5 Traits of a Flourishing Leader

5 Traits of a Flourishing Leader

Some people have a green thumb and others don’t. Those that do can grow plants and flowers that seem to flourish with life, color, and vibrancy. Leaders also fall into two categories. Those who flourish and those who don’t. What are some common traits of flourishing leaders? I believe what happened in the early church gives us clues to the traits of a flourishing leader.

In Acts 1 Jesus had completed His mission on earth to die on the cross for our sins and then rise from the dead. Forty days after He rose, He promised the Holy Spirit to His followers (Acts 1.8) and then ascended to heaven to co-rule with His Father (Acts 1.9). Those first few verses point to some traits of a flourishing leader.

What flourishing leaders do.

They take their role seriously. Jesus gave the great commission in Acts 1.8 to reach those without Christ. Flourishing leaders leverage their gifts to the max to help the church fulfill the great commission.

They lead with a sense of urgency. After Jesus ascended, two angels appeared and reminded those who watched Him ascend that He would return in the same way He came (vs 11). A flourishing leader will lead and act with a sense of urgency knowing that his or her time on earth is limited and that Jesus could return at any moment.

They seek to live in the Spirit’s power. Jesus promised the church that He would send the Holy Spirit (vs 8). And, the book of Acts chronicles His work through the Spirit in the early church. A flourishing leader knows that he can’t lead in his own power. Rather, he will seek to submit his will daily to the work of the Spirit.

A flourishing leader knows that he can’t lead in his own power.

They deliberately seek to discover God’s will for their leadership. One of the first decisions the early church made was to discern God’s will about Judas’ replacement. They knew that the church needed godly leaders to lead it. A flourishing leader won’t seek to ask God’s blessing after he makes a leadership move. Rather, he will seek to discern God’s will and seek His direction before moving forward. He will use these four pillars when he seeks God’s will: Scripture, prayer/peace, common sense/circumstances, and wise counsel.

They direct their heart’s affection toward Jesus. In verse 24, Luke writes this just before they replaced Judas, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart.” The passion of their heart was focused on Jesus. Flourishing leaders will do the same. They will choose to set their affections not on success, a big church, or acclaim, but on pleasing Him.

Read Acts 1 today as a reminder of what God looks for in a flourishing leader.

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Charles Stone

Both my wife Sherryl and I have a heart for pastors and pastors’ wives. We’ve taught hundreds of pastors and their wives in the United States, Canada, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Mexico.

I earned an engineering degree from Georgia Tech, a Masters of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate of Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. I’m completing another masters degree in neuroleadership. I’m also an avid Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket fan.

I’ve been professionally trained in these areas by these organizations:

Life Coaching through the Professional Christian Coaching Institute
Strategic Planning through Ministry Advantage (certified)
Vision Clarity through the Church Unique Process (certified)
Conflict Management through Peacemakers
I’m the author of 4 books – Daughters Gone Wild – Dads Gone Crazy (Thomas Nelson, 2007), 5 Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them (Bethany House Publishers, 2010), People Pleasing Pastors: Avoiding Pitfalls of Approval Motivated Leadership (Inter-Varsity Press, January 2014), and my brand new book, Brain-Savvy Leadership: the Science of Significant Ministry (Abingdon, 2015).

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