I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in Her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. This week’s resource is Pastoral Leadership Is… by Dr. Dave Earley.
Dr. Earley is Lead Pastor of Grace City Church in Las Vegas, Nevada, and previously served as Chairman of the Department of Pastoral Ministries and Church Expansion at Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary. He writes to encourage pastors to become the spiritual warriors, missional leaders, and multiplying mentors God calls them to be.
Here’s some of what Dr. Earley has to say in his new book.
The Bible supplies the clearest guidelines for how to get along with people. Leaders can improve their people skills immediately by obeying the “one another” commands found in the New Testament.
1. Use greetings to help others feel important.
Greet one another with a holy kiss. (Rom 16:16; see also 1 Cor 16:20; 2 Cor 13:12; 1 Pet 5:14)
Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I am not advocating giving everyone you meet a great big smooch on the lips. However, wise leaders use greetings to make others feel important. Relational deposits are made every time we make the other person feel important. Effective leaders must get beyond their comfort zone and positively greet people.
Connecting with people is really very simple. But if you are an introvert like I am, it is good to be reminded of the basics. A greeting that makes others feel important involves three aspects: (1) a look—look them in the eye; (2) a word—introduce yourself, and (3) a touch—shake their hand.
There is one other key to a great greeting—remember the power of a name. Jesus taught the value of shepherds knowing their sheep by name. The sweetest sound in our ears is often the sound of our own name being called.
2. Honor others.
Outdo one another in showing honor. (Rom 12:10)
Nothing builds a relationship more than the atmosphere of esteem and honor. Nothing erodes it more than a climate of disrespect. When a leader breathes an atmosphere of respect and regard, followers respond. People respect people who respect them.
3. Serve others.
Serve one another through love. (Gal 5:13)
Jesus, of course, is the model servant. His act of leaving heaven, coming to earth, being born as a baby, and dying for us was a stunning example of servant leadership (see Phil 2:5–9). He told His disciples that His purpose in coming was not to be served but to serve and give His life for others (Mark 10:45). Beyond that, even at the most personally stressful season of His life, hours prior to His arrest and crucifixion, He took a servant’s towel and washed His disciples’ feet (John 13:1–6). Jesus was a leader who was followed because He was a leader who served His followers.
Servant leadership is an attitude that translates into action. It is a mindset that results in ministry. Servant leadership is humbling yourself to meet the needs of others. It is washing their feet (John 13:14). It is trying to help make them successful.
4. Give others the freedom to be themselves.
Therefore accept one another, just as the Messiah also accepted you, to the glory of God. (Rom 15:7; see also Rom 14:13)
When people sense a spirit of criticism or self-righteousness in a leader, they will either shrink back, close down, or grow defensive. A spirit of criticism will draw the life out of a follower. On the other hand, unconditional acceptance becomes fertile soil to foster deep relationships and grow new leaders.
We respond better to leaders when we sense they like us for who we are. We like it when we do not have to play a role or be something we are not in order to be accepted. We follow more easily when we sense unconditional love and acceptance.
This is an excerpt from this week’s giveaway, Pastoral Leadership Is….
Register to win 1 of 10 copies of Pastoral Leadership Is… here or in the form below before 11:59pm tonight, March 23rd, 2016. We will contact the winners in the next few days.
You can also purchase a copy at LifeWay.com.