of faith. Start there when you need your next ministry leader (or pastor!).

When you choose leaders, choose wisely.

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