Orginally published on Monday, March 12, 2007 at 6:01 AM
by Todd Rhoades
Vital signs help medical professionals assess the health of patients under their care. Vital signs are a quick and effective way of diagnosing a patient’s health. Assessing leaders in a local church is more difficult. How can church leaders know if they are leading their churches in a healthy way?
The Apostle Paul was a healthy leader. In his letter to the church at Philippi we discover five vital signs of healthy leadership.
Vital Sign #1: Healthy Leaders Demonstrate Spiritual Vitality
Paul was a healthy leader because he was spiritually vibrant and alive. In Philippians 1:21 Paul stated: “For me, living in Christ and dying is gain.” Paul shared the secret to spiritual vitality: We must move from a self-directed life to a God-directed life. Ministry leadership in the church is not about us. It’s not about buildings, budgets, or baptisms – healthy leadership is all about God’s presence in our lives.
Vital Sign #2: Healthy Leaders Are Motivated by a Compelling Vision
Paul was consumed by a compelling vision. He understood his mission to share the gospel and nothing could stop him. Even being under house arrest couldn’t stop him. In Philippians 1:12 he shared: “How I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has actually resulted in the advancement of the gospel.” He shared the gospel with prison guards.
Vital Sign #3: Healthy Leaders Commit to Ongoing Learning
In Philippians 3:10,12 Paul prayed, “ My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings…Not that I have already reached the goal…but I make every effort.” In this passage Paul stated that he wanted to know Jesus. He knew he has more to learn.
Vital Sign #4: Health Leaders Are Relationally Connected
Paul cherished his relationship with the believers at Philippi. In Philippians 1:3 he said, “I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you.” As a healthy leader Paul has established a partnership with this church. It was based on their common experience together. There are times when leaders must face loneliness, but leadership does not happen in isolation. Healthy leaders resist the temptation to push or pull. Healthy leaders are connected to those they lead.
Vital Sign # 5: Healthy Leaders Serve with a Sense of Divine Empowerment
In Philippians 4:13,19 Paul declared: “ I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me…And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Paul knew that the epicenter of his leadership was Jesus Christ. Paul knew that only when we are totally dependent on God and empowered by His Spirit are we genuinely sufficient.
Consider your present ministry. How do you ministry vital signs compare with these of healthy leaders? Are there areas of your life and ministry in which you want to improve? Determine today how you can become a healthier ministry leader.
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