A Missed Trait of Effective Church Leadership

Currently in my local church context I am preaching a series on the Fruit of the Spirit.

As I’m going through  the different virtues that Paul provides as central fruits of an effective Christian life, one of them hit me especially hard.A Missed Trait of Effective Church Leadership

That virtue or fruit is patience.

Now I see a lot of modern leadership advice and principles that focuses on moving fast and being high velocity. I very much understand the value in this and I have learned a lot from those principles.

But as I was preparing and reflecting on the message on patience, it hit me: leaders aren’t expected, and in many cases, don’t pursue patience.

1. Patience with people

An unfortunate thing I encounter is when I get together with a group of pastors or leaders in the church and all everyone does is complain about people. “Oh they will not let me do this” or “They are making me do this.” I understand the need to vent but as leaders we must be patient with people. God has been patient with people from the beginning of time, so if leaders strive to pursue the heart of God they must be patient with people as well.

2. Patience with circumstance

Church leaders are called to GO GO GO and that is good. Finding momentum and capitalizing on that momentum is an important aspect of leadership and ministry. But no matter where you are in leadership there is going to be something about your  circumstance that

3. Patience with change

With less than ideal circumstance comes the desire/need for change. This is a good thing. Just be patient and do your due diligence do not rush a change in. It will appear rushed, unprofessional, and unnecessary. Change is always met with resistance. Be smart, focused and patient when implementing change.

4. Patience in growth

With patience, the right circumstance, and the right change many times comes growth in your ministry. Growth is what we want, growth is what we are looking for. But growth can bring us restlessness, growth can make us brash and reckless. Be patient in the good times.

5. Patience in loss

Any leader is going to face loss. Unfortunately this is just a part of leading and being apart of ministry. But loss can also make us jump to conclusions  or jump to rash change, or even distrust of those around us. Being patient in the good times is a must, but being patient in the loss is an even greater measure.

With a title like “A Missed Trait of Effective Church Leadership” maybe you were expecting something groundbreaking. But this idea of being rooted in leadership to our patience is a fundamental I think we all need in our ministries.

So I am curious: Please share with me a time when patience paid off in your ministry! I would love to hear your story!

Written by Joe Hoagland

Joe Hoagland

Joe is a pastor at Grape Grove Church of Christ in Jamestown, Ohio. He is newly married to his awesome wife Jenna and together they have 2 spoiled dogs and a cat.

He loves to lead people to Jesus and preach God's word.

You can often times find Joe hiking, camping, writing, reading, or enjoying technology.