Jun 01

Ministry Tips and Tools: Effective Ministry part 7: Keys to Successful Secondary Leadership

I had a request for Rev. Lillian Spearman to teach on “Keys to Successful Secondary Leadership.” She wrote, “I believe this would bless pastors and their secondary leadership teams.”

As you know from one of my previous teachings, a good team helps the leader and the ministry grows. So having a team around the leader is important. A strong secondary leadership is important to having an effective ministry.

Below are some of my thoughts for secondary leaders:

The first responsibility of the person in secondary leadership is to pray for the leader, the leader’s family, and the ministry every day. Not just weekly or monthly, but daily!

The second most important responsibility is to understand what the vision of the leader is. Make sure that you understand it and can support it. If you cannot support the vision, resign and move on. By staying, you will only cause confusion and perhaps conflict in the ministry. If you cannot support the vision, you are out of place in your calling and need to move so God can put you where you will be most effective for the kingdom.

The third thing is to make sure you know what your area of responsibility is. Know your boundaries and make sure you do not overstep your boundaries. This is very important if you have multiple staff people. You must know where your boundaries are so that you do not stray into someone else’s area of ministry. If you start operating in someone else’s area of responsibility, it will cause conflict. If you need something from another ministry area, ask the leader of that area for what you need. Do not ask someone who works for them. Clear communication between the staff is essential to keep conflict from happening and to keep the staff moving toward the same goal for fulfilling the vision the leader has laid out.

As a secondary leader, it is your responsibility to help the leaders to fulfill Eph 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, NKJV

In order for your ministry or church to grow, you must equip the members and release them to minister outside the church walls. We must remember that old saying, “Shepherd don’t beget sheep, sheep beget sheep.” If you want your ministry to grow, you must make disciples of Christ and release them to community.

One of my pet peeves is I see the American church as a whole spend a lot of money to attract people to their church and then entertain those people instead of making disciples. May I suggest that God’s method is to equip them and send them out into the community? I believe that if we spend money on equipping people and sending them out rather than on advertisements, we would win the community for Christ. Sheep beget sheep, so when the people you trained and sent out bring someone to church they will bring other sheep that will hear your voice. When you advertise, you get a lot of goats who are unteachable and cause strife. Just a thought.

On a personal level the secondary leadership should be in the Word on a daily basis;

Eph 4:13-15 says: till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, NKJV

We must become mature Christians and we do that by being in the Word daily, so that we are not fooled by every wind of doctrine. (Christian fads) We are to test the spirits. We are called to protect our people from false teachers so it is important that we know the Word of God.

As a secondary leader you must speak the truth in love.

Eph 4:15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — NKJV

Good leaders do not want their secondary leaders to be “yes people”. If you do not agree with what is being proposed by the leader, speak the truth in love, be candid with the leader and explain why you do not agree. Share alternative solutions. You should do this in private or in a staff meeting. Once the decision is made, however, whether you agree with it or not, it is your responsibility to do your best to make it work. Never, and I say never, disagree in public with the decision or even say you do not agree with the decision. If the decision does not go well, it is not time to criticize the leadership. It is time to come back together and figure what you can do to solve the problem.

It is interesting that leadership grows closer and stronger through adversary when together they get the victory over tough situations. The good times are good, but it is in adversity that the team grows. (2 Thess 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure,) NKJV

As secondary leaders, you must grow in your gifting. Never think you have arrived. Look for new ways to fine tune your giftings and to find new ways to minister. You need to continually learn new ways to improve your service. Remember God is not stagnant. He is always on the move and we must move with Him. We must build on our past, but must not stay in the past.

Another thing a secondary leader must have is a positive attitude. People do not respond well to people with negative attitudes. I am not talking about being Pollyannaish about life. We must be realistic, but we must continually look for ways to make the vision succeed. When presented with opportunities, we must think positively and ask ourselves how can we make that happen?

Lastly, we must realize it is in the everyday activities that the vision and ministry succeed. The decisions we make today will make us tomorrow. We must be committed to the process and diligently perform our duties. Anything we do we must do with excellence. Always remember, that we are working for Christ and the advancement of His kingdom. So let us do all things with excellence.

My next tips and tools will be on characteristic of a good leader. (This was mistakenly sent out of order in May. Refer back to: https://tmcimissions.org/?p=366)

Be Blessed,

Bishop Bob Coulter

The book I would recommend: the 17 essentials Qualities of a Team Player by John Maxwell