10 Skills For Exceptional Leadership In Children’s Ministry
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This week’s guest post is from Dale Hudson. Dale is a prolific thought-leader who has helped build some of the fastest-growing modern ministries in the country. He’s an author, teacher, coach, and national speaker, who understands the value and responsibility of leading children. He’s served in children’s ministry for over thirty years and shows no signs of slowing down.
In the post, Dale outlines 10 essential skills every ministry leader needs to work on and grow to be an exceptional leader. He also shares how to use these skills to take your ministry to the next level.
Click here to see more from Dale on his website Building Children’s Ministry, purchase his book, and view a schedule of his Keynote appearances.
Do you want to be an exceptional children’s ministry leader? Here are 10 key skills you can work on and grow in that will help you knock it out of the ballpark.
Skill of Motivation
Motivate people to give their very best. Show them the value they add to the team. Get them excited about the “why” of the ministry. Lead the way. One of the biggest motivations is the example and passion that you set as the leader. Remember that motivation is caught more than it is taught. Passion inspires passion. Get motivated yourself first, and then you will be able to motivate those around you.
Skill of Empathy
Exceptional leadership must have exceptional empathy. Learn to walk in others’ shoes. Lead not just with your head but with your heart as well. Seek to understand how others feel and show compassion toward them. Seek to understand where people are coming from. Seek to understand where they are in life at the time.
Skill of Empowerment
Exceptional leaders have people they are developing and investing in. Exceptional leaders help people grow in their skills. Good leaders are powerful. Exceptional leaders are empowering. Good leaders are stars. Exceptional leaders create stars. They spend more time equipping than doing. They make the people around them better.
Skill of Casting Vision
One of the most important skills you can have as a leader is casting vision. If you want to attract exceptional volunteers, then you have to cast an exceptional vision. This includes creating a compelling narrative for what God can do through each person on the team.
Skill of Team Building
If there is one skill that comes from an exceptional leader in children’s ministry, this is it. Building volunteer teams. You can have many of these skills, but if you miss this one, you’ll have a tough time being an exceptional leader. Remember…it’s not about what you can do; it’s about what you can do through the team of leaders you build. If you want to grow in this area, my book The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams is a must-read.
Skill of a Positive Attitude
A positive attitude is part of an exceptional leader’s DNA. But let’s dig a little deeper into this. It doesn’t mean you always walk around smiling from ear to ear. It is the ability to recognize that setbacks and problems happen. It’s part of life. It’s being able to then face those circumstances and deal with them in a positive manner.
Skill of Time Management
There is a difference between being busy and being productive. Exceptional leaders get a lot done. And it’s not because they have to burn the midnight oil. It’s because they have a strategic plan for how they prioritize their schedule and duties.
If you are looking for help with time management, I can provide you with some great time management tools in my coaching program. You can get more info about Advance Children’s Ministry Coaching Program at this link.
Skill of Listening
Exceptional leaders know how to ask the right questions. They ask questions, and they listen. They really listen. Instead of thinking about what his or her response will be once the other person stops talking, they first listen carefully to understand the other person’s viewpoint.
Skill of Self-Confidence
Exceptional leaders walk in confidence. They know they can add value to the ministry. They think back to past victories and use that to build upon for future challenges. This doesn’t mean they are arrogant or cocky or a know-it-all. Rather it means you humbly know that God has prepared you for the role He has for you.
Skill of Continuous Learning
Exceptional leaders never stop learning. They read. They listen. They attend conferences and workshops. They push themselves out of their comfort zone. They are not “know-it-alls.” The older they get, the more inquisitive they become. They stay curious. They stay teachable so they can remain usable.
The great thing about each of these skills is they can be learned. As you’ve read through these, stop and think about it for a while. Which of these do you need to grow in? Which of these are hindering you from being an exceptional leader?
Don’t be satisfied with being an average leader. Strive to be an exceptional leader. We are living in a time in history when we need exceptional leaders. We are facing exceptional challenges that can only be overcome by exceptional leaders who are empowered by God to be the person for such a time as this.