Skip to Content

Christian Leadership: 5 Crucial Principles to Remember

Let’s explore the world of Christian leadership and 5 important things we need to remember as we lead God’s people…

In the inner workings of church ministry and leadership, a lot of stuff happens behind the scenes.

Some stuff is so beautiful and fruitful, and some are well…..poop.

The good thing about the poopy situations is that we can grow from it and become better leaders.

Whether you are the one who made the poopy mess or the one receiving poop.

Poop makes great fertilizer for things to grow. Do you see what I did there? Even the Bible talks about this…Proverbs 14:4 (NLT)

Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.

Oxen work hard, but they make a mess that you have to clean up if you want work to be done. I think that is a perfect picture of what ministry is like.

It’s a big bummer to see stuff like that happen in the church, but it does. I’ve had it happen to me numerous times.

I was recently talking with my good friend, and she was sharing an experience she had at a ministry event. Long story short, she came up with this great idea, worked really hard, and was excited, but once the event passed, another leader took the credit for it.

This is why I wanted to write this post as a way to check ourselves as ministry leaders and also to be aware that people are people.

And we need to be wise and kind in how we work with them.

It breaks my heart to see people leave the church or the faith because a leader was selfish or not careful about how they interacted with others.

5 Crucial Principles For Christian Leaders to Remember

Christian Leadership: 5 Crucial Principles to Remember

1. Only Take Credit If You Did The Work

This is what I was stating earlier that happened with my friend. There is a tendency for leaders who oversee to take credit from lower-positioned leaders or volunteers.

I have been in a position where I oversee a ministry. So, I understand a lot of work and attention takes place, but it doesn’t give you permission to take credit. Good leadership doesn’t honor just those on top, but also those below them.

The Bible is very clear on this…

“Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” Romans 13:7

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, – Philippians 2:3

If someone helps you, give them the credit and honor them.

Take a look in the mirror:

Reflect on a time when you were in a leadership position. Did you ensure credit was given where it was due, or were there moments of oversight?

How can you practice humility and value those who contribute to the ministry, whether in a leadership role or as a team member?

Has someone taken credit for something you did? Make sure to check your heart and forgive those who have done this to you.

Get practical:

When working on collaborative projects, create a system for acknowledging individual contributions. Consider implementing a regular shout-out or recognition session to appreciate the efforts of all team members.

2. It’s Not About You

At the end of the day, leadership, ministry, and the church is not about us; it’s about Him. The fastest way to create decay in your ministry is by becoming a selfish leader.

The greatest leader in history, Jesus, came to serve and sacrifice Himself. This is the posture we need to take when we are ministering. Our agenda is to help others, not help ourselves.

I always like to say…check yourself before you wreck yourself. Sometimes we need to do a heart check when we are in leadership.

It’s easy to lose sight when all of a sudden, doors are opening, people want you to do things, and they are applauding your work.

Recognition isn’t bad, but chasing or being hungry for it will lead you down a slippery slope and can become an idol.

Take a look in the mirror:

Consider the leadership style of Jesus as a servant leader. In what ways can you emulate this approach in your ministry?

Share practical examples of how serving others can lead to a more impactful and fulfilling leadership experience.

Get practical:

Schedule periodic heart checks for personal reflection and self-evaluation in your leadership role.

Use these times to assess your motives, ensuring that your actions align with the selfless and servant-oriented principles discussed in this article.

3. We Need Accountability

We can’t be lone rangers in ministry. It’s just not healthy and leaves a big target on our back for the enemy to nail us.

Whether we are in leadership or not, we need fellowship. We need others speaking into our lives and we need to find people who we can be raw and real with.

Being accountable to people is important and should never be placed on the back burner.

Take a look in the mirror:

How can you foster a culture of accountability within your ministry, ensuring that everyone feels supported and encouraged on their journey?

Do you have people in your life to whom you are accountable? If not, why and how can you remedy this?

Get practical:

Form accountability partnerships within your ministry team. Encourage open communication and create a safe space for individuals to share challenges, successes, and areas for growth. This fosters a supportive environment for personal and collective development.

For you as an individual, find a group of mature Christians you can confide in and become accountable to.

4. Do Unto Others As You Would Like Done To You

Luke 6:31 – Do to others as you would have them do to you.

A lot of times, when we are leading, we can get narrow-focused and react to others in a way that is not always beneficial.

We forget to extend grace and can come off as harsh or uncaring. 

Like, for real…it happens. You’re busy, and you have tons of things to do, and a volunteer totally flakes on you.

And you decide to give them a little piece of your mind. We are human, and we do a lot of stuff like this. #thestruggleisreal

The thing is sometimes you have no idea what your volunteer, teammate, friend, etc….is going through. It’s best to always put your feet in their shoes.

If you were late or missed something, or whatever….how would you truly want to be treated?

I’m sure you would want the leader to be kind, and helpful.

Stopping, and taking a high path of grace is always going to be the best policy. If there seems to be a pattern in a person’s life, then meet up with them.

Hear them out and then discuss kindly how things are affecting you as a leader. 

We are meant to build up the brethren, even in correction it should be done in a place of love, kindness, and grace. It should be done precisely how you would want it to be done to YOU. 

Take a look in the mirror:

Recall a situation where you may have reacted hastily or unkindly in a leadership role. How could extending grace have improved the outcome?

Discuss strategies for incorporating grace into your leadership style, especially during challenging moments with those you are accountable too.

Get practical:

Develop a habit of pausing before responding, especially in challenging situations. Prioritize grace-filled communication by choosing words carefully, considering the other person’s perspective, and striving for understanding rather than immediate judgment.

5. Create A Safe Environment

I think the biggest bummer that can happen in a leadership team or ministry is when it’s controlling or unaccepting.

And trust me, people can tell when it’s fake safe and when it’s truly safe.

Control will create the opposite of a safe environment. It will stifle, suffocate, and kill anything that is living. When we control, we are no longer empowering others; we become power hogs.

motivational quote about good leadership makes other feel safe and secure

And the reality is only one person should be in control….and His name is Jesus.

Sometimes we want to control out of a place of fear.

  • Fear it will be taken away from us
  • Fear someone will do it better
  • Fear of uncertainty
  • Fear of perfectionism

Sometimes we want to control out of a place of pride.

  • I’m more anointed than you
  • I’m the one they put in charge
  • My way is the best way

No matter how you slice it….fear or pride…equals the same thing.

ME focused.

The goal is to create an environment that people can thrive in. They can be themselves and use the gifts God has given them. They shouldn’t be hushed, or put in a corner….they should be used to expand the Kingdom of God.

That is what empowering leadership looks like. Leading from a place of service to God and His people. Let’s be the standard of Godly leadership. Let’s show the world that we care more about each other than we care about promoting our platform.

Take a look in the mirror:

Explore the concept of creating a safe environment within your ministry. What behaviors contribute to a genuinely safe space, and how can I and other leaders ensure that individuals feel accepted and empowered?

Get practical:

Actively seek ways to empower and uplift those within your ministry. Create opportunities for individuals to showcase their talents and contribute meaningfully. By fostering an environment where everyone’s gifts are recognized, you contribute to the overall growth and vibrancy of the Kingdom.

Like always, I hope this has encouraged you and made you reflect on what good leadership looks like. I know that it’s essential for me personally to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and check my heart in these areas.

I also want to give room for others to speak about my leadership style. Sometimes, we have blind spots, but God is faithful to have others speak into our lives. We need to be humble enough to receive it.

If you are interested in learning more about leadership, then check out these posts and John C. Maxwell’s books!

empowering christian leader
Christian quotes on Leadership

I accept the Privacy Policy