16 Categories for Spiritual Leadership Development (part 1)

This is a four-part series on developing leaders.


Good leaders intentionally developmore leaders.
If you are a church planter, pastor, or elder, you have a responsibility to raise up and develop godly leaders around you. You can’t just expect that God will bring you “ready to go” leaders. You have to be intentional about raising them up!

Beginning with a clear picture of the type of leaders that you are developing will help you focus intentionally on specific areas of their growth and development.

Here are sixteen categories to consider in determining if someone is qualified to serve in a leadership role in a local church. They are also sixteen areas to pay attention to as you work to intentionally develop spiritual leaders around you.

16 Categories for

Spiritual Leadership Development

1. Christ FollowerRadical Obedience to Jesus To be a spiritual leader you must first be a fully devoted follower of Jesus. There has be evidence in the way you think, speak and act that you’ve placed your faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross and that you are committed to a lifetime of obedience to Him. If you haven’t come to the point where you are willing to do whatever He says to you, you are not ready to be a spiritual leader. This is the starting point: absolute surrender to the leadership and lordship of Jesus!
2. Character Demonstrates Godly Fruit
Jesus said in Matthew 7:20 that His followers will be recognized by their fruit. To be a spiritual leader you must evidence godliness in your character. It’s important to be cultivating fruit and continually maturing as you follow Jesus. This will be clearly seen as the Holy Spirit’s work in your life produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. You cannot produce this fruit on your own for apart from Christ you can do nothing.

3. CallingCalled to Lead God’s People
I learned many years ago that “The need doesn’t constitute the call.” There are needs all around you. But which of these needs has God uniquely called you to meet? Churches need leaders. But everyone is not called to lead in the church. There must be evidence in the life of a leader of God’s calling to lead. How do you sense God’s calling in your life?
4. CorePractices Spiritual Disciplines
The spiritual disciplines are critical to the ongoing spiritual growth and maturing of all believers. Spiritual leaders must develop daily habits to ensure their own growth. Time alone with God, SOAP journaling, prayer and fasting, silence and solitude, simplicity, worship, service – God uses these disciplines to deepen a leader’s spiritual dependence.

I’ll unpack four more tomorrow. Here’s the rest of the list –
5. ConvictionEmbraces & Defends Sound Doctrine6. CommunityLives Authentically in Close Relationships
7. CommissionMakes Disciples who Make Disciples who Make Disciples
8. ClarityClearly Articulates Mission, Vision & Values 9. ContactInvests in Friendships with Unbelievers10. ContributionGives Generously to God’s Work11. ConnectionActively Participates in Local Church Life12. CompatibilityShaped for Leadership13. CommitmentTested Through Difficulties14. CompetenceEvidences Leadership Skills
15. CapacityAble to Lead by Serving and Caring for People16. ChemistryRelates Well with Other Leaders
This past Saturday, I invited five college students who are interested in pursuing vocational ministry to come over for pancakes. I shared from my journey into church planting, and asked them each to share how God was leading them. Then I shared most of the items listed above and challenged them to think about how they needed to grow in each of these areas. Over the coming months, it’s my goal to help them take intentional steps forward in their development as spiritual leaders!
How are you growing in each of these first 4 Categories?
If you are a leader, how will you intentionally develop other leaders to grow in each of these 4 Categories?

Author

Dave DeVries

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Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer and strategist – and founder of Missional Challenge. He is passionate about coaching and training church planters and missional leaders. His training skills have been used to mobilize church planters, pastors and ministry leaders across the country and around the world. Missional Challenge partners together with churches, networks and denominations to advance disciplemaking movements globally.With 25+ years of church planting and leadership development experience, Dave brings his passion and encouragement to those he trains and coaches. He created The Multiplication Cycle™ to assist church planters to start churches by making disciples. He has trained and coached hundreds of coaches and church planters across the United States and internationally.Dave has been coaching pastors and church planters for more than ten years. His experience in church multiplication led to his doctorate in transformational leadership at Bakke Graduate University. He also received a Master of Divinity from The Master’s Seminary and graduated from Biola University with a B.S. in Business Administration.
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