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But What Exactly Do I DO?

Concluding his series on leadership, Darren Blaney looks at what a leader does

Part 1: Do Baptist churches need leaders?
What is Leadership? Part 2
What is Leadership? Part 3
The Four C Formula for Leadership - Part 4
The Private World of Leadership - Part 5
Learning the Leadership Pyramid - Part 6

Question300All this talk of leadership as influence, of moving agendas, of 4Cs and 3Ps, is all well and good, but what exactly does a leader do?

One Christian leadership expert based in the UK has suggested the following very helpful outline:

A Christian Leader
Works with Others to
Build the Team
Develop the Individuals
Complete the Task.

Four things become quickly apparent. As a leader...

1. You do not work alone. Whether you are the senior leader, one leader amongst other leaders, or a lone-leader overseeing a group, you do not, indeed cannot, achieve success by yourself.

2. You must build the team. Unlike Jack Bauer in “24”, completing the mission is not everything. The team is important. They are people. They have feelings. They have legitimate needs. As a leader, you must help build the sense of belonging or fellowship amongst the group.

3. You must develop individuals. Hopefully the mission or task will be completed. But are the individuals who helped achieve it wiser, more able, more confident in God, more equipped than when they started out with you? Are they ready for bigger and more daunting challenges in the future?

4. There is a task, or a project, and it needs to be completed. A happy team that fails to achieve its main goal usually ends-up a miserable team. So achieving the goal is important. (However, there are exceptions to this: sometimes a team gives a project its best shot, and it just doesn't work out. In such circumstances one learns, grows and moves forward. Indeed failure can be the spring-board to greater success.)

Application: This definition of what leaders do gives rise to five, simple, sets of questions that a good leader will regularly ask him or herself. Why not put them in your journal for regular review, or on your group's Agenda as a recurring discussion item?


  1. Others: Am I slipping into Lone Ranger mentality? Who are my other leaders? Do I pray for them? When was the last time I encouraged them?
  2. Team: What are doing to build the sense of team in our group or church? What are we doing that is damaging the sense of being a team?
  3. Individuals: What are we doing to identify and develop specific individuals in the team? What am I doing? What could we do over the next 12 months? Have we thought and prayed about who might benefit from mentoring or training?
  4. Task: What is our primary task? Have we defined it clearly? Do we communicate it to the team? Have we thought about what specific goals would be appropriate as markers along the way? How are we doing in achieving our aim? How do we know?
  5. Overall: Are we holding Team, Task and Individual Development in balance?

Picture: Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net


The Revd Darren Blaney is Pastor of Herne Bay Baptist Church

Baptist Times, 24/02/2015
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