What it Takes to be a Trusted Leader
What it Takes to be a Trusted Leader
Trust is integral to developing and growing a relationship. Whether it's between friends, coworkers, or spouses, without trust there is no real relationship.
When someone trusts you, it's a precious gift you hold in your hands and the proper response is to steward and honor the trust you’ve been given. Once that trust is broken, the relationship itself is broken. There is grace. There is forgiveness.
But there are also consequences. And the consequences of losing people’s trust are too costly for a leader.
Through years of ministry and leadership I have come to learn that trust is one of the most essential leadership traits one must have to lead effectively.
To shed more light into this, I will be writing from a standpoint of a pastor. I believe the content will be applicable for everyone but as a pastor, I want to write on what it takes to lead with trust.
Do You Have the Character?
There is a reason why the qualifications of an elder and deacon revolves around character. There is a reason why the fruit of the Spirit addresses a person’s character.
It’s because character is the most essential component to leadership and for that matter for all Christian life. To become like Christ is to become like Him in His character.
While some may think Jesus won His disciples over with his wisdom, miracles, signs and wonders. I believe Jesus won His disciples over with His character.
It was His character that wooed them in. It was His character that enabled them to trust Him and ultimately follow Him to the point of death.
As pastors we must remember the most crucial part of leadership is our character. And it is when our character becomes like His that people begin to trust us. But of course, our end goal is to always point our people to trust and follow the Lord.
Do You Have the Commitment?
In ministry and life there will always be times of difficulties and hardship. People are not looking for leaders to lead them up the mountains, but rather through the valleys. And it is commitment that leads people through valleys.
Adversity reveals the level of commitment a person has. When people see their pastor fight and overcome hardships, their trust is strengthened. For every battle they see their pastor overcome, the deeper their trust goes.
A committed pastor brings security, safety, confidence and ultimately trust to the group they are leading. Without it, it creates confusion and instability which will eventually end with people losing trust in the leader.
Do You Care?
As leaders and pastors we can get so carried away with the mission and goal that that we can forget what matters the most: the people. Everything we do must be motivated by God’s love for us and His love for people.
It is only when our people feel cared for that genuine and authentic trust is developed. It doesn’t matter how great a preacher or leader you are, if your people aren’t loved. Do you care about your people? Do you love them? Do you believe in them? Do you support them?
Are you using people to build your ministry, or are you using ministry to build your people?
Pastors are called to be shepherds not CEOS or managers running a business. We are called to care, serve and love God’s people. In essence pastors are not leaders, we are servants. Servants who follow our Lord and it is the Lord who enables us to lead people ultimately to Him.
Do You Have the Competency?
I used to think gifting and competency were secondary when it came to pastoral ministry, but I have recently changed my mind on this matter. Although God uses seasons and moments of struggle and inadequacy to draw us closer to Him, incompetency is something entirely different.
If God has called an individual, He will equip and enable them for the task. Gifts are given to glorify the Giver and our competency of the task will reveal that.
I have learned over the years when someone has absolute trust for a leader, it’s often times because they know their track record. They have seen the fruit and results that the leader produces.
As pastors we must grow in our gifts. We ought to hone and steward the talents the Lord has given us to advance His kingdom. If the fruit of the Spirit is regarding our character then the gifts of the Spirit is regarding our competency. And as pastors, we want both!
There is a pastor and mentor in my life that I have absolute respect and loyalty towards. If the man called me and asked me to do something, no matter the cost and sacrifice I will more than likely do it.
I began to examine my heart and ask myself, “Why am I so loyal to him? What is it about this man that brings about the utmost trust in me towards him?” And I realized it’s because he has every single trait I mentioned above.
He has the character of Christ. He is committed to the cause of Christ more than any man I know. He genuinely loves and cares for me. He carries the heart of the Lord in everything he does. And I have seen him do it over and over again. When the man preaches, the Lord moves. When the man leads something it just multiplies.
That was when I realized why I follow my mentor. He is a leader that has the five letter word from me, I T R U S T him. It is easy for me to follow him. It is a joy for me to serve and submit under him. And it's all because I trust him.
But even more so, my mentor always points me to trust the Lord. To follow Jesus because I can trust Jesus.
I encourage everyone reading this to ultimately put their trust in the Lord. If you are a leader or pastor, lead your people. But lead them into the presence of God. Disciple them to ultimately trust the Lord over you.
If you are a Christian, ultimately know that God’s character, commitment, care and ability outweighs every other person you know. There is no one like our God and if you put your trust in Him, He will lead you. You can trust our God!
Wonder if you have any thoughts on trust and leadership.
As yourself today, do people trust me? Why or why not?
Who do I trust? Who am I willing to follow and why?