Leadership that goes the distance

10 ‘R’s that will help you be a better steward of the leadership opportunity God has (temporarily) provided

By Monty Kelso

Leadership is temporary stewardship.

CHURCH HIRING ICONLeadership is temporary, because no matter how much we try to preserve our position, role or authority, there will come a day when we’re no longer the first or best choice for the future. It’s real, it’s natural, and it’s very Biblical. Throughout scripture, we find leaders, kingdoms and movements of God beginning and ending, rising and falling, coming into power and then dissolving.

Should we consider our own leadership any differently?

Leadership is stewardship, because leaders either choose to use their influence, authority and power for something greater than themselves, or they squander it on self-preservation and personal gain. 

Here are 10 ways to better steward the leadership opportunity in which God has temporarily placed you:

#1: Rethink — Spend concentrated time with God and the council of others to determine the best method to fulfill your ultimate purpose.

#2: Relinquish — Realize when it’s time to gradually move up stage, stage right or stage left. Make room for the generations that follow to step into their own roles in ministry.

#3: Relegate — Remember that your main job is to give ministry away. You should always be working towards handing roles and responsibilities over to others who show signs of potential. Identify early on who you can mentor into lead roles within your area of ministry.

#4: Recruit — Pursue young talent! Don’t be afraid to entrust young people with more than you think possible. They will often rise to the occasion.

#5: Recalibrate — Dial in the rhythm of your week (time management) so you can make well-informed decisions and act on those decisions swiftly, thoroughly and

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with graciousness.

#6: Renovate — Be aware that what has worked in the past will not always work so well in the future. Whether it’s the way you design a service, communicate a message, reach out to your unchurched community, or lead a staff meeting, you will discover that innovation leads to success. Remember: imagination x initiative = innovation.

#7: Recreate — We all need makeovers now and again. Grant people you respect permission to tell you the hard things about yourself that might result in diligent work on your part. Budget for self-development / improvement. Cooperate with God as He longs to finish what He has begun in you.

#8: Realize — Staying relevant requires that you realize what is going on in the world around you. Stay culturally, globally, socially and spiritually aware of what is happening in the world. What is trending? What are patterns that shape perspectives? What communicates best? (Hint: embrace social media!)

#9: Resonate — By pressing in to culture, you will relate better to how people think and learn, and to what motivates them. Your awareness of culture will affect how people perceive you. Being “in the world, but not of it” means that you can understand the challenges of life and relate without compromising your core beliefs and values.

#10: Rest — There is holiness in taking time to rest and find gratitude for all that God is doing around you. Time is on your side. No matter what position you find yourself in, there will always be an opportunity for ministering to others.

As you face inevitable ministry transitions and shifting leadership dynamics, may you always remember that any season of leadership is one of temporary stewardship. Embrace your next season, and lean into the opportunity to be part of something larger than yourself, trusting that God will show up and provide what you need for the journey.

Monty Kelso is a nationally recognized leader and clinician with decades of experience serving the local church. He is the President and Staffing Lead of Slingshot Group, a staffing and coaching firm partnered with the local church to find and build the best leaders possible.


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