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Last month I wrote about Stephanie, a non-traditional but highly effective small-group leader I met in college. She was quirky and humble, the perfect fit for a group of guarded young women.

I used to think that leaders, whether at work, the church, or in the government, have it all together. They are organized, efficient, and outgoing. They are confident, immune to envy or doubt. Or are they?

As it turns out, all leaders are in fact human beings. Which means, like me, they are sinners in need of a Savior.

As I’ve changed jobs, served in my church, and worked with non-profits, I have come to appreciate some of the less flashy and obvious leadership traits of those around me. For example, one of my favorite leaders regularly sends handwritten notes of encouragement to team members. Imagine the impact!

I’m curious, what do you think some of the most undervalued leadership traits are?

I’d love to hear from you!


A disinclination, even distaste, for turning their position of leadership into a political pedestal.

Undervalued? Well, I hope not.

The most foundational trait of a leader -- especially a small group leader or a leader within the church's council-- is someone who lives and breathes a Christian lifestyle; ie one who is known and seen to be 'walking with the Lord', one who has a strong prayer life and who knows the scriptures intimately.

That is, as I said, foundational. One's Christian character obviously translates into someone who is humble, a servant leader, focused on God's kingdom rather than trying to create his or her own.

A leader also isn't one who backs down when calling 'sin' a sin. A leader disciples, mentors and trains.

The rest is 'gravy'.

A leader meets you where you are and helps you get to where you could be.   we are all in need of help at times and a good leader will be where you are when you need the help.  they will be able to empathize with you and build you up to be the best you can be.  A good leader will turn you into a good leader who turns others into good leaders 

While I like Elizabeth's definition of a leader, it is a rather generic definition. It could apply equally to a leader at Amway, a football coach or a school principal.

But what sets a Christian leader apart? Like Paul's mentoring role in Timothy's life, Christian leaders need to consistently point emerging leaders to Christ. We need to consistently remind others of the importance to depend on God ... for wisdom, for direction, for the right things to say and do in a specific situation.

Want to be a strong Christian leader? Pray. A lot. Consistently.

I spoke a while back to a conference of senior pastors of mega-churches. They invariably referred to themselves as their church's "CEO". I spoke on "Whose Kingdom Are You Building: Yours or God's?"

Christian leaders are doing God's work ... whether that's in the church, in business, in education, in the home, in retirement. This isn't about us.

Humility. Having a teachable spirit themselves.

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