Nominating Woodmont Leaders
This has been quite a winter storm this week bringing some frigid temperatures! On Monday night, January 15, the Woodmont Elders met on Zoom because of the road conditions. We talked about church leadership, and I specifically asked them what qualities they look for when nominating church leaders. A few keywords were mentioned – commitment, character, presence, teachability, faithfulness, being a good listener, and having a servant’s heart. Nominations are still open until January 31 for Chair-Elect (1), Board Member (3), Elder (7), and Deacon (30), and you can click here to submit your nominations online. I encourage you to submit nominations for the committee to consider and you can click here to do so online.
As we think about nominating individuals, we should ask these important questions:
• Are they in worship regularly?
• Are they actively involved in a small group or Sunday School class?
• Do they use their God-given gifts to serve others?
• Are they teachable and do they have a desire to grow spiritually?
• Will they help move Woodmont forward in the days ahead?
Tony Jarvis says this about leadership in his classic book With Love and Prayers: “Leaders are caught in a catch-22. If a leader is strong, undeterred by projection, blame, and calumny, he is then labeled as arrogant, authoritarian, and dictatorial. If he sets aside his initiatives, and goes with the way the wind is blowing, if he backs down at all, he or she is immediately labeled as ‘weak’ and ‘a waffler’.”
There are many in our culture who want to be leaders but aren’t willing to pay the price and take on the responsibility. They don’t know what it entails. Many want the recognition and prestige without the responsibility, the glory without putting in the hard work. Jarvis adds that leadership is not an end unto itself, it takes courage, always involves being criticized, and is costly.
One of the best books I have read on leadership is Edwin Friedman’s Failure of Nerve where he argues that leaders fail when they lose heart and give in to anxiety. Leaders fail when they lose nerve, and it happens often. Anybody who wants to lead must pay close attention to their spiritual tank. If the tank is empty or close to empty, leadership will be very difficult if not impossible. You must fill your tank so you have something to pour out. Those who want to be spiritual leaders in life need to have these six core traits.
The first is character – it’s who you are that matters. Character is formed over time, and the foundation is laid early in life. We all fall short at times but character is built through the trials and tribulations of life. Recurring patterns of behavior matter.
The second trait is courage. Nobody can lead anything without having the courage to do so. Why? Leaders are criticized and projected upon all the time. Courage combined with resilience will make all the difference.
The third trait is maintaining a positive attitude. Nobody wants to follow a cynic who is always negative and pessimistic. True leaders always inspire hope and focus on the good.
The fourth trait is being teachable. Life is a classroom and we must never stop learning and growing. Once you stop learning, you can no longer lead. This involves being able to listen empathetically to the concerns of others.
The fifth trait of a spiritual leader is that they are “relationship-forming.” The best leaders are able to bring out the best in others. Effective leaders surround themselves with other leaders and form relationships with those they lead. Trust is built in the process as the currency of relationships. This is true in the church, business, education, politics, and any other field. The healthiest spiritual leaders form and maintain strong relationships.
The sixth and final trait is humility. Leaders must work to overcome pride and maintain a deep sense of humility. Humility is a recognition that the world does not revolve around you.
Please submit your nominations and keep the nominating committee in your prayers as they start meeting in February. This is a very important process in the life of our church.
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