Church Leaders: How to Be Seen as an Effective Leader


It’s one thing to work on your appearance as a good leader – it’s another to actually demonstrate it through action. It’s this discrepancy that leads to so many leaders appearing to be incredible from an outside perspective, but to have so many negative reviews from current or former employees.

An effective leader isn’t someone who centers control of all things to themselves and operate on full throttle without making mistakes. That’s simply not possible. A good leader is someone who can empower their teams to operate at their fullest potential, and even more importantly, someone who can get out of their own way.

In other words, as leaders, we are often our own worst enemy. It’s our insecurities, habits, and weaknesses (many of which we never even realize) that hold us back. Doing some inner reflection and work on ourselves while also focusing outward on our relationship to and interaction with others is the best course of action – not only for being seen as effective leaders – but for working towards actual improvement.

Here are some tips on how to be seen as an effective leader:

Awareness of Others

People are not just resources or assets – they are humans with unique personalities, dynamically rich lives, and they are going through more than you’ll ever realize.

Become more aware of your teams. Come to better understand everyone’s personalities and tendencies. Learn about their lives and what they’re going through. Funneling your feedback, communication, and decisions through a filter of awareness of your teams can help you to be most effective with the information you give each person.

Work on Being Transparent

You can’t expect others to trust you if they don’t feel that you trust them. Be an open book. Be vulnerable around others. Leading and pouring into others gets draining fast if you feel like no one is pouring into you. But the chances are that no one has even thought to invest in you if you haven’t made yourself open and transparent around them.

Be More Approachable

Pastors are very “forward” people, generally speaking that is. They’re so used to feeling like they always need an answer, and knowing how to talk confidently about something they don’t truly understand. The issue with this? It can be alienating from an outside perspective, and can come across as unapproachable.

While your teams and congregation view you as their leader, they don’t need you to always have the perfect answer right away. Sometimes they need you to just sit and listen. To be receptive. To say you don’t know. To be with them.

It’s this attitude of being “slow to speak” that makes people want to talk to you. When they know you’ll actively and genuinely listen before feeling like you need to “fix” everything, they’ll trust you and lean into your leadership more.

Demonstrate Gratitude

When you navigate any task, meeting, or conversation – do so with gratitude. Express it verbally. Tell your team how grateful you are for their effort. When you pray, have gratitude at the foundation of your prayer.

When you demonstrate gratitude towards others, it makes them want to follow you. It creates buy in, because they trust they are a part of something that’s headed somewhere inherently good. Expressing gratitude as a leader is like jet fuel for the people that are supporting you.

Chris Fleming, Author

About the Author

Chris Fleming is a professional musician from Minneapolis, MN who has played with artists such as TAYA, Big Daddy Weave, and Jason Gray. He is actively involved with the worship music scene and has contributed as a drummer, music director, song writer, and producer for various worship artists and churches locally and nationally. Chris is the Motion Designer at Motion Worship, helping to create motion background collections and countdowns for our subscribers.

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