Selecting future leaders in whom to invest is one of the primary responsibilities of current leaders. In Acts 1:24 we see the new band of leaders agonizing over who should take the place of Judas. They are praying and asking for wisdom on who the right one is.
One thing I have learned in over 50 years of ministry is not to select a person for leadership on the basis of personality, potential or promise, but on “proven performance.” Has the person demonstrated he/she can do what is being expected?
Another area to keep a close eye on is “The Heart.” What’s underneath is often times more determinative than what’s observable. Samuel was warned in I Samual 16:7 to not be overly infatuated by the outward appearance, but to pay attention to the heart. It is tempting to focus too much on competence (what you can see) and not enough on matters of the heart (character) which you cannot see; and especially don’t see on a resume or during an interview. More leaders fall over character issues than competency issues.
Here are some of the qualities I am looking for:
- Character: Integrity, dependability, wholeheartedness
- Caring: A genuine love for other people
- Capacity: Calendar, intellect and emotion
- Chemistry: A team player who fits in well with the current team
- Contribution: Someone who brings something unique and needed to the table
- Christ: Their walk with Jesus. Is it real and from the heart?
- Gifts that fit the role
- Passion that is contagious
- Competence that has been honed to a high skill level
I love what Jim Collins says in “Good to Great.” Get the right people on the bus and in the right seats.
As a leader, what has Jesus been teaching you as you seek to build the next generation of leaders within your church or organization?