Friday, November 2, 2012

4 Characteristics of Potential STM Leaders

Many churches are looking for new STM team leaders. It can be difficult to find the right person, yet the burnout on the experienced leaders is even harder. Or, maybe you have tried new leaders, but they never work out. Do you know the necessary characteristics of a STM team leader? Do you know what to look for in potential leaders? Let’s see what the Apostle Paul, a trainer of leaders, has to say.

Is a leader simply someone who is good at being in charge—who can be a good boss? No! Jesus himself said in Mark 10:45 that he didn’t come to be the boss but to be the best servant.

Should we look for the oldest person or the one with the most experience? No! Or the Apostle Paul would not have told Timothy not to let anyone look down on him because of his age but to set the example for them (1 Timothy 4:12).

Do we look for the person who is a “natural-born leader?” You know, the person with the charisma; the “it” factor. Again, no! In 1 Corinthians 2:1-4, Paul reminds the Corinthians that he came not with elegance of speech or fanciness but in humbleness relying on the message of Christ crucified and the Holy Spirit. Paul didn’t rely on persuading people through his own gifts but on letting his message and the Holy Spirit do the work.

Is being the best a requirement for being a leader? No! Again, Paul tells us that God chooses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise and the weak to shame the strong (1 Corinthians 1:27-29). The perfect person glorifies him or herself, but the chosen of God glorifies Him.

So what then is a leader? A leader is the one who sets the example to be followed. Paul tells the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 4:16-17 to imitate him and that he is sending Timothy as his example. Paul says Timothy will remind them of his way of life in Christ Jesus! What a statement!

What is the example that leaders should be setting? What are the character qualifications for being a leader? A leader should be a person of prayer, a person of the Word, a person of love, and a servant. When you are looking for potential leaders look for people who pray from the heart, pray in the face of trials, and who pray for others. Look for a person who knows and follows God’s Word. Look for a person who truly loves God and others, and someone who is a servant of others.

Don’t confuse the characteristics of a leader with the skills of a leader. We want to put character before skills when looking for potential team leaders. Once we have selected new leaders, then we can worry about training them.  

Don’t know how to train team leaders? Go to DELTA’s website to learn more about their Team Leader Training. You can also email me for some free resources on the qualifications and job description for a team leader, a team leader application, and team leader references.  

Questions for the author? Need coaching or consulting? You can contact Tory at 520-404-0841 or