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The Four C Formula for Leadership

What criteria do people use to assess a would-be leader - and how might this enable us to become more effective leaders? By Darren Blaney

Part 1: Do Baptist churches need leaders?
What is Leadership? Part 2
What is Leadership? Part 3

So in its essence then, leadership is

Influencing Others to Follow God's Agenda

How then can we begin our journey of becoming such people of intentional influence for the Lord?

Science by cooldesign/freedigitalphotos.net

Wisdom has it that most people are asking themselves three questions when assessing a would-be leader.

These questions give us a kind of grid that we can use to think about ourselves and how we might become more effective leaders.

Q1. Do you care about me? This is the Compassion issue

What is your first concern as a leader? It should be for the honour and glory of God's Name. And that will lead you almost immediatel
y to a concern for the welfare of His people.

Why? Because like it or not, it is the health and vitality of the Church and of Christians that largely determines the regard that society holds God in. Thus a genuine concern for those you lead should be at the heart of every leader's heart.

As preachers are often told, “It's all well and good that you love preaching, but do you love the people you preach to?” The same is true of leadership. People know whether they are just tools for you to use in your latest scheme or whether you really care about them.

Q2. Can you help me? This is the Competence issue

Can you actually deliver the goods? Can you 'do the stuff'? This is not as terrifying as it sounds. Very often, 'doing the stuff' is actually about helping people to come to Jesus, and draw grace from Him. For in the end, He alone is the one that can really 'do the stuff'.

Most of the rest of the time it is about giving people the encouragement, permission and confidence to discover that they can do the stuff themselves because God is alive and well and working within them. It is surprising how much leadership comes down to “yes you can.”

Q3. Can I trust you? This is the Character issue

At the end of the day, there is no substitute for integrity and godliness. As I have learned the hard way, you cannot talk your way out of stuff that you have behaved your way into. Influence may be a set of skills, but unless those skills are built on the foundation of solid character, one will be a short-lived leader at best, and a charlatan at worst.

Compassion. Competency. Character. These are the essence of leadership.


All of these qualities add-up to one thing—Credibility. It is the 4C Formula for leadership.

Compassion + Competence + Character = Credibility

Write this formula down on a card. Carry it with you this week. Review it often. Make mention of it in your prayer time, asking God for grace and wisdom to grow in these areas. Find someone to share this formula with. (That which you teach others you become most committed to and remember more easily.)

The Revd Darren Blaney is Pastor of Herne Bay Baptist Church

Darren Blaney, 18/11/2014
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