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Twelve qualities in a church leader


Dr. Francis Akin-John

As someone who has pastored five denominational churches in the past, and currently providing trainings to pastors, ministers through regular conferences, seminars, books, tapes and resources, I’ve spent a lot of time enlisting both lay and paid church leaders. I realised by God’s Spirit that if we are going to bring revival, restoration and renewal to the church of Jesus Christ in every locality, the qualities that pastors possess are very crucial. Though not exhaustive, here are 12 things I look for, seek to impart in established and potential church leaders of today:

• Godliness. This one matters more than anything. I want church leaders who have a personal, intimate relationship with God, which is marked by obedience. The godly life of a spiritual leader is much more important than anything else. An ungodly leader will do incalculable damage to the people of God. You can never lead right, if you live wrong.

• Giftedness. God gifts all of us in some capacity. Church leaders need to be using their gifts for His glory. You must function according to your divine gifting. The anointing of the Holy Spirit must be unmistakable in his life and ministry.


• Gratitude. Grateful people tend to be humble and teachable people. We don’t need any more arrogant church leaders. True church leaders must be free from ego, self-importance and selfishness.

• Graciousness. Christian leaders need to be kind, especially as we seek to develop leadership teams. Nothing in our calling or our positions gives us permission to be rude, uncaring, or unforgiving. Ungracious leaders will spread hate and hurts to his people.

• Gumption. That’s the wisdom, courage, and determination to do what is best in a given situation. Leaders without gumption usually “lead” reactively. They surrender leadership to lower forces, meaning that they allow power brokers to take over their churches.

• Growth. Being conformed to the image of Christ is a continual process. Surely, it is he that is no longer growing that is afraid of the growth of others. The leader who has stopped growing spiritually has forfeited his or her right to lead. When growth stops, decay starts. Stagnant leaders produce stagnant churches.

• Grit. Church work is not easy work, so I want leaders who work hard in the trenches of ministry. “Lazy leadership” should be an oxymoron in the church.

• Get up-and-go. By definition, leaders take initiative. They don’t sit around waiting for others to tell them what to do. You must have the intuition to do the will of God in the church.

• Generosity. Church leaders need to lead the way in giving their time, talents and treasures to the work of God. Followers of Christ aren’t likely to sacrifice any more than their spiritual leaders do.


• Great Commission gusto. They’re not always easy to find, but I want church leaders who passionately evangelise, do missions, and make disciples. Christian leadership should influence the world.

• Groaning. Genuine church leaders spent long time in private prayers. A leader without a prayer life will never be able to build a spiritual work for God. A prayerless minister will receive great attacks and arrows from the devil, which will cut short his ministry.

• Greatness. You must be great in love and obedience to the Lord. You must be great in raising disciples and setting worth examples for others to follow. Your godly character will make you great for God. You must be great in raising other leaders, not in worldly competition and ostentatious living.

It is church leaders that possess these attributes and growing in them that can be used by the Lord to do a glorious work for His Kingdom. We can gather crowds to our meetings, without getting people ready for heaven, if we fail to ingrain these qualities into our hearts and lives.

Dr. Francis Akin-John, Church Growth Consultant,
Growth Centre, 6/8, Mukadaz Close, Off Palace Way, Iyana-odo B/Stop, Isheri-LASU Road, Lagos. 08023000714

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