I don’t think any great leader hopes to just survive in ministry, to just make by. No, I believe all great Christian leaders have a strong desire to thrive in ministry and in Life. They want their ministry to be significant and successful. Great leaders recognize continually significance and success is a result of good habits, and insignificance and unsuccessfulness is a result of bad habits. Thriving as a leader is not a one-time event but an ongoing discipline. John Maxwell is known for saying, “We first form habits, and then habits form us.” In order to thrive as a leader you must develop and master certain good leadership habits.
Here are Five Leadership Habits to form in order to Thrive as a Christian leader.
Habit #1 – Control Your Time.
“These are evil times, so make every minute count.” – Ephesians 5:16
How you use your time will determine if you thrive, survive or fail as a leader. Thriving leaders plan and prioritize their time. They know when to say “Yes” and when to say “No.”
Most importantly they value their quiet time with God above all else.
Habit #2 – Have a Winning Attitude.
“Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ, who, though he was God, did not demand and cling to his rights as God, but laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men. And he humbled himself even further, going so far as actually to die a criminal’s death on a cross.” – Philippians 2:5-8
Having a willing attitude is vital in leadership. Here are some attitude differences between losers and winners in leadership. Losers say: I can’t, I don’t, and I won’t. Whereas winners say: I can, I do, and I will. Which do you tend to say more often?
Your attitude will determine your altitude. Ministry will challenge your attitude. This is why thriving Christian leaders always determine to keep a humble, servant’s attitude like their Lord.
Habit #3 – Always Keeps Growing.
“But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit.” – Jude 20
Thriving leaders are teachable leaders. It takes effort for healthy growth to happen, it’s not natural. So as leaders we must make a plan to grow and be willing to change. This is where a trusted mentor or Life Coach can really help.
If a leader is unwilling to grow he will be unable to thrive as a leader.
Habit #4 – Live an Above Reproach Lifestyle.
“Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach…” – 1 Timothy 3:1-2
If you’re going to thrive as a leader you must live above reproach. You must live an honorable exemplifying life, one that doesn’t disqualify you as a leader. The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 9:27, puts it this way, “I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
Thriving leaders live above reproach in their minds, ministry, marriage, money and motives.
Habit #5 – Love People.
“Love others as much as you love yourself.” – Matthew 22:29
As Christian leaders, our ministry is people NOT programs, planning, preparation or even preaching. As a leader, I’ve personally been known to struggle with this habit. If not careful, I can walk right by a needy person in order to get my preparation done. Thriving leaders learn to put people first.
Which of the five habits do you need to focus on most? What action steps will you take to form this habit in your life?
BRIAN ENO has served in the local church as a Youth Pastor and Associate Pastor for 20 years. He currently serves as Director of Next Generation Ministries with the Oregon Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God. Brian resides in Salem, Oregon with his wife Barbara and their son Jonathan. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook @NEXTGENPASTOR