Leadership Profile— New Testament Style -- By: Frederick J. Finks

Journal: Ashland Theological Journal
Volume: ATJ 16:0 (NA 1983)
Article: Leadership Profile— New Testament Style
Author: Frederick J. Finks

Leadership Profile—
New Testament Style

Frederick J. Finks

What are the necessary qualities that enable some pastors to grow large and healthy congregations while others struggle along in failing pastorates barely able to meet the pastor’s salary and pay the electric bill? It is my belief that the old adage “Leaders are born, not made,” is totally erroneous. Let me state at the outset to avoid any misunderstanding that there is no magical scheme that will transform overnight an ordinary pastor into a “Super Church-Growth Giant,” nor are there any phone-booth secrets where a quick change artist can emerge as a caped crusader for God, ready to right all the wrongs of the world. There are likewise both pastors and churches that can not and will not grow — some because of location and disease, others because they are not willing to pay the price involved in growth. I do believe, however, that there are certain characteristics that can be adapted by any pastor who is serious about growth. Each pastor will need to make adjustments and corrections depending upon his own personality and make-up.

Harold J. Fickett asserts, “There are three requirements for a good program within the church. The first is leadership, the second is leadership, and the third is leadership.”1

Leadership is crucial and there is no way to deny its importance. Take any group of two or more and observe the interaction. Someone will assume the leadership position if no one is appointed and will become the recognized leader of the group.

In many churches across America today there is a lack of effective leadership. The result, and in many cases the primary reason for ineffective leadership, is “in-house” struggles. The pastor, the deacon board, the trustees, etc., are all seeking power positions. In healthy churches, leadership has been earned and the respect for authority has become accepted. “In America, the primary catalytic factor for growth in a local church is the pastor.”2 “There is no substitute for dynamic, aggressive, positive, inspiring leadership! Almost without exception, the lack of success means the lack of effective leadership.”3

This is not to say that the pastor is the only key to a growing church. In fact, quite the opposite is true. But he is vitally important and considered to be the single most important factor. There are certain characteristics and approaches in ministry that support the foundation for growth and enhance the leadership ability of

pastors. These areas include...

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