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95Network Blog

7 Characteristics of Influential Church Leaders

22 May, 2018
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Every pastor wants to lead their church well. They want to influence their community and change lives for Jesus. But what characteristics do the most influential church leaders possess?

Here at 95Network, we have the opportunity to work with quite a few church leaders each year. So we’ve seen some great examples of unique pastors who are leading their church well and making a huge difference in their community.

We’ve noticed a few characteristics about each of these pastors, and we thought we’d share them with you. Every leader is unique, but these 7 things seem to be consistent for influential church leaders:

1. They prioritize people over problems.

In a recent article, Carey Nieuwhof pointed out the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership. He’s absolutely right. Influential leaders recognize and regularly communicate the value of the people they lead. They approach conflict with humility and grace. And they listen to what other people have to say.

2. They cast big vision and empower others to accomplish it.

Influential leaders stay focused on where the church is headed, and continually inspire and empower their team to work towards that goal. They know that developing new leaders is the best way to accomplish more ministry and make more disciples.

3. They lead with confidence.

A confident leader sparks confidence throughout their team. Without being unrealistic, influential leaders strongly believe in their church’s ministry. And they voice that confidence regularly.

4. They are passionate about the ministry. 

Passion is easily one of the most powerful drivers for effective ministry. The passion of a leader can be felt by the whole team (and congregation) and gives life and energy to their ministry efforts.

5. They aren’t afraid of change

Influential leaders fight to not get stuck in the we’ve-always-done-it-this-way trap. While the message stays the same, they are willing to adjust their methods to make the biggest impact for Jesus.

6. They are known for their humility and integrity. 

Both influence and respect are built on the foundation of humility and integrity. Influential church leaders work intentionally to lead their church humbly. And they build trust in those they lead by living with integrity.

7. They are committed. 

Great commitment creates great results. Influential church leaders work hard to improve their leadership, follow-through in a timely manner, and empower their church to make a difference in the community for Jesus. This commitment rarely goes unnoticed by those they lead.

The health of a leader is crucial to the health of a church. That’s why we recently launched 95Network Membership, and why we work hard to encourage and resource pastors of small and mid-size churches across the country.

So, what about you? What would you add to the list? What areas of leadership could you improve in?

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Austin Savage

Austin is the Managing Director here at 95Network. From Normal, IL, Austin gets that ministry can sometimes feel anything but “normal.” He grew up leading in the small church his dad pastored, and has since served on the launch teams for two church plants. He holds a Communications degree from Moody Bible Institute and is passionate about seeing churches grow healthier and make a difference in their communities. Austin and his wife, Larisa, reside near Peoria, IL.

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